Fishback Nursery, Inc. v. PNC Bank, Nat’l Ass’n, No. 18-10090, 2019 WL 1548823 (5th Cir. Apr. 10, 2019)
The Court confronted a lien contest among three creditors of a bankrupt commercial farm. Two of the creditors—Fishback and Surface—are nurseries that sold the farm over a million dollars’ worth of trees and shrubs in Michigan, Tennessee, and Oregon, and so claim agricultural liens in the farm’s assets. The third creditor is a bank, PNC, that claims debtor-in-possession liens based on financing it provided to keep the farm afloat during bankruptcy. The central issue is whether the bank’s lien outranks the nurseries’ liens.
To settle that dispute, the district court had to decide first whether Michigan, Tennessee, or Oregon law governed the nurseries’ liens. Navigating a knotty choice-of-law issue, the court ruled that the locale of the plants dictated the pertinent lien law. Applying that law, the court found that the nurseries’ liens were either unperfected or unenforceable. This meant the bank’s lien was senior.
The nurseries appealed and the Circuit Court affirms
REYNOLDS FORESTRY CONSULTING AND REAL ESTATE, PLLC APPELLANT V. CHRIS COLBEY D/B/A TIMBERPRO LAND CLEARING APPELLEE, 2019 Ark. App. 209 (2019)
The appellee, Chris Colbey d/b/a TimberPro Land Clearing (Colbey), sued the appellant, Reynolds Forestry Consulting and Real Estate, PLLC (Reynolds), for breach of contract, alleging that Reynolds failed to pay for site-preparation services that Colbey had performed on several tracts of forest land. After a bench trial, the circuit court found Reynolds in breach of contract and awarded Colbey damages and attorney’s fees.
Reynolds now appeals the circuit court’s judgment, alleging that reversal is warranted because Colbey was the first to materially breach the contract. Reynolds also asserts that the circuit court abused its discretion when it awarded attorney’s fees to Colbey. The appeals court found no error and affirm.
IN RE: BRYAN T. GRIGSBY, Debtor. CROSS COUNTY BANK PLAINTIFF V. BRYAN T. GRIGSBY DEFENDANT, No. 2:16-AP-01074, 2019 WL 1552334 (Bankr. E.D. Ark. Apr. 5, 2019)
The Debtor is currently a mechanic but was engaged in farming operations from 2011 to 2015, farming row crops for himself and also performing custom hire services. From 2011 until 2015 he conducted his farming operations with crop loans from banks.
First Commercial Bank is a branch of CCB. The Debtor has been an agricultural loan customer of CCB (and its predecessor) since 2011.
The court found that the debtor submitted a false financial statement intended to deceive, and so one of the loans was not able to be discharged.