United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
HONORABLE GREGORY J. FOURATT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgment [ECF 11] (“Motion”), filed May
23, 2019. The Motion is fully briefed. See ECFs
15-17. After careful consideration of the pertinent law and
the briefing, the Court will GRANT the
Motion and enter judgment in favor of Plaintiff for the
entire amount ($164, 475.00) due under the Settlement
purposes of the instant Motion, the following facts are not
disputed. See ECFs 1 (Complaint), 6 (Answer); Mot.
1-3; Resp. 1-2.
April 2017, the parties entered into a Lease Agreement for
the lease of commercial property owned by Defendant. Mot.
¶ 1; Resp. ¶ 1. The Lease Agreement expressly
granted Plaintiff a “Tenant Allowance”
(“Allowance”) in the amount of $168, 300.00. Mot.
¶ 2; Resp. ¶ 2. The Lease Agreement required
Defendant to deliver the Allowance to Plaintiff to assist in
payment for certain improvements that Plaintiff made to the
property. Id. Defendant, however, “failed and
refused to deliver” the Allowance to Plaintiff. Mot.
¶ 3; Resp. ¶ 3.
resolve the dispute over Defendant's failure to pay the
Allowance, the parties entered into a Settlement Agreement
(“Agreement”) on February 6, 2019. Compl. Ex. A.
Under the terms of the Agreement, Defendant agreed to pay
Plaintiff $164, 475.00. Id. at ¶ 2. This sum
was to be paid in two equal installments of $82, 237.50, with
the first to be made on March 1, 2019, and the second on or
before April 1, 2019. Id. at ¶ 3. Defendant,
however, failed to make either payment. See Mot.
¶ 7-8; Resp. ¶ 7-8. Under the terms of the
Agreement, the “failure to timely deliver the payments
due in [the Agreement] shall constitute a default under this
Agreement and will entitle [Plaintiff] to exercise the
remedies set forth in [the Agreement].” Compl. Ex. A
Agreement provides the following regarding default:
[Plaintiff] shall be entitled to apply to the Court for the
immediate entry of a Final Judgment for the Settlement Sum,
less any payments made under this Agreement. In the event of
entry of any Final Judgment under this Agreement, the
[Defendant] shall not seek to interfere in any manner with
the entry of the Final Judgment, and will not seek rehearing
on, move to vacate, move to set aside, appeal, or otherwise
challenge, contest, or dispute the enforceability and
validity of the Final Judgment if obtained in accordance with
this Agreement. Accordingly, [Defendant] waives any and all
defenses to such action, including jurisdiction, service of
process, and venue.
Id. ¶ 5. Also, the Agreement expressly
contemplates that costs and reasonable attorney's fees
would be awarded to the prevailing party in any action or
proceeding arising out of the Agreement. Id. ¶
16. Finally, the parties agreed that the “Agreement
shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the
laws of the State of Florida without reference to the
conflict of laws principles thereof.” Id.
SUMMARY OF ARGUMENTS
argues that, under the terms of the Agreement,
Defendant's failure to make the two installment payments,
an undisputed fact, entitles it to judgment as a matter of
law. Mot. 4-5. Plaintiff also contends that the Agreement
entitles it to be reimbursed for its costs and reasonable
attorney's fees. Id. Defendant, on the other
hand, merely requests that if the Court deems the record
evidence insufficient to grant summary judgment, the Court
allow the case to proceed through discovery before granting
dispositive relief. Resp. 2. Defendant further requests that
in the event judgment is granted in favor of Plaintiff, any
award of attorney's fees be “reasonable.”