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Sterling Savings Bank v. Fairfield

Court of Appeals of Idaho

August 20, 2013

STERLING SAVINGS BANK, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
WILLIAM D. FAIRFIELD, Defendant-Appellant, and NICHOLAS S. BROWN, LANCE A. DANIELS, MATTHEW ABRAHAM DEREN, and DONNA M. FAIRFIELD, Defendants.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

2013 Unpublished Opinion No. 633

Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Valley County. Hon. Michael R. McLaughlin, District Judge.

Summary judgment, affirmed.

Robert A. Bartlett, St. Maries, for appellant.

Witherspoon Kelley; Mark A. Ellingsen, Coeur d'Alene, for respondent.

LANSING, Judge

Defendant William D. Fairfield appeals from the judgment entered after the district court granted plaintiff Sterling Savings Bank's motion for summary judgment. Fairfield contends that the district court erred by denying his motion for a continuance of the summary judgment hearing and by granting the summary judgment motion. We affirm.

I.

BACKGROUND

In November 2010, Sterling Savings initiated suit against Fairfield and others to recover the deficiency owed on a loan after a foreclosure sale of the real property that secured the loan. Fairfield filed an answer in February 2011. In May 2011, Sterling Savings filed a motion for summary judgment, along with an affidavit and other materials in support. A hearing date of July 7, 2011, was set. This hearing date, and one set thereafter, were continued so as to allow discovery to be completed. A new hearing date of December 7, 2011, was set. In October 2011, the son of Fairfield's attorney was killed in a hunting accident. To allow Fairfield's attorney time to recover and deal with this tragic loss, Sterling Savings stipulated to moving the hearing date to March 8, 2012.

On February 22, 2012, Fairfield filed a motion to continue the hearing and an affidavit of his attorney in support. In the affidavit, Fairfield's attorney asserted that he had not yet had time to recover from the loss of his son, that he had somehow lost his entire file, and that he had miscalendared the hearing date, all leaving him unable to prepare for the hearing. He requested a hearing date sometime after May 7, 2012. Sterling Savings filed an objection to the motion. Fairfield filed a response memorandum on the day before the scheduled hearing. The district court heard the matter the next day. Neither Fairfield nor his attorney attended the hearing. The district court denied Fairfield's motion to continue and granted Sterling Savings' motion for summary judgment. Fairfield appeals from the resulting judgment, certified as final under Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b).

II.

ANALYSIS


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