United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
L. ROBART United States District Judge
the court is Defendant Equinix, Inc.'s
(“Equinix”) motion for summary judgment. (Mot.
(Dkt. # 11).) In its response, Revitalization Partners, LLC,
(“Revitalization”) opposes Equinix's motion
and requests that the court grant Revitalization a
continuance to obtain discovery relevant to the issues raised
in its complaint and in Equinix's motion. (Resp. (Dkt. #
17) at 11-13.) The court has considered the motions, all
submissions filed in support thereof and opposition thereto,
the balance of the record, and the applicable law. Being
fully advised,  the court GRANTS Equinix's motion for
summary judgment and DENIES Revitalization's request for
March 5, 2012, the King County Superior Court appointed
Revitalization as the general receiver for Lighthouse
Electrical Group, LP (“Lighthouse”). (Dorsett
Decl. (Dkt. # 12) ¶ 2, Ex. A-2 at 1,
13-24.) Before being placed into a receivership,
Lighthouse performed electrical contractor services in
Seattle, Washington. (Neupert Decl. (Dkt. # 18) ¶ 3.)
Revitalization was appointed as Lighthouse's receiver
pursuant to a request by Lighthouse's primary secured
creditor, Columbia State Bank (“Columbia”).
(Dorsett Decl., Ex. A-2 at 14-15.) Under the King County
Superior Court's Receivership Order, Revitalization took
control of Lighthouse's assets and was charged with
liquidating them pursuant to RCW 7.60.260. (Id. at
reviewing Lighthouse's outstanding accounts receivable,
Revitalization noted an apparently outstanding obligation in
the amount of $251, 216.01 (the “Disputed
Obligation”) for services that Lighthouse performed for
Equinix. (Neupert Decl. ¶ 4.) Revitalization contacted
Scott Hettema at Equinix on or about May 18, 2012, regarding
payment, and Equinix responded by providing records of
payments it made to Lighthouse. (Id. ¶¶ 5,
and Lighthouse's business dealings between 2010 and 2012
bear on the instant motion. On or about July 6, 2010, Michael
McCormick, a representative of Lighthouse, completed an ACH
Payment Form from Equinix requesting that all amounts owing
to Lighthouse be deposited into a Columbia State Bank account
in the name of Lighthouse Electrical Group, ending in account
number 9968 (the “First Lighthouse Account”).
(Dorsett Decl. ¶ 2, Ex. C-2 at 2; L. Anderson Decl.
(Dkt. # 13) ¶ 5, Ex. B.) Under the terms of the ACH
Payment Authorization Form, this procedure for making
payments would remain in place until Lighthouse notified
Equinix of its termination or change. (L. Anderson Decl., Ex.
B.) Between July 6, 2010, and January 25, 2012, Equinix
submitted payments for obligations due and owing to
Lighthouse by depositing funds directly to the First
Lighthouse Account. (Neupert Decl. ¶ 7.) Lighthouse
performed the disputed $251, 216.01 worth of electrical
services for Equinix between December 2011, and January 2012.
(L. Anderson Decl. ¶ 4, Ex. A.)
around January 26, 2012, Sandra Blackburn, Lighthouse's
Vice President of Special Projects, submitted an ACH Payment
Form to Equinix and requested that payments owing to
Lighthouse be remitted to a Key Bank account in her name,
ending in account number 4840 (the “Blackburn
Account”). (Neupert Decl. ¶ 8; S. Blackburn Decl.
(Dkt. # 15) ¶¶ 2-3; see also Dorsett Decl.
¶ 2, Ex. D at 2.) Ms. Blackburn is married to Michael
Blackburn, the founder, President, and co-owner of Lighthouse
prior to receivership. (M. Blackburn Decl. (Dkt. # 14) ¶
2; Dorsett Decl. ¶ 3, Ex. B-1 at 15.) Mr. Blackburn
confirms that Ms. Blackburn had actual authority to change
Equinix's method of payment to direct payment to the
Blackburn Account. (Dorsett Decl. ¶ 3, Ex. C-1 at 38; M.
Blackburn Decl. ¶ 3.) Between February 9, 2012, and
February 23, 2012, Equinix made three payments to the
Blackburn Account totaling $318, 920.96 (the “Equinix
Funds”). (Neupert Decl. ¶ 9.) Mr. Blackburn
knew that Equinix deposited funds into the Blackburn Account
to satisfy its obligation to Lighthouse. (Dorsett Decl., Ex.
C-1 at 37.) On or about February 28, 2012, Ms. Blackburn
completed another ACH Payment Form with Lighthouse requesting
that Equinix deposit future payments owing to Lighthouse into
a Columbia Bank account in the name of Lighthouse Electrical
Group, ending in account number 0008 (“Second
Lighthouse Account”). (Id. ¶ 10; see
also Dorsett Decl. ¶ 2, Ex. E at 2.)
August 3, 2016, Revitalization filed its complaint in King
County Superior Court against Equinix claiming monies due in
the amount of $251, 216.01 for labor and supplies that
Lighthouse provided to Equinix. (Notice (Dkt. # 1) at 3, Ex. 2
¶ 3.3.) On August 29, 2016, Equinix removed this suit to
federal court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
(Id. at 1-2.) On December 7, 2016, Equinix filed the
instant motion for summary judgment. (Mot. at 10.)
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is appropriate if the evidence shows “that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Galen v. Cty. of L.A., 477
F.3d 652, 658 (9th Cir. 2007). A fact is
“material” if it might affect the outcome of the
case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
248 (1986). A factual dispute is “‘genuine'
only if there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable fact
finder to find for the non-moving party.” Far Out
Prods., Inc. v. Oskar, 247 F.3d 986, 992 (9th Cir. 2001)
(citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248-49).
moving party bears the initial burden of showing there is no
genuine dispute of material fact and that the movant is
entitled to prevail as a matter of law. Celotex, 477
U.S. at 323. If the moving party does not bear the ultimate
burden of persuasion at trial, it can show the absence of a
dispute of material fact in two ways: (1) by producing
evidence negating an essential element of the nonmoving
party's case, or (2) by showing that the nonmoving party
lacks evidence of an essential element of its claim or
defense. Nissan Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Fritz
Cos., 210 F.3d 1099, 1106 (9th Cir. 2000). “When
the party moving for summary judgment would bear the burden
of proof at trial, it must come forward with evidence which
would entitle it to a directed verdict if the evidence went
uncontroverted at trial.” C.A.R. Transp. Brokerage
v. Darden Rests., Inc., 213 F.3d 474, 480 (9th Cir.
2000). If the moving party meets its burden of production,
the burden then shifts to the nonmoving party to identify
specific facts from which a fact finder could reasonably find
in the nonmoving party's favor. Celotex, 477
U.S. at 324; Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.
court is “required to view the facts and draw
reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the
[non-moving] party.” Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S.
372, 378 (2007). The court may not weigh evidence or make
credibility determinations in analyzing a motion for summary
judgment because these responsibilities belong to the jury,
not a judge. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-50.
Nevertheless, the nonmoving party “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, 550 U.S. at 380 (internal quotation marks
omitted) (quoting Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith
Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986)). Accordingly,
“mere allegation and speculation do not create a
factual dispute for purposes of summary judgment.”
Nelson v. Pima Cmty. Coll., 83 F.3d 1075, 1081 (9th
Equinix's Motion ...