United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
D. ENGELHARDT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for partial
summary judgment (Rec. Doc. 321) against Defendant River
Birch, Inc. For the reasons stated herein, IT IS
ORDERED that the motion is DENIED.
Summary Judgment Standard
to Rule 56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
summary judgment shall be granted "if the movant shows
that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and
the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of
law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The materiality of facts is
determined by the substantive law's identification of
which facts are critical and which facts are irrelevant.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). A fact is material if it "might affect the
outcome of the suit under the governing law."
dispositive issue is one on which the nonmoving party will
bear the burden of proof at trial, the moving party may
satisfy its summary judgment burden by merely pointing out
that the evidence in the record contains insufficient proof
concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's
claim. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986); see also
Lavespere v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 910 F.2d 167, 178
(5th Cir. 1990). Once the moving party carries its burden
pursuant to Rule 56(a), the nonmoving party must "go
beyond the pleadings and by [his] own affidavits, or by the
'depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions
on file, ' designate 'specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial.'"
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324; see also Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S.
574, 587 (1986); Auguster v. Vermillion Parish School
Bd., 249 F.3d 400, 402 (5th Cir. 2001).
considering a motion for summary judgment, the Court views
the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party, Gillis v. Louisiana, 294 F.3d 755, 758 (5th
Cir. 2002), and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of
that party. Hunt v. Rapides Healthcare System,
L.L.C., 277 F.3d 757, 764 (2001). Factual controversies
are to be resolved in favor of the nonmoving party, "but
only when there is an actual controversy, that is, when both
parties have submitted evidence of contradictory facts."
Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th
Cir.1994) (citations omitted). The Court will not, "in
the absence of any proof, assume that the nonmoving party
could or would prove the necessary facts." See
Id. (emphasis in original) (citing Lujan v.
Nat'l Wildlife Fed'n, 497 U.S. 871, 888 (1990)).
the Court is to consider the full record in ruling on a
motion for summary judgment, Rule 56 does not obligate it to
search for evidence to support a party's opposition to
summary judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(c)(3)("court need consider only the cited
materials"); Malacara v. Garber, 353 F.3d 393,
405 (5th Cir. 2003) ("When evidence exists in the
summary judgment record but the nonmovant fails even to refer
to it in the response to the motion for summary judgment,
that evidence is not properly before the district
court."). Thus, the nonmoving party should
"identify specific evidence in the record, and
articulate" precisely how that evidence supports his
claims. Forsyth v. Barr, 19 F.3d 1527, 1537 (5th
Cir.), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 871 (1994).
nonmovant's burden is not satisfied merely by creating
"some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts,
" "by conclusory allegations, " by
"unsubstantiated assertions, " or "by only a
scintilla of evidence." Little, 37 F.3d at
1075. Rather, a factual dispute precludes a grant of summary
judgment only if the evidence is sufficient to permit a
reasonable trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party.
Smith v. Amedisys, 298 F.3d 434, 440 (5th Cir.
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
(“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. §§1962(c) and (d),
provides a private cause of action to “[a]ny person
injured in his business or property by reason of a violation
of section 1962 of this chapter.” 18 U.S.C. §
1964(c). Section 1962, which contains RICO's criminal
provisions, makes it “unlawful for any person employed
by or associated with any enterprise engaged in, or the
activities of which affect, interstate . . . commerce, to
conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the
conduct of such enterprise's affairs through a pattern of
racketeering activity.” See 18 U.S.C.
§1962(c). Conspiring to violate §1962(c) also is
unlawful. Id. at §1962(d).
“enterprise” includes any individual,
partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity,
and any union or group of individuals associated in fact
although not a legal entity. 18 U.S.C. §1961(5).
“‘[R]acketeering activity' means (A) any act
or threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson,
robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or
dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical . . .
which is chargeable under State law and punishable by
imprisonment for more than one year. . . .” 18 U.S.C.
§1961(1). “A ‘pattern of racketeering
activity' requires at least two acts of racketeering
activity . . . .” 18 U.S.C. §1961(5).
Holmes v. Securities Investor Protection
Corporation, 503 U.S. 258 (1992), the Supreme Court set
forth the standard of causation applicable to civil RICO
claims. See Hemi Group, LLC v. City of New York,
N.Y., 559 U.S. 1 (2010) (citing Holmes, 503
U.S. at 268-74). Specifically, to state a civil claim under
RICO, the plaintiff is required to show that a RICO predicate
offense “not only was a ‘but for' cause of
his injury, but was the proximate cause as well.”
Hemi Group, 559 U.S. at 8-9 (citing Holmes,
503 U.S. at 268). Proximate cause, which is evaluated in
light of its common-law foundations, requires “some
direct relation between the injury asserted and the injurious
conduct alleged.” Id. at 9 (internal citations
omitted). “A link that is ‘too remote, '
‘purely contingent, ' or ‘indirect' is
insufficient. Id. (citing Holmes, 503 U.S.
at 271, 274).