United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION & ORDER
D. PETERSON District Judge
a civil action in which the United States of America seeks to
foreclose on a farm owned by defendants Theresa A. Depies and
Jeffrey G. Depies. The Depieses are in default on several
loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), a part of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture.
government has moved for summary judgment against the
Depieses. Dkt. 16. The Depieses filed no response to the
government's motion. However, well after the response
deadline, the Depieses wrote a letter to the court asking to
postpone judgment until September 2017. Dkt. 23. I will
construe the letter as a motion to stay the case, which I
will deny. I will grant the government's motion for
summary judgment against the Depieses.
remaining defendants have not answered the complaint or
appeared in this case, so the government has moved for
default judgment against them. Dkt. 16. I will schedule a
hearing on the government's motion for default judgment
against the remaining defendants.
Depieses executed multiple promissory notes to the FSA
between 2004 and 2010. To secure those notes, the Depieses
executed security agreements and financing statements, giving
the government a security interest in all farm products,
crops, livestock, and farm equipment owned by the Depieses.
The Depieses also executed real estate mortgages conveying an
interest to the government in the Depieses' real
property. And the government filed a lien on the
Depieses have made no payments on the promissory notes since
October 2013, so they are in default. Their mortgages provide
that in the event of default by the borrower on the
promissory notes, the government may declare the entire
amount unpaid under the notes immediately due and payable.
The government did so on July 24, 2014. As of March 7, 2017,
the Depieses still owed the government $374, 975.85 in
principal, interest, and other fees. Daily interest accrues
in the amount of $27.6811.
Washburn County Industrial Development Agency and Cashton
Farm Supply, Ltd., purportedly have an interest in the
Depieses' property, but they have failed to appear,
plead, or otherwise defend the claims against them, and the
clerk of court has entered default against them. Dkt. 10.
court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1345 because it is commenced by
Motion to stay
Depieses' response to the government's motion for
summary judgment was due April 6, 2017; they filed nothing by
that deadline. In a letter received by the court on May 5,
2017, the Depieses ask the court “to postpone any
further judgment on this case until Sept[ember] 2017.”
Dkt. 23. They admit that they are in default but explain that
they recently began a “funding request” and that
they intend to pay their debt. I will construe the
Depieses' letter as a motion to stay the case. “The
proponent of a stay bears the burden of establishing its
need.” Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 708
(1997). This court typically considers the following factors
when reviewing motions to stay: (1) the stage of the
litigation; (2) any undue prejudice or tactical disadvantage
that the stay will cause for the non-moving party; (3) the
likelihood of simplifying the issues in question and
streamlining the trial; and (4) the burden of litigation on
the parties and the court. Hy Cite Corp. v. Regal Ware,
Inc., No. 10-cv-168, 2010 WL 2079866, at *1 (W.D. Wis.
May 19, 2010). These factors do not weigh in favor of a stay
in this case.
case is nearing completion. A stay will not simplify the
issues in question, as the Depieses admit that they are in
default. It appears that the Depieses wish to pay off their
debt, but they offer no evidence that they are able to do so.
In any case, continuing the litigation in this case will not
deprive them of the opportunity to pay. I will deny the
motion to stay and rule on the government's summary