LARRY HASTINGS, individually and d/b/a K & L BLACKHOE SERVICES, an unincorporated entity, and KATHY HASTINGS, Plaintiffs,
NICOLE ANN HOSLER Defendant.
Submitted: December 12, 2017
Honorable Andrea L. Rocanelli Judge
consideration of the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by
Plaintiffs Larry Hastings, Kathy Hastings, and K & L
Backhoe Services (collectively, "Plaintiffs");
Defendant Nicole Ann Hosler's ("Defendant")
opposition thereto; the facts, arguments, and authorities set
forth by the parties; the Superior Court Civil Rules;
statutory and decisional law; and the entire record in this
case, the Court hereby finds as follows:
December 30, 2015, Plaintiffs brought this action against
Defendant alleging that Defendant was in default of several
loans. Plaintiffs allege that they made various loans to
Defendant beginning in 2012 that Defendant has not repaid.
Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that Defendant owes the
following amounts: $9, 408.97 to Larry and Kathy Hastings;
$47, 410.00 to K & L Backhoe Services; and $10, 791.56 to
Larry Hastings. Plaintiffs also allege that Defendant owes
Larry and Kathy Hastings $1, 000.00 for posting a bond for
Defendant. In total, Plaintiffs allege that Defendant owes
$68, 610.53 under the various loans.
Defendant answered Plaintiffs' complaint on June 16,
2016. Defendant is self-represented.
Plaintiffs now move for summary judgment. Plaintiffs contend
that Defendant's sole defense is that she was addicted to
drugs at the time she entered into the various loans, and
that Defendant has not put forth any evidence to show that
Plaintiffs knew she was under the influence at the time
Defendant entered into each agreement. Defendant opposes
addition, Defendant filed a motion to compel, alleging that
Plaintiffs failed to provide discovery responses by the
November 18, 2017 deadline. However, Defendant did not
specify what discovery responses she is seeking. Plaintiffs
oppose Defendant's motion.
Court may grant summary judgment only where the moving party
can "show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law." The moving party bears the
initial burden of proof and, once that is met, the burden
shifts to the non-moving party to show that a material issue
of fact exists. At the motion for summary judgment phase,
the Court must view the facts "in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party."
There are limited circumstances in which intoxication allows
a person to avoid contractual duties. The Second Restatement
A person incurs only voidable contractual duties by entering
into a transaction if the other party has reason to know that
by reason of intoxication (a) he is unable to understand in a
reasonable manner the nature and consequences of the
transaction, or (b) he is unable to act in a reasonable
manner in relation to the transaction.
the other party to the contract must know that intoxicated
person lacks capacity at the time of contract formation for
the contract to be voidable.
Robino, a defendant sought to invalidate a
settlement agreement on the grounds that it was the product
of his "diminished capacity…resulting from his
ongoing battle with substance abuse." In support, the
defendant submitted various medical records to support his
claim that he had been treated for substance abuse-related
issues. The Court rejected his argument,
concluding that evidence of a substance abuse problem by
itself did not corroborate "that he was incapacitated by
intoxication" at the time he entered into the settlement
agreement, or that the other party would have any reason to
know of the intoxication.
Plaintiffs argue that Defendant's
"intoxication" defense contains the same
deficiencies as the defendant's in Robino.
Plaintiffs argue that Defendant has only produced evidence
that she generally suffers from a drug addiction, not that
she was intoxicated at the time she entered into the loans or
that Plaintiffs knew of any intoxication. As a result,
Plaintiffs contend that Defendant cannot dispute her
obligations under the various loan agreements, and that they
are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
However, the Court finds that summary judgment is not
appropriate in this case. In addition to the evidence that
she generally suffers from a drug addiction, Defendant argues
that Plaintiffs did in fact know she was intoxicated at the
time she entered into the various loan agreements. In
addition, Defendant has indicated that her mother will
testify to this effect on her behalf. As a result, the Court
finds there is a dispute of material fact regarding whether
Defendant was intoxicated at the time of ...