United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
ENTRY ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
AND PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO DENY SUMMARY JUDGMENT
RICHARD L. YOUNG, JUDGE
matter arises from the August 20, 2012 decision by the City
of Lawrenceburg, acting through its Common Council, to table
the grant of a private entity loan to Plaintiff, Frederick
Jones, to finance a real estate development plan for the
City. The pro se Plaintiff, an African American,
alleges that the Defendants' decision violated his rights
under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
to the United States Constitution, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and
Article 1, Section 23 of the Indiana Constitution. He also
alleges a claim for promissory estoppel under Indiana law.
The Defendants, City of Lawrenceburg, Mayor Dennis Carr,
former council member Doug Taylor, and current council
members Jane Pope, Aaron Cook, Bill Brunner, and Mike
Lawrence, now move for summary judgment, and Plaintiff moves
the court to deny Defendants' motion. The court, having
read and reviewed the parties' submissions, the
designated evidence, and the applicable law, now
GRANTS Defendants' motion, and
DENIES Plaintiff's motion.
resolution in 2005, the City of Lawrenceburg established a
Public Improvement Economic Development Fund
(“PIEDF”) and the Lawrenceburg Economic
Development Fund (“LEDF”). (Filing No. 58-10,
Affidavit of Aaron Cook (“Cook Aff.”) ¶ 3).
As their names suggest, both funds were created to stimulate
economic growth in Dearborn County. (Cook Aff., Ex. 1-A,
1-B). To address loan requests, the City created a Loan
Committee which determined whether or not to grant the
requests. (Cook Aff. ¶ 3).
September 2009, the Loan Committee decided that due to the
current economic situation, it would be in the City's
best interest to suspend the loan program. (Id.
¶ 6). It made a motion at the next Common Council
meeting to suspend the loan program until further notice, and
it passed. (Id.). No. further private entity loans
were given from September 2009 through 2012. (Id.
¶ 7). The loans that were in existence at that time
continued to be serviced and repaid, but no new loans issued.
August 6, 2012, Plaintiff presented his business plan at a
Lawrenceburg Common Council meeting and requested that his
business receive a $500, 000 private entity loan from the
City of Lawrenceburg to turn rental properties into owned
homes. (Id. ¶ 8; Filing No. 58-10, Ex. 1-G,
Minutes of the Aug. 6, 2012 Common Council Meeting; Filing
No. 59, Ex. 1-H, Video of August 6, 2012 Common Council
Meeting beginning at 1:28). After a short discussion, Pope
made a motion to move forward with funding the Jones
Properties as a private entity loan. (Cook Aff. ¶ 8;
Exs. 1-G, 1-H). Pope, Lawrence, and Taylor voted in favor of
the motion; Brunner and Cook voted against the motion; Mayor
Carr did not vote. (Cook Aff. ¶ 8; Exs. 1-G, 1-H).
August 20, 2012, the matter came back before the Lawrenceburg
Common Council. (Cook Aff. ¶ 9; Filing No. 58-10, Ex.
1-I, Minutes of the August 20, 2012 Common Council Meeting;
Filing No. 59, Ex. 1-J, Video of the August 20, 2012 Common
Council Meeting beginning at 1:28). During the meeting, there
was confusion as to whether the Common Council needed to
establish a new Loan Committee or whether they needed an
ordinance to make the Loan Committee legal. (Cook Aff.
¶¶ 9, 10; Ex. 1-J). After a recess was called to
allow Pope to speak with her attorney, Pope officially moved
to stay further action on the Jones' Properties'
project until the Loan Committee was legally able to extend
loans. (Cook Aff. ¶ 10; Exs. 1-I, 1-J). The motion
passed 3-2, with Pope, Lawrence and Taylor voting in favor
and Brunner and Cook voting against. (Exs. 1-I, 1-J).
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is appropriate where “the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A genuine issue of material fact exists
if there is sufficient evidence from which a reasonable juror
could return a verdict in favor of the non-moving party.
Brown v. Advocate S. Suburban Hosp., 700 F.3d 1101,
1104 (7th Cir. 2012). In evaluating a motion for summary
judgment, the court views the evidence in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Hottenroth v. Village
of Slinger, 388 F.3d 1015, 1027 (7th Cir. 2004).
Plaintiff's Motion to Deny Defendants' Motion for
moves the court to deny Defendants' motion for summary
judgment because there are facts in dispute and the matter is
not ripe for summary adjudication. With respect to his first
contention, “the existence of a factual dispute will
not preclude summary judgment when the dispute does not
involve a material fact.” Burton v. Downey,
805 F.3d 776, 783 (7th Cir. 2015). Here, Plaintiff fails to
point to any facts, much less material facts, which are in
dispute. With respect to his second contention, based on his
Response to Defendants' motion for summary judgment, the
court assumes he is referring to discovery which he alleges
he has not received from Defendants. The record belies
Plaintiff's contention. (See Filing No. 48,
Order on June 14, 2017, Telephonic Conference (“Given
that Defendants has [sic] responded to Plaintiff's
discovery requests, Plaintiff's motion to compel [Filing
No. 43] is denied.”); Filing No. 67, Marginal Entry
denying Plaintiff's Motion for Extension of Time for
Discovery because Defendants complied with discovery and the
motion was made beyond the deadlines set forth in the
court's scheduling order)). For these reasons,
Plaintiff's Motion to Deny Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment is DENIED.
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment