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People's United Bank v. Culver

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

August 21, 2019

PEOPLE'S UNITED BANK, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL C. CULVER, Defendant.

          RULING AND ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO DISMISS

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         People's United Bank sued Michael Culver for two breaches of a loan agreement for Skip Barber Racing School LLC (“Racing School”), a company for which Mr. Culver was the majority owner. Complaint, ECF No. 1 (“Compl.”), at 2-3.

         Mr. Culver has responded by, inter alia, filing a counterclaim for tortious interference with contracts and asserting several affirmative defenses, including an unclean hands defense. Defendant's Amended Answer to Plaintiff's Complaint, ECF No. 25, at 5-7.

         People's United Bank moved to dismiss Mr. Culver's counterclaim for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and to strike his unclean hands defense. Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 27.

         For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS People's United Bank's motion to dismiss and GRANTS People's United Bank's motion to strike.

         The Court dismisses Mr. Culver's counterclaim for tortious interference with contract and dismisses the affirmative defense of unclean hands from the Amended Answer.

         Because Mr. Culver is proceeding pro se, the Court will not require him to file the Amended Answer again, but this case will proceed without this defense or any allegations relating to it being viable.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Allegations

         On January 25, 2011, People's United Bank agreed to loan the Racing School up to $1, 000, 000. Compl. at ¶ 8. People's United Bank alleges that Mr. Culver, as the majority owner of the racing school, guaranteed the loan obligations. Id. at ¶ 9.

         People's United Bank also alleges that the loan is currently in default and the obligations “have been accelerated and demanded of both the Racing School and Culver.” Id. at ¶ 10. As the holder of the loan note, People's United Bank sought to hold Mr. Culver responsible for the loan obligations, but People's United Bank alleges that “Culver has refused and failed to pay the indebtedness owed pursuant to the 2011 Note, or otherwise duly perform the Obligations under the 2011 Loan Agreement and the Culver 2011 Guaranty.” Id. at ¶¶ 11, 12.

         People's United Bank alleges the principal amount on the loan is $992, 235.72, interest accrued as of February 28, 2017 is $38, 342.01, and late charges are $1, 387.06. Id. at ¶ 13.

         On September 12, 2013, People's United Bank agreed to make available to the Racing School a second loan of $200, 000. Id. at ¶ 18. People's United Bank alleges that Mr. Culver has guaranteed the loan obligations for this loan. Id. at ¶ 20.

         On May 22, 2015, the parties amended the loan agreement. Id. at ¶ 19.

         People's United Bank alleges that the 2013 loan agreement “is in default and Obligations have been accelerated and demanded of both the Racing School and Culver.” Id. at ¶ 21. Nevertheless, Mr. Culver allegedly “has refused and failed to pay the indebtedness owed pursuant to the 2013 Note, or otherwise duly perform the Obligations under the 2013 Loan Agreement and the Culver 2013 Guaranty.” Id. at ¶ 23.

         People's United Bank alleges that the principal amount on the second loan is $200, 000, interest accrued as of February 28, 2017 is $6, 844.44, and late charges are $10, 297.22.

         B. Procedural History

         On May 2, 2017, People's United Bank filed its Complaint against Mr. Culver. Compl.

         On September 11, 2017, the parties jointly filed an ex parte motion for a stay of the proceedings, which the Court granted. Joint Ex Parte Motion for Stay and Extension of Time for Further Proceedings, ECF No. 9; Order, ECF No. 10.

         Following a status report, the Court again stayed the proceedings. Status Report, ECF No. 11; Order Staying Case, ECF No. 12.

         On September 10, 2018, People's United Bank moved for default entry, which the Clerk of the Court granted. Motion for Default Entry, ECF No. 14; Order, ECF No. 15.

         On October 3, 2018, Mr. Culver objected to the motion for default ...


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