United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, St. Joseph Division
ORDER DENYING JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS
KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE.
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
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.
and Undisputed Facts
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
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
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
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).
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).
seeks judgment on the pleadings asking the Court to find,
based on the pleadings, the August Payments were garnishable
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.
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