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United States v. Gagne

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division

March 6, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
SUSAN L. GAGNE, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

PHILIP P. SIMON, Chief District Judge.

Before this Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. [DE 5] This is an action brought by the United States, on behalf of the United States Department of Agriculture, for in rem relief to foreclose a mortgaged real estate in Starke County, Indiana. The defendant answered the complaint and admitted each of the allegations in it, and admitted that the judgment asked for by the United States was appropriate [DE 3]. For the reasons set forth below, this Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and all additional relief requested in Plaintiff's Complaint.

BACKGROUND

On July 9, 2009, Defendant, Susan L. Gagne, executed a promissory note in favor of the United States Department of Agriculture in the principal amount of $56, 000.00 [DE 1-1]. The note calls for payment of interest and advances [ Id. ]. To secure the note, Gagne executed a mortgage on real estate commonly known as 10851 E. Seneca, Walkerton, Indiana 46574 [DE 1-2]. The mortgage was recorded on September 23, 2009, in the Office of the Recorder of Starke County as Document XXXXXXXXXX [ Id. ].

On the same day the promissory note was executed, Gagne and the Department of Agriculture executed a Subsidy Repayment Agreement. [DE 1-3] The agreement allowed some of the interest under the note to be credited so long as the property was occupied and no default existed, but in the event of default or abandonment, the credited interest had to be recaptured as a charge against the real estate [ Id. ] The United States is the holder of the aforementioned note and mortgages. [ Id. ]

There is due under the note and mortgage the sum of $56, 050.66 in principal, $2, 366.50 in interest and $2, 032.44 in recaptured interest, totaling $60, 449.60, plus accruing interest from September 17, 2012, to date of judgment at $7.09 per day [DE 1 at 2]. The amount due as of October 18, 2013, was $62, 257.24; however, Gagne was discharged from personal liability on the note by reason of a discharge entered following a petition for bankruptcy relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Act [ Id. ].

On April 8, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Complaint requesting an in rem judgment against the real estate, an order declaring that the mortgage of the United States have priority over the interests of all parties to the case, and an order for the Marshal to sell the real estate at a foreclosure sale and to pay the proceeds of the sale toward payment of the Plaintiff's judgment [ Id. ]. One month later, on May 8, 2013, Defendant filed an Answer to Plaintiff's Complaint, admitting each and every allegation laid out in the Complaint [DE 3]. As a result, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings on October 18, 2013 [DE 5].

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff moves for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). Rule 12(c) permits a party to move for judgment on the pleadings after the parties have filed a complaint and answer. In considering such a motion, the Court must apply the same legal standards that govern motions to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted. R.J. Corman Derailment Servs., LLC v. Int'l Union of Operating Eng'rs, Local Union 150, AFL-CIO, 335 F.3d 643, 647 (7th Cir 2003). A motion under Rule 12(c) is not granted "unless it appears beyond a doubt that the non-moving party cannot prove any facts that would support his claim for relief." Id. (citations and alterations omitted). When ruling on a Rule 12(c) motion, the Court must "accept all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff." Forseth v. Vill. of Sussex, 199 F.3d 363, 368 (7th Cir. 2000).

It should be noted that paragraphs 3 through 9 of the Defendant's Answer repetitiously read, "Defendant admits the allegation in rhetorical Paragraph 3 of Plaintiff's Complaint" [DE 3 at ΒΆ 3-9], instead of admitting to each sequentially numbered paragraph of the Complaint. However, this appears to be a simple typographical error and the time for Gagne, who is represented by counsel, to dispute the United States' assertion that she has admitted each of the averments in the Complaint, has passed. Moreover, the final paragraph in Defendant's Answer admits that an in rem judgment against the real estate, is appropriate, so this Court construes Paragraphs 1 through 9 of Defendant's Answer as being admissions of each corresponding allegation in Plaintiff's complaint.

Seeing that Plaintiff's allegations are uncontested by Defendant, and because this Court is to accept as true all well-pleaded allegations in Plaintiff's complaint, it is clear that Plaintiff is entitled to the relief requested in its Complaint and that Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings should be GRANTED.

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, the Court ORDERS the following:

1. That Plaintiff is entitled to the relief requested in its complaint; accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion for ...


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