Zelman v. Capital One Bank (USA) N.A.

Citation133 N.E.3d 244
Decision Date10 October 2019
Docket NumberCourt of Appeals Case No. 19A-CC-989
Parties Diana F. ZELMAN, Appellant-Defendant, v. CAPITAL ONE BANK (USA) N.A., Appellee-Plaintiff
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Attorney for Appellant: Jason R. Delk, Muncie, Indiana

Bailey, Judge.

Case Summary

[1] Diana Zelman ("Zelman") appeals the trial court's order granting summary judgment to Capital One Bank (USA) N.A. ("Bank") on its claim against Zelman for nonpayment of credit card debt. Zelman raises one issue on appeal which we restate as whether the trial court erred when it concluded that Bank had satisfied its burden of proof under Indiana Trial Rule 56.

[2] We reverse and remand.

Facts and Procedural History

[3] On September 30, 2016, Bank filed a complaint alleging that Zelman had an unpaid credit card balance owed to Bank. On December 15, 2016, Zelman filed an answer in which she denied all the allegations of the complaint. On January 3, 2019, Bank filed a motion for summary judgment in which it designated the following evidence in support: the complaint and exhibits; Zelman's answer; Bank's memorandum in support of summary judgment; and Bank's "Affidavit of Debt," attached to the memorandum as Exhibit A. The latter document stated, in relevant part:

PERSONALLY APPEARED before the undersigned officer. duly authorized to administer oaths, Jamie Williams, who states under oath as follows:
1. I am over 18 years old and competent to testify to the matters set forth herein. I am an employee of Capital One Services, LLC, ("COSLLC"), an agent and affiliate of Plaintiff CAPITAL ONE BANK (USA), N.A. ("Capital One"). COSLLC provides services to Capital One in connection with its credit card and related banking practices and my job responsibilities as Litigation Support Representative provide me with access to all relevant systems and documents of Capital One needed to validate the below information. I am authorized by Capital One to testify to the matters set forth herein. As a result of the scope of my job responsibilities, I have personal knowledge of the manner and method by which Capital One creates and maintains certain business books and records, including computer records of customer accounts.
2. The Capital One books and records are made in the course of Capital One's regularly conducted business activity and it is a regular practice-of Capital One to make these books and records. Each of the Capital One books and records reviewed are made: (l) at or near the time the events they purport to describe occurred, by a person with knowledge of the acts and events; or, (2) by a computer or other similar digital means, which contemporaneously records an event as it occurs.
3. The books and records of Capital One show that Defendant(s) opened a credit card account with Capital One on 03/01/1997 for the purpose of obtaining an extension of credit and did thereafter use or authorize the use of the account for the acquisition of goods, services, or cash advances in accordance with the Customer Agreement governing use of that account. The last payment attempt in the amount of $141.00 on 03/13/2015 did not satisfy the outstanding balance and thus created a default on the account.
4. The books and records of Capital One show that at the time Defendant's(s') account, XXXXXXXXXXXX7308, charged off in the ordinary course of business, the just and true sum of $6292.34 remained due and owing as of 10/17/2015. There have been no late fees assessed after 10/17/2015.
5. The books and records of Capital One show that credit has been given to Defendant(s) for all just and lawful offsets, payments, and credits as of the date hereof, and there now remains due and owing on account number XXXXXXXXXXXX7308 the just and true sum of $6292.34 as of 07/14/2016. This balance is comprised of Defendant's(s') outstanding debt on the date the account charged off (including any pre-charge-off transactions, interest, and/or fees) less any offsets, payments, or credits applied to the account after the charge-off date.

App. at 28-29. Bank's memorandum in support of summary judgment also had as an attachment Exhibit B, which the memorandum alleged to be "copies of the account statements for account #************7308." Id. at 26.

[4] Zelman opposed summary judgment on the grounds that Bank had failed to designate admissible evidence in support of its motion and moved to strike the designated evidence from the record. At the March 4 hearing, the trial court took the pending motions under advisement and gave Bank ten days to file a response to Zelman's motion to strike. On March 14, Bank filed its "Supplement to Motion for Summary Judgment" and supporting memorandum in which it argued that its previously-filed designated evidence was admissible and supported its motion for summary judgment. On April 2, 2019, the trial court granted Bank's motion for summary judgment. Specifically, the trial court held that Bank's designated evidence was admissible1 and supported its motion. Zelman now appeals.

Discussion and Decision

[5] Our standard of review for summary judgment is well settled. When reviewing a grant or denial of summary judgment, we apply the same standard as the trial court.

The party moving for summary judgment has the burden of making a prima facie showing that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Once these two requirements are met by the moving party, the burden then shifts to the non-moving party to show the existence of a genuine issue by setting forth specifically designated facts. Any doubt as to any facts or inferences to be drawn therefrom must be resolved in favor of the non-moving party.

Daviess-Martin Cty. Joint Parks and Recreation Dep't v. Estate of Abel by Abel , 77 N.E.3d 1280, 1285 (Ind. Ct. App. 2017) (citations omitted), trans. denied .

[6] However, Bank has not filed an appellee's brief. Therefore, we apply a less stringent standard of review and may reverse the grant of summary judgment if Zelman has shown prima facie error. Ind. Appellate Rule 45(D) ; see also, e.g. , First Am. Title Ins. Co. v. Calhoun , 13 N.E.3d 423, 430-31 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014). "Prima facie error" is error at first sight, at first appearance, or on the face of it. Calhoun , 13 N.E.3d at 431.

