United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
CENTRAL BANK OF ST. LOUIS, Plaintiff,
ORHI 2000, LLC, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. FLEISSIG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
diversity matter for breach of a settlement agreement is
before the Court on the motion of Plaintiff Central Bank of
St. Louis (“Central Bank”) for judgment on the
pleadings against all Defendants except Sakeba Issa (ECF No.
10); and Central Bank's separate motion for default
judgment against Sakeba Issa (ECF No. 15). For the reasons
set forth below, both motions will be granted, and final
judgment will be entered.
Bank alleges in its complaint that it purchased rights to a
loan in the principal amount of approximately $6, 000, 000
owed by Defendant ORHI 2000, LLC (“ORHI”), and
guaranteed by Defendants Sultan Issa and Sultan Issa as
Trustee of the Sultan S. Issa Living Trust (jointly,
“the Guarantors”). The loan went into default,
and on January 23, 2017, Central Bank brought suit against
ORHI, the Guarantors, and Sultan Issa's spouse, Sakeba
Issa, who had executed, along with Sultan Sakeba, a Consent
and Waiver of Marital Rights (“spousal waiver”)
pursuant to which Sakeba Issa agreed not to assert any
interest in spousal property as against Central Bank with
respect to Sultsan Issa's obligations to Central Bank.
Central Bank of St. Louis v. ORHI 2000, LLC,
4:17CV00262 DDN (E.D. Mo. 2017). On March 31, 2007, the
parties entered into a Forbearance and Settlement Agreement
that set forth terms for repayment of the indebtedness, which
at that point equaled approximately $3, 000, 000. The lawsuit
was dismissed without prejudice on August 1, 2017, in light
of the Settlement Agreement.
present two-count action was filed on January 12, 2018,
seeking monetary relief under Count I against ORHI and the
Guarantors for breach of the Settlement Agreement by failing
to make payments due and owing, and seeking declaratory
relief under Count II against Sakeba Issa. The complaint
alleges that as of December 1, 2017, the amount due Central
Bank under the Settlement Agreement is $2, 922, 128.34, and
seeks judgment in that amount in Count I. In Count II, the
complaint seeks declaratory judgment that the spousal waiver
is valid and Central Bank is entitled to proceed against any
assets covered by the waiver to satisfy Sultan Issa'a
obligations under the Settlement Agreement.
February 12, 2018, ORHI and the Guarantors filed an Answer
wherein they admitted the allegations contained in Count I
and waived all affirmative defenses. ECF No. 9. They also
agreed to entry of a Final Order and Judgment in the amount
of $2, 922, 128.34, to bear interest at the rate of 9% per
annum from the date of entry until paid in full. On February
12, 2018, Central Bank filed the motion for judgment on the
pleadings on Count I, asking the Court to enter the Final
Order and Judgment agreed to by ORHI and the Guarantors. No.
response was filed to the motion. On April 3, 2018, the Clerk
of Court entered default against Sakeba Issa, and Central
Bank filed the motion for default judgment as to her.
for Judgment on the Pleadings
on the pleadings is appropriate only when there is no dispute
as to any material facts and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law . . . .” Ashley Cty.,
Ark. v. Pfizer, Inc., 552 F.3d 659, 665 (8th Cir. 2009).
“[T]he factual allegations in a complaint, assumed
true, must suffice to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face . . . .” Ritchie v. St. Louis
Jewish Light, 630 F.3d 713, 716 (8th Cir. 2011).
“In considering a motion for judgment on the pleadings,
the Court may consider the pleadings, materials embraced by
the pleadings, and public records.” Rand-Heart of
NY, Inc. v. Dolan, 812 F.3d 1172, 1176 (8th Cir. 2016).
the allegations in the complaint, accepted as true, along
with the materials embraced by the pleadings and the public
records from the first lawsuit referenced above, establish
that Central Bank is entitled to the judgment it seeks in
Count I. See, e.g., Keep on Kicking Music, Ltd. v.
Hibbert, No. 15CV7464, 2016 WL 4386047, at *6 (S.D.N.Y.
Aug. 17, 2016) (granting the plaintiff's motion for
judgment on the pleadings on the claim that the defendant
breached a settlement agreement). This is especially so in
light of the answer filed by OH and the Grantors. Thus, the
motion for judgment on the pleadings will be granted.
for Default Judgment
default, the factual allegations of a complaint (except those
relating to the amount of damages) are taken as true, but it
remains for the court to consider whether the unchallenged
facts constitute a legitimate cause of action, since a party
in default does not admit mere conclusions of law.”
Murray v. Lene, 595 F.3d 868, 871 (8th Cir. 2010)
(citation omitted). Here, the allegations set forth in the
complaint, taken as true, along with materials properly
before the Court, establish that Central Bank is entitled to
a declaratory judgment that the spousal waiver described
above is valid. See, e.g., Acuity Ins. Co. v. Jones,
No. 4:11CV2041 AGF, 2013 WL 1192764, at *1 (E.D. Mo. Mar. 22,
2013) (granting default judgment on the plaintiff's
request for declaratory judgment where the complaint
sufficiently alleged and supported the declaratory relief
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's
motion for judgment on the pleadings against Defendants ORHI
2000, LLC; Sultan Issa; and Sultan Issa as Trustee of the
Sultan S. Issa Living Trust dated March 10, 2004, as amended
or restated, is GRANTED in the amount of $2,
922, 128.34, to bear interest at the rate of 9% per annum
from the date of entry of judgment until paid in full.
Liability is joint and several. (ECF No. 10.)
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs motion for
default judgment against Defendant Sakeba Issa is
GRANTED. (ECF No. 15.)
claims against all parties having been resolved, a separate
Judgment will ...