United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY ON DEFENDANT TCFI'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
matter is before the Court on Defendant TCFI Bell SPE III
LLC's (“TCFI”) Motion for Summary Judgment on
Its Request for Order of Attachment, (Filing No.
116), filed pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
56 and 69. TCFI is a judgment creditor of co-defendant Bell
Aquaculture LLC (“Bell”). TCFI obtained a default
judgment against Bell in state court. Bell purchased a policy
of insurance from Plaintiff Westfield Insurance Company
(“Westfield”) and filed a claim under the
insurance policy after Bell suffered a loss at its business
facility. Pursuant to its default judgment, TCFI seeks an
attachment lien or garnishment against any proceeds that Bell
might obtain on its insurance claim under the Westfield
insurance policy. TCFI filed the instant Motion for Summary
Judgment to obtain the attachment lien or garnishment. For
the following reasons, the Motion is granted in
part and denied in part, without prejudice
following facts are not necessarily objectively true, but as
required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, the facts are
presented in the light most favorable to Westfield and Bell
as the non-moving parties. See Zerante v. DeLuca,
555 F.3d 582, 584 (7th Cir. 2009); Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986).
matter involves an insurance coverage dispute between
Westfield and Defendants TCFI and Bell for damages suffered
following a disruption of electrical power to parts of the
building at Bell's fish farm, located at located in
Albany, Indiana. Bell purchased from Westfield and Westfield
issued to Bell a commercial insurance policy, which was
effective during the policy period of August 15, 2014 to
August 15, 2015 (Filing No. 100 at 2; Filing No.
100-1 at 16). On July 22, 2015, an independent adjusting
firm contacted Westfield to submit a property loss notice,
indicating that Bell had provided a description of a loss and
damage Bell claimed had occurred that day (Filing No. 100
at 3). Bell subsequently submitted proofs of loss to
Westfield for its claim. Id. at 6.
April 18, 2016, TCFI filed a complaint in the Marion Superior
Court (Indiana), requesting judgment on an unpaid debt owed
by Bell to TCFI (Filing No. 1-1 at 1). On June 2,
2016, TCFI filed its application for default judgment in the
state court (Filing No. 1-2 at 29). Then on July 19,
2016, the state court entered an order granting default
judgment to TCFI against Bell in the amount of $7, 715,
649.70. Id. at 56, 59.
on its understanding that Bell had asserted claims against
Westfield, TCFI filed a “Verified Motion for Entry of
Asset Garnishment Order” in the state court on August
4, 2016, less than a month after obtaining the default
judgment against Bell (Filing No. 1-2 at 60, 62). In
its Verified Motion, TCFI asked the state court to set a
hearing for entry of an attachment and garnishment order. And
then, following the hearing, enter an order garnishing any
proceeds Bell might recover under its insurance policy issued
by Westfield as well as a continuing attachment lien against
any insurance proceeds to satisfy TCFI's default
judgment. It also asked the state court to prohibit Bell from
transferring or settling any of its insurance claims without
TCFI's consent. Westfield was named as a
“garnishee-defendant” on the Verified Motion.
August 25, 2016, Westfield removed the case to federal court
based on diversity jurisdiction (Filing No. 1).
After an October 13, 2016 status conference, this Court
entered an “Order Realigning Parties” (Filing
No. 23), which realigned Westfield as the plaintiff and
TCFI as a defendant with co-defendant Bell. The Order also
required Westfield to file a complaint on or before October
28, 2016. On October 28, 2016, Westfield filed a Complaint
for Declaratory Judgment and Damages (Filing No.
November 18, 2016, TCFI filed an Answer to Westfield's
Complaint (Filing No. 27).
TCFI takes no position at this time with respect to
Westfield's “Demand for Relief” but
respectfully requests that the Court enter an order (i)
granting TCFI a continuing attachment lien against any
insurance proceeds payable by Westfield to Bell, (ii)
requiring Westfield to pay such proceeds, if any, directly to
TCFI to be applied toward satisfaction of the Judgment, and
(iii) forbidding Bell from transferring its claims against
Westfield without written consent of TCFI or order of the
Id. at 2. Approximately one year later, on November
10, 2017, TCFI filed its Motion for Summary Judgment on its
Request for Order of Attachment (Filing No. 116).
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
Rule of Civil Procedure 56 provides that summary judgment is
appropriate if “the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a
judgment as a matter of law.” Hemsworth v.
Quotesmith.com, Inc., 476 F.3d 487, 489-90 (7th Cir.
2007). In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court
reviews “the record in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party and draw[s] all reasonable inferences in
that party's favor.” Zerante, 555 F.3d at
584 (citation omitted). “However, inferences that are
supported by only speculation or conjecture will not defeat a
summary judgment motion.” Dorsey v. Morgan
Stanley, 507 F.3d 624, 627 (7th Cir. 2007) (citation and
quotation marks omitted). Additionally, “[a] party who
bears the burden of proof on a particular issue may not rest
on its pleadings, but must affirmatively demonstrate, by
specific factual allegations, that there is a genuine issue
of material fact that requires trial.”