United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
US PIPELINING, LLC, et al.
R. Sanchez, C.J.
case arises out of Plaintiff Sanact, Inc.'s attempt to
enforce foreign judgments against Defendant U.S. Pipelining,
LLC by garnishing the accounts payable to U.S. Pipelining
held by Garnishee PSI Pumping Solutions Inc. In the
garnishment procedure, PSI admitted in interrogatories that
PSI owed U.S. Pipelining over $500, 000 for a project U.S.
Pipelining completed for PSI. This Court then entered
judgment against PSI thus allowing Sanact to garnish upon
PSI's accounts payable to U.S. Pipelining. PSI then filed
the instant motion for relief from judgment pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b). Because PSI has not
established a basis for granting relief from judgment, the
Court will deny PSI's motion.
December 12, 2018, Sanact registered three judgments from the
District of Hawaii in this Court, each ruling in favor of
Sanact and against U.S. Pipelining. The three judgments
included a $123, 203.16 verdict issued by bench trial,
prejudgment interest, postjudgment interest, judgment for
costs, and judgment for attorneys' fees and expenses.
Sanact's judgment against U.S. Pipelining totaled $199,
633.82. U.S. Pipelining, however, did not pay the judgments.
Sanact then proceeded to seek garnishment against U.S.
Sanact registered the judgments in this Court, it sought
judgment against Santander Bank and PSI by garnishment.
Sanact filed praecipes for writs of execution against
Santander, and after Santander answered interrogatories
stating it held $623.30 of U.S. Pipelining's funds in
accounts, Sanact filed a praecipe to enter judgment against
Santander, as garnishee, for that amount. On August 8, 2019,
the Clerk of Court entered judgment against Santander, as
garnishee, for $623.30. After this judgment was entered, the
amount of Sanact's remaining judgments was $199, 010.52.
filed a praecipe for a writ of execution against PSI on July
30, 2019, and the writ was issued the same day. The United
States Marshals served PSI with the writ of execution on
August 20, 2019. The writ of execution stated Sanact sought
to satisfy a judgment against U.S. Pipelining by garnishment
of PSI and directed the United States Marshals to
"attach the property of [US Pipelining] not levied upon
in the possession of PSI." See Writ of
Execution 2, July 30, 2019, ECF No. 9. The writ also
described the property as "accounts payable to U.S.
Pipelining LLC" and ordered the Marshals to "notify
the garnishee that (a) an attachment has been issued; [and]
(b) the garnishee is enjoined from paying any debt to or for
the account of the defendant and from delivering any property
of the defendant or otherwise disposing thereof."
addition to the writ, the Marshals served PSI with a
"writ of execution notice." This notice explicitly
[T]here is a judgment against you. It may cause your property
to be held or taken to pay the judgment. You may have legal
rights to prevent your property from being taken. A lawyer
can advise you more specifically of those rights. If you wish
to exercise your rights, you must act promptly.
Id. at 3. The notice also gave information regarding
exemptions to judgment and how to present any exemption to
the Court. At the bottom of the notice, in all capitalized
letters and bold font, it stated, "YOU SHOULD TAKE THIS
PAPER TO YOUR LAWYER AT ONCE. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A LAWYER OR
CANNOT AFFORD ONE, GO TO OR TELEPHONE THE OFFICE SET FORTH
BELOW TO FFND OUT WHERE YOU CAN GET LEGAL HELP."
also served PSI with "Interrogatories to
Garnishee." The document stated PSI was required to file
answers to the interrogatories or judgment would be issued
against it. The interrogatories asked PSI if it owed money to
U.S. Pipelining or if it had in its possession any property
of U.S. Pipelining.
September 5, 2019, after being served with the writ of
execution, the writ of execution notice, and the
interrogatories, PSI filed its responses to the
interrogatories in this Court. The filing included not only
PSI's responses to interrogatories, but also attached the
documents that were served upon PSI. The interrogatories were
answered and signed by Matthew Aiello, the project manager of
PSI. Aiello sent these answers to Michael Aiello, the Vice
President and CEO of PSI, the attorney of record for Sanact,
Nathan Berry, and Jeremy Bowman for U.S. Pipelining. PSI
admitted in its interrogatories that it owed U.S. Pipelining
$522, 791.00, although after this statement PSI stated U.S.
Pipelining owed other contractors and suppliers certain
amounts. PSI also stated U.S. Pipelining still had equipment
at the jobsite which was in PSI's possession.
PSI filed its responses and notified Sanact and the Clerk of
Court that it owed U.S. Pipelining money, Sanact filed a
praecipe to enter judgment against PSI for a total of $197,
133.82. Due to a miscalculation in the Clerk's office,
the Clerk of Court believed the judgment Sanact sought was
more than the judgment amounts registered in the
Court. The Clerk of Court then referred the
praecipe to enter judgment to this Court to determine the
discrepancy between the judgment amounts registered and the
judgment amount Sanact requested to be entered.
Court determined the remaining amount of judgments registered
totaled $199, 633.82-more than the amount Sanact
requested and an amount that the Clerk was permitted to enter
judgment. The Court nonetheless held a telephone conference
on September 18, 2019, to determine the discrepancy in the
judgment amounts. Because the case was referred to this Court
merely to address the discrepancies, the Court did not intend
to hear any argument on any issues but sought only to ensure
the judgment amount to be entered was accurate. On the call,
Sanact was represented by counsel; however, PSI was
represented by Michael and Matthew Aiello. The Court informed
the parties of its intent to only proceed if PSI was
represented by counsel, but the parties agreed to proceed
even though PSI was without representation.
the call, Sanact stated U.S. Pipelining had satisfied a
portion of the judgment on its own, in the amount of $2, 500.
Due to U.S. Pipelining's satisfaction, the judgment
Sanact requested was an accurate amount registered with the
Court-$197, 133.82. Once the judgment amount was clarified,
the Court did not hear any legal arguments and informed the
parties of its intent to enter judgment for the correct
amount. On September 19, 2019, the Court ...