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Aly v. Hanzada For Import & Export Co., Ltd.

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, St. Joseph Division

September 15, 2017

HASSANIN ALY, Plaintiff/Judgment Creditor,
v.
HANZADA for IMPORT & EXPORT COMPANY, LTD., Defendant/Judgment Debtor,
v.
NATIONAL BEEF PACKING COMPANY, LLC, Garnishee.

          ORDER DENYING JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

          GREG KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE.

         This is a garnishment action arising from a $1.6 million dollar jury verdict against Defendant Hanzada for Import & Export Company, Ltd. (“Hanzada”) for breach of contract. Plaintiff Hassanin Aly (“Aly”) seeks to satisfy his judgment against Hanzada through writs of garnishment filed with National Beef Packing Company, LLC (“National Beef”).

         Now before the Court is Aly's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. 223). Because there are several disputes of material fact here, the motion is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

         Background and Undisputed Facts[1]

         In April 2016 Aly was awarded a $1, 591, 286.60 judgment against Hanzada after a jury trial. Aly has sought to satisfy his judgment by filing garnishment writs against a third party, National Beef, who he believes holds property belonging to Hanzada.

         Prior to October 2015, National Beef sold beef product directly to Hanzada. Beginning in October 2015, National Beef began transitioning away from doing business directly with Hanzada, and by April 2016, Hanzada no longer purchased product directly from National Beef. Instead, National Beef began selling its product to a third-party distributor, ESCO International Trading LLC (“ESCO”). ESCO, then in turn, resells product to various beef purchasers including Hanzada. See Aff. of Jay Nielsen ¶ 6, 9, 10 (Doc. 224-1).

         Sometime early in its relationship with National Beef, ESCO encountered difficulties in obtaining a line of credit that it needed to facilitate product purchases from National Beef. National Beef speculates that in order to avoid delays in delivering product to ESCO, Hanzada made payments to National Beef on behalf of ESCO. Aff. of Jay Nielsen ¶ 18 (Doc. 207-1) (incorporated by reference in Doc. 224-1). National Beef also speculates that Hanzada wanted to avoid any delays because it intended to purchase this product from ESCO. Id. National Beef accepted two payments in August 2016 from Hanzada totaling $680, 000 (the “August Payments”).

         On July 19, 2016, Aly filed a request for a garnishment summons and the Court issued a writ with a return date of October 17, 2016 (Doc. 189). National Beef sought to quash the garnishment, but the Court denied the motion (Doc. 211).

         Aly's garnishment writ attached to property held by National Beef but belonging to Hanzada between August 10, 2016, the date the writ was served, and October 17, 2016, the return date of the writ. National Beef answered the interrogatories, denying it had any garnishable property (Doc. 215). Aly filed exceptions to those answers (Doc. 217) pointing to the August Payments, and National Beef responded (Doc. 218).

         Now Aly seeks judgment on the pleadings asking the Court to find, based on the pleadings, the August Payments were garnishable property.

         Applicable Substantive Law

         Proceedings in aid of execution of a judgment “must accord with the procedure of the state where the court is located.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 69. The parties do not dispute Missouri law applies in this case. In applying Missouri law, district courts are bound by the decisions of the Supreme Court of Missouri. Lancaster v. Am. & Foreign Ins. Co., 272 F.3d 1059, 1062 (8th Cir. 2001). If the Supreme Court of Missouri has not addressed an issue, the court must determine how the Supreme Court would decide the case. Id. Decisions by intermediate appellate courts provide persuasive authority and they can be followed “when they are the best evidence of state law.” Id.

         Standard

         “A motion for judgment on the pleadings should be granted when, accepting all facts pled by the nonmoving party as true and drawing all reasonable inferences from the facts in favor of the nonmoving party, the movant has clearly established that no material issue of fact remains and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Schnuck Mkts., Inc. v. First Data Merch. Servs. Corp., 852 F.3d 732, 737 (8th Cir. 2017). Although the Court must ignore most materials outside the pleadings, it may consider ...


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