United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
R. Underhill, United States District Judge.
United States of America (“the government”)
brought this action on behalf of the United States Department
of Education, seeking to obtain judgment against Christopher
Kylin. The government alleges that Kylin is “indebted
to the [government] in the principal amount of $172, 814.00,
plus interest of $71, 486.81 on th[at] principal[, ] computed
at the rate of 5.37% and a daily rate of $25.45 through June
30, 2018, and thereafter at such rate as the Department
establishes pursuant to Section 455(b) of the Higher
Education Act of 1965, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 1087e.”
See Compl., Doc. No. 1, ¶ 3. Attached to the
government’s complaint is a Certificate of
Indebtedness, which indicates that Kylin executed a
promissory note to secure a Direct Consolidation loan from
the United States Department of Education on or about July
22, 2010, that the loan was disbursed in the principal amount
of $172, 814.00 on September 27, 2010, and that Kylin
defaulted on the obligation on November 2, 2011. See
Certificate of Indebtedness, Doc. No. 1-1. The certificate
further provides that the total debt owed, as of March 21,
2018, is $241, 832.29. Id.
Answer, Kylin, proceeding pro se, states that he
“does not admit the value of the obligation as stated
by the [government], ” and that “these
obligations have been circulating in financial markets for a
number of years.” Ans., Doc. No. 15, at 1. Kylin
attaches to his Answer five letters dated August 31, 2017,
which he alleges are “copies of an offer from . . . the
originator of the loans.” Id. at 1, 3–7.
Kylin contends that those attachments demonstrate that
“the actual market value of these loans on August 31,
2017 was $3, 739.64, ” and that “they would have
depreciated still further” since then. Id. at
government now moves for summary judgment against Kylin,
requesting that the court enter judgment “in the amount
of $246, 463.95 as of September 19, 2018, plus interest in
the amount of $25.45 per day, that continues to accrue to the
date of judgment.” Mot. for Summ. J., Doc. No. 16-1, at
5. The government also requests that, should the court enter
judgment in favor of the government, “interest continue
to accrue from the date of judgment at the statutory rate in
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1961.” Id.
Attached as Exhibit A to the government’s Local Rule
56(a)1 Statement is a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan
Application and Promissory Note signed by Kylin on July 22,
2010, which contains a promissory note for the loan at
issue. See Local Rule 56(a)1 Statement,
Doc. No. 16-2, at 1; Ex. A to Local Rule 56(a)1 Statement,
Doc. No. 16-3, at 3.
initially opposes the motion on two grounds: first, on the
ground that he had not received a copy of the summary
judgment motion from the government and second, on the ground
that “[t]he value of the debt” is a material and
disputed fact. See Mem. In Opp’n to Mot. for
Summ. J., Doc. No. 19, at 1. With respect to the latter
argument, Kylin contends that the government “claim[s]
a debt of $244, 300.81, ” while he “claims that
the actual value of this debt is $3, 739.64.”
Id. The government filed a reply, to which Kylin
responded, re-asserting his argument regarding the
“value” of the debt but forgoing the argument
regarding lack of receipt of the government’s
Standard of Review
shall grant summary judgment when the movant demonstrates
that there is no genuine dispute with respect to any material
fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986). When reviewing a
summary judgment motion, a court must construe the facts of
record in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and
must resolve all ambiguities and draw all reasonable
inferences against the moving party. Anderson, 477
U.S. at 255; Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); Adickes v. S.H.
Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158–59 (1970).
Because Kylin is proceeding pro se, I must also read
his “pleadings and other documents liberally and
construe them in a manner most favorably” to him.
United State v. Whittlesey, 2010 WL 1882283, at *2
(D. Conn. May 11, 2010) (citing Burgos v. Hopkins,
14 F.3d 787, 790 (2d Cir. 1994)).
motion for summary judgment is properly supported by
documentary and testimonial evidence, however, the nonmoving
party may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of
the pleadings and instead must present sufficient probative
evidence to establish a genuine issue of material fact.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986);
Colon v. Coughlin, 58 F.3d 865, 872 (2d Cir. 1995).
To present a “genuine” issue of material fact,
there must be contradictory evidence “such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving
party.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. “Only
disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit
under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of
summary judgment.” Id.
nonmoving party has failed to make a sufficient showing on an
essential element of his case with respect to which he has
the burden of proof at trial, then summary judgment is
appropriate. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. In that
instance, “there can be ‘no genuine issue as to
any material fact, ’ because a complete failure of
proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving
party’s case necessarily renders all other facts
immaterial.” Id. at 322–23; accord
Goenaga v. March of Dimes Birth Defects Found., 51 F.3d
14, 18 (2d Cir. 1995) (finding that a movant’s burden
is satisfied if he can point to an absence of evidence to
support an essential element of the nonmoving party’s
action to enforce payment of a promissory note, the
government is entitled to summary judgment if it proffers
evidence establishing that the defendant has “signed
promissory notes, received loans pursuant to those notes, and
defaulted on [his] payment obligations.” United
States v. Cohan, 111 F.Supp.3d 166, 172 (D. Conn. 2015),
aff’d, 667 Fed.App’x 6 (2d Cir. 2016),
cert. denied, 137 S.Ct. 1078 (2017) (internal
citations omitted). The government must also “support
the amount it alleges is due.” Id. (internal
citations omitted). The government’s prima
facie burden can be satisfied by “a certificate of
indebtedness and the promissory note sued upon.”
Id. (internal citations omitted).
the government makes a prima facie case, the burden
then shifts to the defendant to “prove that the amount
due is not owing.” United States v. Chereton,
1994 WL 374544, at *2 (N.D. Cal. July 12, 1994); see also
United States v. Flynn, 2019 WL 609100, at *2 (D. Conn.
Feb. 13, 2019) (noting that, once a plaintiff “has met
its burden to demonstrate the debt owed by Defendant, [this]
shift[s] the burden to Defendant to prove any defenses to
repayment”). If the defendant does not satisfy that
burden, the court should enter judgment in favor of the
government. See Whittlesey, 2010 WL 1882283, at *3.
case, the government has presented a Certificate of
Indebtedness, indicating that Kylin executed a promissory
note to secure a Direct Consolidation loan from the U.S.
Department of Education on or about July 22, 2010, as well as
the promissory note itself. See Certificate of
Indebtedness, Doc. No. 1-1; Local Rule 56(a)1 Statement, Doc.
No. 16-2, at 1; Ex. A to Local Rule 56(a)1 Statement, Doc.
No. 16-3, at 3. The government has therefore made a prima
facie case, and the burden shifts to ...