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Zahm & Matson, Inc. v. Challener

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

April 14, 2015

ZAHM & MATSON, INC. d/b/a Z&M AG AND TURF, Plaintiff,
v.
KENNETH CHALLENER, M.D., Defendant.

MEMORANDUM ORDER

NORA BARRY FISCHER, District Judge.

I. Procedural History

On May 29, 2014, Plaintiff, Zahm & Matson, Inc. ("Z&M"), filed this action against Defendant, Kenneth Challener ("Challener"), seeking replevin of certain items of farm equipment (the "McLaren Equipment"). (Docket No. 1). On July 31, 2014, Z&M filed its First Amended Complaint, adding two additional counts relating to Challener's lease of a combine and a planter. (Docket No. 7). Challener moved to dismiss the First Amended Complaint on August 13, 2014. (Docket No. 8). In response, Z&M filed a motion for leave to file a Second Amended Complaint, which, on October 1, 2014, the Hon. J. Frederick Motz granted. (Text Order of October 1, 2014). The Second Amended Complaint contained five counts, relevantly including, Count I, seeking replevin of certain farm equipment. (Docket No. 13 at 6-8). On October 14, 2014, Challener filed a Partial Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint, challenging only Count I. (Docket No. 15). Z&M responded on November 13, 2014. (Docket No. 19).

On January 9, 2015, this case was reassigned to the undersigned. (Text Order of January 9, 2015). Although the Motion was ripe at that time, the Court held its ruling in abeyance, pending ongoing settlement discussions before the Hon. Mark Hornak. (Docket No. 25). Having been advised that Judge Hornak believes "that future settlement conference proceedings at this point would not be fruitful, " (Text Order of March 17, 2015), the Court now considers the Motion.

II. Background

Z&M is a business corporation organized under the laws of the State of New York. (Docket No. 13 at ¶1). Amongst its operations is "Z&M Ag and Turf, " located in Edinboro, Pennsylvania. (Id. at ¶2). From that location, Z&M sells various types of farm equipment. ( See Id. at ¶¶ 6-8).

From approximately January 2012 to July 2013, Challener, a medical doctor, acquired a number of different pieces of farm equipment from Z&M Ag and Turf. (Docket No. 13 at ¶7). At issue in the instant Motion are those pieces termed the "McLaren Equipment." (Id. ). This equipment is so called because it was transferred from Z&M's possession to Challener's by Z&M's employee, Justin McLaren ("McLaren"). (Id. at ¶6). As set out in the Second Amended Complaint, the McLaren Equipment comprises:

(a) one Miller Tunnel Top and Extension (Model 42600607);
(b) one 2012 Combine Header Carrier (Model CHC2520, product identification number 1200558);
(c) one 2012 Combine Header Carrier (Model CHC2520, product identification number 1200559);
(d) one 3 B 16' W/ROF All Steel Forage Box (Model FBTA 16, product identification number 114889);
(e) one 3 B 16' W/ROF All Steel Forage Box (Model FBTA 16, product identification number 114870);
(f) one 12 Ton 6 Wheel (Model HS612, product identification number 115667);
(g) one 12 Ton 6 Wheel (Model HS612, product identification ...

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