The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irenas, District Judge.
Before this court is defendant Thomas Motley's ("defendant")
motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 56(c). Defendant alleges that summary judgement is
appropriate because plaintiff Ann Motley's ("plaintiff") claim is
barred by the statute of limitations as set fourth in N.J.S.A.
12A:3-122 which requires that an action be commenced within six
years after a note is negotiated.
The plaintiff disagrees and argues that summary judgment is
inappropriate because the limitations period of N.J.S.A.
12A:3-118 controls and requires that a case be commended within
six years after making a demand or within ten years from the date
upon which no payments of principle or interest have been made.
Plaintiff argues that this case was filed within this statute's
period of limitations. Because this Court finds that N.J.S.A.
12A:3-118 controls, the motion for summary judgment is denied.
The instant action for payment of two promissory notes arises
from the following simple and undisputed facts. On April 5, 1991,
Thomas Motley executed a promissory note ("Note I") in favor of
Ann Motley in the amount of $50,000.00 as consideration for the
payment of the sum of $50,000.00. Subsequently, on September 3,
1991, Thomas Motley executed a second promissory note ("Note II")
in favor of plaintiff in the amount of $30,000.00 as
consideration for the payment of the sum of $30,000.00. The
parties do not dispute that Note I and Note II (collectively
referred to as "Notes") are both demand notes.
On July 28, 1997, plaintiff filed an action in Superior Court
of New Jersey, Cape May County for payment of the Notes. The
complaint however was dismissed on November 21, 1997, because
defendant was not subject to the jurisdiction of the Superior
Court of New Jersey.
The present action, pleading jurisdiction based on diversity of
citizenship, was commenced by plaintiff on August 7, 1998, for
payment of the Notes executed by defendant. On July 8, 1999,
defendant filed the motion for summary judgement pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c).
Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c), a court may grant summary judgment
"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."
The non-moving party may not simply rest on its pleadings to
oppose a summary judgment motion but must affirmatively come
forward with admissible evidence establishing a genuine issue of
fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324, 106
S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986).
In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court must
construe the facts and inferences in a light most favorable to
the non-moving party. Pollock v. American Tel. & Tel. Long
Lines, 794 F.2d 860, 864 (3d Cir. 1986). The role of the court
is not "to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the
matter, but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for
trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249, 106
S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986).
The substantive law governing the dispute will determine which
facts are material, and only disputes over those facts "that
might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will
properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Id. at 248,
106 S.Ct. 2505. Where the moving party has carried its initial
burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact, "its opponent must do more than simply show that
there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts."
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986).
A genuine issue for trial does not exist "unless the party
opposing the motion can adduce evidence which, when considered in
light of that party's burden of proof at trial, could be the
basis for a jury finding in that party's favor." J.E. Mamiye &
Sons, Inc. v. Fidelity Bank, 813 F.2d 610, 618 (3d Cir. 1987)
(Becker, J., concurring)
The present motion requires this Court to consider the effect
of an amendment to the statute of limitation on a claim for a
demand note which note was negotiated prior to passage of the
statutory amendment. The defendant argues that the statute of
limitation in effect at the time the note was negotiated controls
and bars the application of the amended statute of limitation.
The plaintiff argues that the amended statute affected a repeal
of the earlier statute and, therefore, the amended statute of
limitation applies to a ...