United States District Court, D. Oregon
TRANSPORT FINANCIAL SERVICES, LLC, a Florida corporation, Plaintiff,
ETL, INC., a Washington corporation, Defendant.
P. MANNING Attorney for Plaintiff.
M. ANDERSON ANDREW I. SCHLEGEL Anderson and Yamada, PC
Attorneys for Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
J. BROWN UNITED STATES SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion (#15)
for Summary Judgment and Defendant's Cross-Motion (#21)
for Summary Judgment. For the reasons that follow, the Court
DENIES Plaintiff's Motion and
GRANTS Defendant's Motion.
following facts are taken from the Statement of Agreed Facts
and the parties' filings related to their Motions for
Transport Financial Services (TFS) is a limited liability
company that is authorized by the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration (FMCSA) to issue and to file Form
BMC-85, which is a transportation broker's or freight
forwarder's trust fund agreement, pursuant to 49 U.S.C.
the relevant period Rail Logistics, LLC,  was a
transportation broker licensed and registered by the FMCSA
pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 13904. A transportation broker
is “a person who, for compensation, arranges, or offers
to arrange, the transportation of property by an authorized
motor carrier.” 49 C.F.R. § 371.2.
ETL, Inc., is an interstate motor carrier defined as being in
“the business of transporting, for compensation, the
goods or property of another.” 49 C.F.R. § 387.5.
Defendant is registered with the FMCSA pursuant to 49 U.S.C.
§ 13902(a), which provides the Secretary of
Transportation “shall register a person to provide
transportation . . . as a motor carrier using self-propelled
vehicles the motor carrier owns, rents, or leases” when
certain conditions are satisfied.
October 1, 2013, Plaintiff issued a Form BMC-85 to Rail
Logistics in the amount of $75, 000.
October 28, 2013, Rail Logistics and Defendant entered into a
Broker-Carrier Agreement under which Defendant “was to
be paid for its carrier services by Rail Logistics.”
Statement of Agreed Facts at ¶ 5. Defendant
“performed motor carrier transportation services under
the Broker-Carrier Agreement.” Statement of Agreed
Facts at ¶ 6. Plaintiff alleges Rail Logistics was paid
by “the responsible account debtor for each of the
shipments involved.” Compl. at ¶ 11.
point in 2014 Rail Logistics “ceased doing it
[sic] brokerage business.” Statement of Agreed
Facts at ¶ 7. Defendant demanded Rail Logistics
“pay its claims for it [sic] services provided
to Rail Logistics. Rail Logistics refused to do so.”
Statement of Agreed Facts at ¶ 7.
point after Rail Logistics's refusal to pay Defendant,
Defendant submitted its claims to Plaintiff pursuant to the
Form BMC-85 Trust Agreement for payments that Rail Logistics
paid a portion of Defendant's claim in the amount of $22,
26, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint for Declaratory
Judgment in this Court in which it alleges it
“mistakenly paid [Defendant's] claims under the
Form BMC-85 . . . in the amount of $22, 295, [because] the .
. . shipments made by [Defendant] were exempt from coverage
under the BMC-85 trust fund agreement [by the terms of] 49
CRF [sic] 1090.2 captioned ‘Exemption of rail
and highway TOFC/COFC service.'” Compl. at ¶
16. Plaintiff seeks a declaration from that Court that it
“was not required to pay [Defendant's] claims
inasmuch as the underlying movements were exempt from
coverage under [the Form BMC-85] and, further, requiring
[Defendant] to refund all amounts paid on such claims to
[Plaintiff].” Compl. at ¶ 17.
April 28, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Summary Judgment
seeking a judgment in its favor. On May 19, 2017, Defendant
filed a Cross-Motion for ...