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Citicorp Vendor Finance, Inc. v. Pixel Imaging International

August 8, 2007

CITICORP VENDOR FINANCE, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
PIXEL IMAGING INTERNATIONAL, INC., BEHNAZ VAHDAT, A.K.A. VAHDAT BEHNAZ, AND DAWOOD PARVIZI, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hillman, District Judge

OPINION

This matter has come before the Court on Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment in its favor on its claims against Defendants for Defendants' breach of two lease agreements for large format printers. Plaintiff is also moving for attorneys fees and costs. Defendants have not opposed Plaintiff's motion. For the reasons expressed below, Plaintiff's motion will be denied without prejudice.

BACKGROUND

Defendant Pixel Imaging International, Inc. ("Pixel"), which is in the business of large format printing and specializes in car graphics, vehicle wraps, building wraps, vinyl banners, and trade show booths, entered into two lease agreements with Ilford Imaging USA, Inc. ("Ilford") for two large format printers. The parties entered into the first lease agreement, Master Agreement number 2333390, on July 31, 2000 for a Model 2360 large format three-meter printer. The lease was for a term of sixty months and called for monthly payments of $4,960.28. Defendants Behnaz Vahdat, also known as Vahdat Behnaz, and Dawood Parvizi executed a personal guaranty to "unconditionally guarantee[] to [Ilford] prompt payment when due of" their obligations to Ilford under the lease agreement. Ilford then assigned the lease to Plaintiff Citicorp Vendor Finance, Inc. ("Citicorp").

Defendants and Ilford entered into a second lease agreement, Master Schedule number 2333392, on September 24, 2001 for a Model 5300 large format five-meter printer. The lease was for a term of sixty months and called for monthly payments of $8,928.40.*fn1 Defendants Behnaz Vahdat and Dawood Parvizi again executed a personal guaranty, and Ilford assigned the lease to Plaintiff Citicorp.

It is unclear from the Complaint and supporting briefs, but according to Plaintiff, at some point Defendants breached the lease agreements by failing to pay the monthly rental payments. Pursuant to the lease agreements, Plaintiff elected to declare Defendants in default, and demanded immediate payment within ten days of the unpaid rental payments, the present value of any remaining rental payments, the value of the equipment at the end of the lease term, interest, collection fees, attorney's fees, and court costs, minus any security deposits paid. Defendants apparently failed to respond to Plaintiff's demand letters and apparently did not make any further payments. Plaintiff then instituted the present action against Pixel, Behnaz Vahdat and Dawood Parvizi, jointly and severally, for the breach of the two lease agreements. Defendants answered the Complaint, but have failed to oppose Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment.

DISCUSSION

A. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate where the Court is satisfied that "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." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986); Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c).

Initially, the moving party has the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once the moving party has met this burden, the nonmoving party must identify, by affidavits or otherwise, specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. Thus, to withstand a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must identify specific facts and affirmative evidence that contradict those offered by the moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256-57. A party opposing summary judgment must do more than just rest upon mere allegations, general denials, or vague statements. Saldana v. Kmart Corp., 260 F.3d 228, 232 (3d Cir. 2001).

In circumstances where a nonmoving party fails to oppose the motion, Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e) provides that the court may only grant the moving party's motion for summary judgment "if appropriate." A moving party's motion is appropriately granted when that party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and the court "will accept as true all material facts set forth by the moving party with appropriate record support." See Anchorage Assocs. v. V.I. Bd. of Tax Review, 922 F.2d 168, 175 (3d Cir. 1990).

B. Analysis

Paragraph 11 of the Master Agreement, which governs both leases, sets forth the various remedies in the event of default. It provides, in relevant part,

Default and Remedies: If you (a) fail to pay rent or any other payment hereunder when due . . . you shall be in default under the Agreement and, we may . . . exercise any one or more of the following remedies; (i) declare due, sue for and receive from you the sum of all rental payments and other amounts then due and owing under this Agreement or any schedule thereto, plus the present value of . . . (y) the anticipated value of the Equipment at the end of the initial term or applicable renewal term of the Agreement (but in no event less than 15% of the original cost of the Equipment) discounted at the rate of 6% per annum . . . (ii) . . . accelerate the balances due under any other agreements between us; (iii) to take immediate possession of the Equipment . . . (v) require you to return all Equipment at your expense to a place ...


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