United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Anthony P. Patti Magistrate Judge.
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING STATE FARM'S MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT 
J. MICHELSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
long after Simonas Kiseliovas purchased a beautiful old home
in Detroit, the residence was damaged in a suspicious fire.
The insurer, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, refused to
pay for the damage. So Kiseliovas sued. A jury found that
Kiseliovas was not entitled to insurance proceeds.
case is a sequel to that one. Now the company that Kiseliovas
had mortgaged the Detroit property to, VDV Properties, LLC,
wants to recover insurance proceeds from State Farm.
(See ECF No. 15, PageID.157-160; ECF No. 1,
PageID.7-9.) State Farm seeks summary judgment. The Court
will treat State Farm's motion as unopposed and grant it.
Court briefly summarizes the first case, then the second.
April 28, 2015, a fire damaged a home located on Muirland
Street in Detroit, Michigan. Prior to the fire, Simonas
Kiseliovas had insured the Muirland property via a
homeowner's insurance policy from State Farm Fire and
Casualty Company. State Farm refused to pay for the fire
damage. So, in March 2016, Kiseliovas filed a lawsuit. Late
in that litigation, VDV Properties, which was the mortgagee
of the Muriland property, sought to intervene. That request
was denied in part because it was late in the day and in part
because VDV's owner and operator, Viktoriya Bereshnaya,
had thwarted attempts to have her deposition taken. So the
case proceeded to trial without VDV.
2018, a jury found that Kiseliovas had “intentionally
set or arranged for the setting of the April 28, 2015 fire at
the property located 1814 Muirland Street, Detroit,
Michigan” or, at least, that “he had a guilty
connection to the setting of the fire[.]” See
Verdict Form, ECF No. 40, Kiseliovas v. State Farm Fire
and Casualty Company, No. 16-10823 (E.D. Mich. May 11,
after the jury verdict, in July 2018, VDV filed this lawsuit
in state court. After State Farm removed the case to federal
court, it was assigned to United States District Judge Sean
February 11, 2019, State Farm moved for summary judgment. VDV
did not respond within the 21-day period set by both the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and this District's
local rules. So on March 14, 2019, Judge Cox ordered VDV
“TO SHOW CAUSE, in writing, no later than March 21,
2019 why the unopposed Motion for Summary Judgment should not
be granted.” (ECF No. 10, PageID.146.)
next day, March 15, 2019, VDV responded to the show-cause
order. VDV explained that it planned to depose the State Farm
agent who wrote the policy, but the date of his deposition
turned out to be the “worst winter storm of the season
with reported whiteout conditions.” (ECF No. 11,
PageID.148.) So counsel agreed to postpone the agent's
deposition to April 4, 2019. (See id.) VDV further
stated that it believed that it needed “the records and
testimony of the insurance agent in order to defeat [State
Farm's] motion for summary disposition.”
(Id.) VDV stated that “[d]ays” before
receiving Judge Cox's show-cause order, it had contacted
State Farm about allowing it to file its summary-judgment
response after the agent's deposition. (Id.)
Notably, VDV did not state in the show-cause response that
State Farm agreed to this request. VDV's show-cause
response ended by asking Judge Cox to allow it to file a
summary-judgment response 10 days after the April 4
days after VDV filed its show-cause response, on March 19,
2019, this case was reassigned to the undersigned. (The
undersigned had presided over the ...