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Northwest Savings Bank and Financial Services v. NS First Street LLC

January 6, 2010

NORTHWEST SAVINGS BANK AND FINANCIAL SERVICES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
NS FIRST STREET LLC AND 220 SOUTH ATHERTON STREET LLC, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James F. McClure, Jr. United States District Judge

(Judge McClure)

MEMORANDUM

I. INTRODUCTION

This civil action was initiated by plaintiff Northwest Savings Bank and Financial Services in the Court of Common Pleas of Centre County. Plaintiff has named as defendants NS First Street LLC and 2200 South Atherton Street LLC. The case later was removed to this Court upon the defendants' Notice of Removal, which was filed with this Court on July 22, 2009. (Rec. Doc. No. 1). Removal was appropriate under 28. U.S.C. § 1441, as this Court has jurisdiction over the matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

In its complaint, plaintiff asserts against the above-named defendants one count for damages and two counts for declaratory judgment. These counts arise out of a lease agreement concerning a property located at 2200 South Atherton Street, State College, Pennsylvania.

After the matter was removed to federal court, the defendants filed an answer to the complaint on August 3, 2009. (Rec. Doc. No. 4). In their answer, the defendants included eight affirmative defenses as well as counterclaims. Id. at 8-13. The plaintiff filed a reply to the defendants' counterclaims on August 12, 2009. (Rec. Doc. No. 9).

On October 8, 2009, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a), the plaintiff filed a stipulation agreed to by the parties providing for the plaintiff's filing of an amended complaint ("First Amended Complaint"). (Rec. Doc. No. 14). This Court issued an order on October 13, 2009, approving the stipulation to amend the complaint. (Rec. Doc. No. 18). The plaintiff filed an amended complaint on October 8, 2009 (Rec. Doc. No. 15), and the defendants filed an answer, with affirmative defenses and counterclaims, to the First Amended Complaint on October 27, 2009. (Rec. Doc. No. 19). On November 19, 2009, the plaintiff filed a reply to the defendants' counterclaims to the plaintiff's First Amended Complaint. (Rec. Doc. No. 22).

Plaintiff, on October 13, 2009, filed the motion currently at issue entitled "Motion to Hold Rent Monies in an Escrow Account." (Rec. Doc. No. 16). The plaintiff has filed the requisite accompanying brief. (Rec. Doc. No. 17). On October 28, 2009, the defendants filed a brief opposing the plaintiff's motion seeking to hold its rent monies with this Court or in an interest-bearing escrow account. (Rec. Doc. No. 20). Plaintiff filed a reply brief on November 9, 2009. (Rec. Doc. No. 21).

As the matter is now ripe for disposition, we will deny, for the following reasons, the plaintiff's "Motion to Hold Rent Monies in an Escrow Account." (Rec. Doc. No. 16).

III. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The instant lawsuit arises from a lease agreement pertaining to a property located at 2200 South Atherton Street, State College, Pennsylvania ("the Property"). Plaintiff entered into a lease agreement concerning the property with a third party, DWEK Branches, LLC ("DWEK"), on July 14, 2005. The lease agreement, and a rider dated July 15, 2005, provided that plaintiff was to lease the property for 10 years, with the option of extending that time period for an additional 3 to 5 years. Under the agreement, plaintiff is only allowed to use the property as a "retail branch bank and general office." (Rec. Doc. No. 1-5 at 8). Pursuant to the rider, the plaintiff acknowledged the restriction preventing use of the property as a bank until March 15, 2009.

Eventually DWEK filed for bankruptcy, and the current defendants purchased the property during the bankruptcy proceedings. The defendants have continued to lease the property to the plaintiff pursuant to the terms of the July 2005 lease agreement.

At issue in the current litigation is the plaintiff's desire to occupy the property and use the property, as the March 15, 2009 use restriction deadline has since passed. The property is apparently in noticeable disrepair, and negotiations between the parties have been ongoing in respect to how the parties will incur the cost of renovating the property. The July 2005 lease agreement declares that "[n]o alterations, additions or improvements may be made, and no climate regulating, air conditioning, cooling, heating or sprinkler systems, television or radio ...


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