United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR
N. Parrish United States District Court Judge
the court is a motion for summary judgment brought by
plaintiff Mark Beesley on his sole claim for breach of
contract. [Docket 52]. The court had initially set this
motion for a hearing. But upon reviewing the briefs, the
court determines that a hearing is not necessary. The court
GRANTS the motion because Beesley established that he is
entitled to judgment in his favor as a matter of law.
Hansen borrowed money from Beesley and used Beesley's
credit card for business expenses. Beesley also provided
business consulting services to Hansen. Hansen and Beesley
executed a contract in which they agreed that an attached
spreadsheet accurately represented that Hansen owed Beesley
$370, 976. The contract stated that this amount, plus
interest on outstanding sums, would be due upon demand.
sued Hansen, asserting a breach of contract cause of action.
Beesley later moved for summary judgment. He argued that he
should prevail as a matter of law because the undisputed
facts showed that he had performed his obligations under the
contract and that Hansen had breached the agreement by
failing to pay the amount owed.
elements of a prima facie case for breach of contract are (1)
a contract, (2) performance by the party seeking recovery,
(3) breach of the contract by the other party, and (4)
damages.” Am. W. Bank Members, L.C. v. State,
342 P.3d 224, 230-31 (Utah 2014) (citation omitted). In order
to determine whether Beesley has shown that he is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law on his breach of contract claim,
the court must initially determine whether Beesley has
produced undisputed evidence establishing the first and
second elements of the claim under Rule 56 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. The court then turns to the
question of whether Hansen has admitted facts establishing
the third and fourth elements of a breach of contract claim
under Rule 36.
judgment is appropriate when “the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The movant bears the initial burden of
demonstrating the absence of a genuine dispute of material
fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323
(1986). Once the movant has met this burden, the burden then
shifts to the nonmoving party to “set forth specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). To do this, the nonmoving party “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 (1986).
met his initial burden of demonstrating the absence of
disputed material facts for the first two elements of his
breach of contract claim. He produced the contract, which was
electronically signed by both himself and Hansen. Beesley
also provided an affidavit declaring that he had fully
performed his obligations under the contract by loaning
Hansen money and performing consulting services for him.
Indeed, the contract itself recites that Beesley had loaned
Hansen money and provided consulting services.
burden then shifted to Hansen to set forth evidence showing a
genuine dispute of material fact as to the first two elements
of the breach of contract claim. Hansen did not shoulder this
burden. Hansen responded to Beesley's claims that it was
undisputed that the parties had formed a contract and that
Beesley had performed his obligations under the contract with
bald assertions that each of these facts was disputed. But
simply writing the word “Disputed” as a response
to Beesley's statement of undisputed facts is
insufficient to create a genuine dispute. “A party
asserting that a fact . . . is genuinely disputed must
support the assertion by: (A) citing to particular parts of
materials in the record . . .; or (B) showing that the
materials cited [by the moving party] do not establish the
absence . . . of a genuine dispute . . . .”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). Hansen cites no evidence that would
create a dispute of fact, nor does he show how the evidence
provided by Beesley fails to establish the absence of a
genuine dispute regarding the existence of a contract or
Beesley's performance under the contract. Thus, Beesley
has established the first two elements of his breach of
contract under Rule 56.
third and fourth elements of Beesley's breach of contract
claim are breech and damages. Beesley relies upon
Hansen's admissions made pursuant to Rule 36 to establish
provides that a party may serve on another party a request to
admit the truth of facts relevant to the case. Fed.R.Civ.P.
36(a)(1). “A matter is admitted unless, within 30 days
after being served, the party to whom the request is directed
serves on the requesting party a written answer or objection
addressed to the matter and signed by the party or its
attorney.” Id. 36(a)(3). Facts deeded admitted
through a failure to respond may support a motion for summary
judgment. Id. 56(c)(1)(A); H. ...