Justia Arkansas Supreme Court Opinion Summaries
Articles Posted in Banking
LVNV Funding, LLC filed a complaint against Rae Nardi for an amount due on her credit card account with Citibank. LVNV claimed, as an assignee, it had a contractual relationship between Nardi and Citibank and a cause of action for recovery of the amount due on the account. Nardi filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that the failure to attach to the complaint a copy of the agreement between Nardi and Citibank constituted a violation of Ark. R. Civ. P. 10(d). The circuit court granted summary judgment for Nardi, finding that LVNV violated Rule 10(d), which requires that a copy of the "instrument or document" upon which the claim is based be attached to the complaint. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that compliance with Rule 10(d) is mandatory, and therefore, entry of summary judgment was proper. View "LVNV Funding, LLC v. Nardi" on Justia Law
Appellant Benefit Bank appealed from the circuit court's order finding that the mortgage it held to certain property was second and subordinate to the interest of Appellee Marilyn Rogers obtained in her divorce. Appellant appealed, arguing, among other things, that the circuit court erred in finding that Appellee's interest was prior to Appellant's interest because the divorce court lacked authority to impose a lien on real property to secure alimony payments. The Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's order, holding (1) the divorce court did not lack the authority to impose the lien as it did, where it was stipulated to by the divorcing parties; and (2) the circuit court did not err in finding that the lis pendens filed by Appellee created or perfected a lien. View "Benefit Bank v. Rogers" on Justia Law
Metropolitan National Bank (MNB) loaned Grand Valley Ridge several million dollars for the completion of a subdivision. After Grand Valley failed to make its interest payments, MNB filed a petition for foreclosure. Grand Valley and Thomas Terminella, a member of Grand Valley (collectively, Appellants), filed an amended counterclaim alleging various causes of action. During the trial, the circuit court granted Appellants' motion to take a voluntary nonsuit of their claims of negligence and tortious interference with contract. The circuit court held in favor of MNB. The court subsequently granted MNB's petition for foreclosure and awarded a judgment against Appellants. Thereafter, Appellants filed a complaint alleging their original nonsuited counterclaims and adding additional claims. MNB moved to dismiss Appellants' complaint and filed a motion for sanctions. The circuit court granted both motions. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding, inter alia, (1) because Appellants brought claims clearly barred by the statute of limitations, the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in awarding sanctions; and (2) the circuit court properly granted summary judgment for MNB on Grand Valley's nonsuited issues based on the applicable statute of limitations. View "Grand Valley Ridge LLC v. Metropolitan Nat'l Bank" on Justia Law
Posted in: Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Arkansas Supreme Court, Banking, Commercial Law, Consumer Law, Contracts, Injury Law
Gene Shields, an agent for State Farm Insurance Companies, opened an account with Bankcorp Bank. The owner of the account was State Farm. Shields's office manager subsequently diverted funds that were due to be deposited into the account, and Shields allegedly suffered at least $77,925 in losses as a result of over 100 overdrafts on the account. Shields sued Bancorp Bank for negligence in failing to notify him of overdrafts. Bancorp moved to compel arbitration based on the account's arbitration clause. The circuit court denied the motion to compel, and Bancorp appealed. At issue on appeal was whether the parties' 2005 agreement to modify the contract entered into by the parties in 1982 controlled when Shields signed the agreement but State Farm was not a party to the contract. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the 2005 agreement, which contained the arbitration provision, was not binding because the agreement was entered into in contravention of the rights of the account owner, State Farm.
In 1990, Roy Sharpe executed an inter vivos trust and a will containing a testamentary trust. According to both trusts, Sharpe preferred his attorney, Charles Brown, to be employed to provide legal advice regarding trust administration and to choose a successor trustee if the need arose. Bank of America eventually served as trustee of both trusts. In 2009, Brown filed a petition to change trustees, asserting that in violation of the terms of the trusts, Bank of America intended to manage the trusts from a location outside the boundaries of Little Rock. The circuit court granted the motion. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Brown lacked standing to bring the petition. Because the trusts did not provide a means for removing a trustee, Brown obtained no authority from the trusts to bring an action to change the trustees and had no interest in the trusts that granted him standing and permitted him to enforce the terms of the trusts. Remanded with directions to dismiss the case.
Appellee First Community Bank loaned $175,000 to Catherine Warbington and two Warbington family trusts, listing the property in the trusts as security. After Catherine died, the bank later filed a foreclosure complaint, asserting that payments were not being made on the loan and naming as defendants the unknown heirs of Catherine, the trusts, the trustee of the trusts, and others. Later, a foreclosure judgment was entered finding that the parties before the court had consented to the judgment and were indebted to the bank for the principal amount. The heirs and trusts then filed a motion to vacate the foreclosure, asserting (1) that the judgment was void by operation of law because Bert Warbington had not been personally served as trustee, and (2) Bert was not named individually in the complaint though he was a known heir and as such Ark. R. Civ. P 4 and due process required the bank name him as a party. The circuit court denied the motion. On appeal, the Supreme Court found (1) the circuit court did not clearly err in finding from the evidence that there was personal service and (2) that the circuit court did not err in finding that Bert was an unknown heir. Affirmed.