United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. SIMANDLE U.S. District Judge
dispute comes before the Court by way of Plaintiff the United
States of America's (“United States”)
unopposed motion for summary judgment. [Docket Item 36.] For
the reasons that follow, the Court will grant the motion.
Court finds as follows:
Between 1982 and 1984, Defendant Veronica Floyd
(“Defendant”) obtained three Stafford Subsidized
loans from the U.S. Department of Education to attend Wesley
and Mercy College, in the amount of $7, 372.00. (United
States' Statement of Material Facts Not in Dispute
(“Undisputed Material Facts”) at ¶ 1.} On
April 17, 1998, the three loans were consolidated, creating a
single Direct Consolidated Subsidized Loan in the amount of
$19, 328.00. (Id. at ¶ 2.) Between 1997 and
2000, Defendant took out ten additional loans to attend
Rutgers University, in the amount of $37, 219.00.
(Id. at ¶ 3.) On October 12, 2001, the Direct
Consolidated Loan and the ten additional loans were
consolidated into two new loans - a Direct Consolidated
Subsidized Loan in the amount of $29, 033.00 and a Direct
Consolidated Unsubsidized Loan in the amount of $33, 574.00.
(Id. at ¶ 4.) Defendant subsequently defaulted
on both loans. (Id. at ¶¶ 10, 18.)
March 28, 2012, the United States filed a Complaint against
Defendant for recovery of the defaulted loans under 20 U.S.C.
§ 1071 and 34 C.F.R. Part 682. [Docket Item 1.] Shortly
thereafter, the United States filed an affidavit of service,
reflecting that it served Defendant on April 5, 2012, by
leaving a copy of the Complaint at Defendant's residence
with her niece, Taylor Watson. [Docket Item 3.] Following
Defendant's failure to answer the Complaint, the Clerk of
Court entered Default Judgment against her on September 5,
2012 in the amount of $102, 970.78, plus interest and costs.
[Docket Item 6.]
August 28, 2015, Defendant moved to vacate Default Judgment
against her on the grounds that she had not been properly
served with the Complaint. [Docket Item 7.] The Court granted
Defendant's motion on September 30, 2015, and ordered
that Defendant file an Answer within seven days of the Order.
[Docket Item 13.] On October 2, 2015, Defendant filed her
Answer. [Docket Item 14.] Two months later, Defendant
responded to the United States' first set of
interrogatories. (Undisputed Material Facts at ¶ 23;
see also Exhibit B to Murtha Cert.) On March 1,
2017, the United States served Defendant's counsel with a
second set of interrogatories, a request for the production
of documents, and a request for admissions. (Undisputed
Material Facts at ¶ 24; see also Exhibit C to
Murtha Cert.) Defendant's response to these discovery
demands was due on March 31, 2017, but the United States
never received a response. (Undisputed Material Facts at
April 20, 2017, the United States moved for summary judgment
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). [Docket Item 36.] More than seven
months have elapsed and Defendant has not filed any response
to the United States' motion.
Where, as in the instant case, a summary judgment motion is
unopposed, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure still
requires the Court to satisfy itself that summary judgment is
proper because there are no genuine disputes of material fact
and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed R. Civ. P. 56(e)(3); see also Anchorage Assocs. v.
Virgin Islands Bd. of Tax Review, 922 F.2d 168,
175 (3d Cir. 1990) (interpreting prior version of Rule 56).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) generally provides that
the “court shall grant summary judgment if the movant
shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact” such that the movant is “entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A
“genuine” dispute of “material” fact
exists where a reasonable jury's review of the evidence
could result in “a verdict for the non-moving
party” or where such fact might otherwise affect the
disposition of the litigation. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Disputes over irrelevant
or unnecessary facts, however, fail to preclude the entry of
summary judgment. Id. Conclusory, self-serving
submissions cannot alone withstand a motion for summary
judgment. Gonzalez v. Sec'y of Dept. of Homeland
Sec., 678 F.3d 254, 263 (3d Cir. 2012) (internal
Here, Defendant admitted she “obtained the student loan
complained of in Plaintiff's Complaint.” (Exhibit B
to Murtha Cert.) As Defendant did not timely respond to
Plaintiff's requests for admission, she is also deemed to
have admitted: (1) the United States is in possession of
the promissory note Defendant executed with the Department of
Education; (2) the United States disbursed the sums at the
subject rate of interest agreed to in the loans; (3) that the
United States demanded payment from Defendant; and (4) that
Defendant failed to make any payments to bring the loan
current. (Exhibit C to Murtha Cert.)
discussed supra, there is no dispute that Defendant
“obtained the student loan complained of in
Plaintiff's Complaint” and that the United States
is the owner and holder of the promissory note executed by
Defendant. There is likewise no dispute that Defendant is now
in default. Accordingly, the Court finds that the United
States is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.
sum of Defendant's indebtedness was calculated as of
August 8, 2011 in the amount of $97, 568.86, comprised of
principal in the amount of $76, 674.67 and interest in the
amount of $20, 894.09. (Cert. of Christopher Bolander, Loan
Analyst, U.S. Dept. of Education (dated April 19, 2017), at
¶ 15.) Interest continued to accrue on the principal sum
of $76, 674.67 at the rate of $12.87 per day. Id.
Interest for the period of six years and 105 days from August
8, 2011 to and including November 21, 2017 at the per diem
rate of $12.87 is thus $29, 536.65 (consisting of six years
at $4, 697.55 per annum plus 105 days at $12.97 per diem).
Total indebtedness is therefore the sum of principal of $76,
674.67, plus interest until August 8, 2011 of $20, 894.09,
plus interest from August 8, 2011 until November ...