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Angney v. Dimarco

January 22, 2010

BRIAN L. ANGNEY AND GINA GIAMPIETRO-ANGNEY , PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ANTONIO C. DIMARCO AN INDIVIDUAL, A/K/A SAMUEL RICHARD SEKEL, II, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

I. INTRODUCTION

This case involves allegations of various violations of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) (Count X), and state law claims of breach of contract, unjust enrichment, conversion, specific enforcement of the Warranties of DiMarco and U.G. Media, accounting, and civil conspiracy (Counts I - IX). Before this Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 32) pursuant to Rule 56© of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as well as Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment Re The Issue of Jurisdiction (Doc. No. 36). For the foregoing reasons, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 32) will be GRANTED as to Count X and this Court will decline to exercise jurisdiction as to Counts I - IX. Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment Re The Issue of Jurisdiction (Doc. No. 36) will be DENIED.

II. PROCEDURAL POSTURE

Plaintiffs Brian L. Angney ("Angney") and Gina Giampietro-Angney ("Giampietro") (Angney and Giampietro collectively referred to as "Plaintiffs"), commenced the present action by filing a Complaint (Doc. No. 1) on February 17, 2009 against Antonio C. DiMarco ("DiMarco"), Paul A. DiMarco, Christopher L. Paterra ("Paterra"), Stephanie Nirschl ("Nirschl"), Larra Corp., Inc. ("Larra"), and U.G. Media, LLC ("U.G.") (collectively referred to as "Defendants").

The Complaint alleges one federal claim and eight state law causes of action against Defendants. (Doc. No. 1). The sole federal claim is a civil action under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1961, et seq. ("RICO"). Plaintiffs allege this Court has jurisdiction based upon 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (federal question).

On July 22, 2009, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Complaint (Doc. No. 9) alleging that Plaintiffs' RICO claim is barred by the applicable four year Statute of Limitations, and therefore, that this Court should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims, which could be properly raised in state court. On July 23, 2009, this Court ordered Plaintiffs to file a RICO Statement. (Doc. No. 13). Plaintiffs filed their RICO Statement on August 4, 2009. (Doc. No. 14). This Court thereafter entered an Order enabling the parties to engage in limited discovery. (Text Order 8/26/2009). The Order further directed the parties to resolve the threshold "jurisdictional" issues by Motions for Summary Judgment. Cross Motions for Summary Judgment were filed by both Plaintiffs and Defendants on December 22, 2009. (Doc. Nos. 32 and 36). The instant motions are now ripe for review.

III. LEGAL STANDARD

Fed.R.Civ.P. 56© provides that on a motion for summary judgment, the "judgment sought should be rendered if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." "Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 'mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.'" Marten v. Godwin, 499 F.3d 290, 295 (3d Cir. 2007), citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). Summary judgment is appropriate "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Woodside v. Sch. Dist. of Philadelphia Bd. of Educ., 248 F.3d 129, 130 (3d Cir. 2001), quoting Foehl v. United States, 238 F.3d 474, 477 (3d Cir. 2001) (citations omitted).

An issue of material fact is genuine if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); see also Doe v. Abington Friends Sch., 480 F.3d 252, 256 (3d Cir. 2007) ("A genuine issue is present when a reasonable trier of fact, viewing all of the record evidence, could rationally find in favor of the non-moving party in light of his burden of proof."), citing Anderson and Celotex Corp. Recently, the United States Supreme Court "emphasized, [w]hen the moving party has carried its burden under Rule 56©, its opponent must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts . . . . Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, there is no genuine issue for trial." Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372 (2007) (internal quotations omitted), quoting Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-587 (1986).

In deciding a summary judgment motion, a court must view the facts in the light most favorable to, draw all reasonable inferences, and resolve all doubts, in favor of the nonmoving party. Doe v. County of Centre, PA, 242 F.3d 437, 446 (3d Cir. 2001); Woodside, 248 F.3d at 130; Heller v. Shaw Indus., Inc., 167 F.3d 146, 151 (3d Cir. 1999). Further, a court must not engage in credibility determinations at the summary judgment stage. Simpson v. Kay Jewelers, Div. of Sterling, Inc., 142 F.3d 639, 643 n. 3 (3d Cir. 1998), quoting Fuentes v. Perskie, 32 F.3d 759, 762 n.1 (3d Cir. 1994).

IV. FACTUAL BACKGROUND*fn1

1. ELEMENTS LOANS

In May, 2004, Defendant DiMarco promoted a proposed entertainment event, publicized as "Elements". The "Elements" event was a proposed event to be presented at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center ("the Convention Center") in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 10-11, 2004. (Doc. No. 1, ¶14-15). To facilitate promotion of "Elements," Defendant DiMarco formed, managed, and operated Larra Corp., Inc. (Doc. No. 1, ¶16). On June 10, 2004, a loan in the amount of $175,000 was made by Plaintiff, Brian L. Angney, for the purpose of financing the "Elements" 2004 event. Defendant DiMarco represented that the loan would be repaid plus $50,000 on or after June 21, 2004, from ticket sale proceeds. (Doc. No. 1, ¶43(e)). DiMarco promised to pay Angney an additional $25,000 on or before July 10, 2004. Id. at ¶43(f). On June 18, 2004, DiMarco directed Angney to lend $35,000 to be disbursed by Angney ...


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