[7] Zelman contends that summary judgment was not warranted because Bank failed to support its summary judgment motion with admissible designated evidence. To support its motion for summary judgment, Bank was required to show that Zelman had opened a credit card account with Bank and that Zelman owed Bank the amount alleged in the complaint. See Seth v. Midland Funding, LLC , 997 N.E.2d 1139, 1140 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013) (discussing designated evidence necessary to make prima facie case in support of summary judgment in favor of creditor claiming breach of credit card contract). Zelman alleges Bank failed to make that showing because: (1) Bank failed to attach to its Affidavit of Debt copies of documents to which the Affidavit refers, as required by Indiana Trial Rule 56(E) ; (2) the Affidavit of Debt was not based on personal knowledge as required by Trial Rule 56(E) ; and (3) Bank failed to lay a proper foundation as to its Exhibit titled "Capital One Customer Agreement" ("Customer Agreement") and its Exhibit B, as required to authenticate those documents under the business record exception to hearsay, Indiana Evidence Rule 803(6).

[8] Indiana Trial Rule 56 permits parties to submit affidavits in support of their motions for summary judgment. However, subsection E of that rule imposes certain mandatory requirements; it states, in relevant part:

Supporting and opposing affidavits shall be made on personal knowledge, shall set forth such facts as would be admissible in evidence, and shall show affirmatively that the affiant is competent to testify to the matters stated therein. Sworn or certified copies not previously self-authenticated of all papers or parts thereof referred to in an affidavit shall be attached thereto or served therewith.

T.R. 56(E).

[9] Thus, in ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the trial court will consider only properly designated evidence which would be admissible at trial. E.g. , D.H. by A.M.J. v. Whipple , 103 N.E.3d 1119, 1126 (Ind. Ct. App. 2018), trans. denied . Such evidence does not include inadmissible hearsay contained in an affidavit. See, e.g. , Holmes v. Nat'l Collegiate Student Loan Trust , 94 N.E.3d 722, 725 (Ind. Ct. App. 2018). Nor does it include documents that are unsworn statements or unverified exhibits. Greenfield v. Arden Seven Penn Partners, L.P. , 757 N.E.2d 699, 702 n.3 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001), trans. denied . Moreover, it is well settled that " ‘if a document is relied upon to support a motion for summary judgment, it must be exhibited in full; affidavits as to its substance, effect or interpretation are not sufficient.’ " Reef v. Asset Acceptance, LLC , 43 N.E.3d 652, 654 (Ind. Ct. App. 2015) (quoting Marich v. Kragulac , 415 N.E.2d 91, 100 (Ind. Ct. App. 1981), disapproved of on other grounds by Presbytery of Ohio Valley, Inc. v. OPC, Inc. , 973 N.E.2d 1099 (Ind.2012) ); see also Lukacs v. Kluessner , 154 Ind. App. 452, 456-57, 290 N.E.2d 125, 128 (1972).

[10] Here, neither the "Customer Agreement"2 attached to Bank's complaint, nor Zelman's purported credit card statements attached to the summary judgment motion as Exhibit B were certified or sworn; therefore, they were inadmissible hearsay and were not proper Rule 56 evidence. See Seth , 997 N.E.2d at 1140-41 (holding uncertified, unsworn exhibits consisting of alleged transaction history, credit card statement, and terms of credit card agreement were inadmissible and not proper Rule 56 evidence).

[11] Further, the Affidavit of Debt does not authenticate those unsworn and unverified documents...

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4 cases
  • Bird v. Valley Acre Farms, Inc.
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • 21 Septiembre 2021
    ...the trial court will consider only properly designated evidence which would be admissible at trial." Zelman v. Capital One Bank (USA) N.A. , 133 N.E.3d 244, 248 (Ind. Ct. App. 2019). The email in question was proffered without authentication, that is, "evidence sufficient to support a findi......
  • 487 Broadway Co. v. Robinson
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
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    ...the trial court will consider only properly designated evidence which would be admissible at trial." Zelman v. Capital One Bank (USA) N.A. , 133 N.E.3d 244, 248 (Ind. Ct. App. 2019). "Unsworn statements and unverified exhibits do not qualify as proper Rule 56 evidence." Seth v. Midland Fund......
  • Hussain v. Salin Bank & Trust Co.
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • 28 Febrero 2020
    ...failed to satisfy the requirements of T.R. 56 (E), the Hussains point to this court's opinions in Zelman v. Capital One Bank (USA) N.A., 133 N.E.3d 244, 249 (Ind. Ct. App. 2019) and Seth v. Midland Funding, LLC , 997 N.E.2d 1139 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013) that discussed the business records excep......
  • Smith v. Nat'l Collegiate Student Loan Trust
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • 24 Junio 2020
    ...the trial court must consider only the properly designated evidence which would be admissible at trial. Zelman v. Capital One Bank (USA) N.A. , 133 N.E.3d 244, 248 (Ind. Ct. App. 2019) ; see Ind. T.R. 56(E). Such evidence does not include inadmissible hearsay contained in an affidavit. Id. ......

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