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Beneficial Mutual Savings Bank v. Angelica J. Philippopoulos

August 7, 2012

BENEFICIAL MUTUAL SAVINGS BANK,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
ANGELICA J. PHILIPPOPOULOS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Eduardo C. Robreno, J.

MEMORANDUM

Beneficial Mutual Savings Bank ("Plaintiff") brought this diversity action against Angelica J. Philippopoulos ("Defendant") for entry of judgment pursuant to a confession of judgment Defendant executed in favor of Plaintiff. The Court entered judgment in favor of Plaintiff based on the confession of judgment. Defendant now moves to strike or open the judgment and to stay certain discovery. For the reasons that follow, the Court will deny both motions.

I.BACKGROUND

On September 18, 2008, Plaintiff extended a construction loan ("the Loan") to Wilson Development Associates, L.L.C. ("WDA"), in the principal amount of $12,375,000, secured by the guarantee of Defendant and a mortgage on certain real property. Compl. ¶ 4; Construction Loan Agreement 1 (Sept. 18, 2008), Compl. Ex. A; Line of Credit Note 1, Compl. Ex. B. On that same day, Defendant executed and delivered to Plaintiff two documents to induce Plaintiff to make the Loan. First, Defendant executed a personal guaranty ("the Guaranty") under which she became the unlimited and unconditional surety for all obligations, indebtedness, and liabilities of WDA. Compl. ¶ 5; Guaranty and Suretyship Agreement ¶¶ 1-3 (Sept. 18, 2008), Compl. Ex. C. Second, Defendant executed a warrant of attorney to confess judgment ("the Warrant"), under which Defendant authorized confession of judgment in favor of Plaintiff and against Defendant in the event of breach or default of the Loan, the mortgage securing the loan, or the Guaranty (collectively, "Loan Documents").*fn1 Compl. ¶ 6; Warrant of Attorney to Confess Judgment 1 (Sept. 18, 2008), Compl. Ex. D. WDA is in default on the Loan. Compl. ¶ 7. The amount of $10,716,995.16 is due immediately to Plaintiff, and interest continues to accrue at a per diem rate of $1,026.19. Compl. ¶¶ 7-8.

On April 4, 2011, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in Confession of Judgment against Defendant that demands judgment against Defendant. Compl. ¶ 15. On May 4, 2011, the Court entered judgment in favor of Plaintiff and against Defendant in the amount of $10,716,995.16, with continuing interest at a per diem rate of $1,026.19. Judgment 1, ECF No. 7.

On June 14, 2011, Thomas D. Bielli, Esquire, noticed his appearance on behalf of Defendant. Notice 1, ECF No. 9.

On March 1, 2012, Plaintiff's counsel issued a subpoena duces tecum against Defendant. Mot. to Stay Ex. A, ECF No. 12. The subpoena commands Defendant's appearance at a deposition at a location in Stamford, Connecticut, and demands production of certain financial documents. Id.

On March 20, 2012, Defendant moved to strike or open the confessed judgment, Mot. to Strike or Open Confessed J. 1, ECF No. 11, and moved to stay her deposition, Mot. to Stay 1.

Warrant 1.

II.DISCUSSION

Defendant moves to strike or open the judgment and to stay certain discovery. The Court will deny both motions.

A. Motion to Strike or Open Confessed Judgment

In certain circumstances, a party may move for relief

from a final judgment. Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). Although the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not expressly provide a mechanism for striking or opening a confessed judgment, Rule 60(b) procedurally governs an attack on a judgment entered by confession in federal court. Resolution Trust Corp. v. Forest Grove, 33 F.3d 284, 288 (3d Cir. 1994). Therefore, a party seeking relief from a confessed judgment must do so by filing a motion to strike or open the judgment. Ohio Cas. Ins. Co. v. LRS Constr., Inc., No. 07-331, 2008 WL 4533677, at *2 (W.D. Pa. Oct. 3, 2008); see also Pa. R. Civ. P. 2959(a)(1). Given ...


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