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Harvey v. Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Delta Division

September 24, 2014

JOHN HARVEY, PLAINTIFF
v.
CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT OPERATING COMPANY, INC. CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT CORPORATION HARRAH'S TUNICA CORPORATION HORSESHOE GAMING HOLDING, LLC HORSESHOE GP, LLC HORSESHOE SHREVEPORT, LLC HARRAH'S NEW ORLEANS MANAGEMENT COMPANY HARRAH'S BOSSIER CITY MANAGEMENT COMPANY, LLC HARRAH'S BOSSIER CITY INVESTMENT COMPANY, LLC HARRAH'S SHREVEPORT/BOSSIER CITY INVESTMENT COMPANY, LLC HARRAH'S SHREVEPORT/BOSSIER CITY HOLDING COMPANY, LLC ROBINSON PROPERTY GROUP CORPORATION d/b/a HORSESHOE TUNICA JAZZ CASINO COMPANY, LLC d/b/a HARRAH'S NEW ORLEANS HORSESHOE ENTERTAINMENT, LP d/b/a/ HORSESHOE BOSSIER CITY HARRAH'S LAS VEGAS, LLC DESERT PALACE, LLC d/b/a/ CAESARS PALACE HARRAH'S SHREVEPORT MANAGEMENT COMPANY, LLC d/b/a HARRAH'S LOUISIANA DOWNS, DEFENDANTS

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For John Harvey, Plaintiff, Counter Defendant: Ken R. Adcock, LEAD ATTORNEY, William Christopher Ivison, ADCOCK AND MORRISON, PLLC, Ridgeland, MS.

For Jim Hood, Attorney General for the State of Mississippi, Ex Rel. The State of Mississippi, Intervenor Defendant: Wilson Douglas Minor, LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Jackson, MS.

For Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Inc., Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Harrah's Tunica Corporation, Horseshoe Gaming Holding, LLC, a Delaware LLC, Horseshoe GP, LLC, Horseshoe Shreveport, LLC, Harrah's New Orleans Management Company, Harrah's Bossier City Management Company, LLC, Harrah's Bossier City Investment Company, LLC, Harrah's Shreveport/Bossier City Investment Company, LLC, Harrah's Shreveport/Bossier City Holding Company, LLC, Robinson Property Group Corporation, doing business as Horseshoe Tunica, Defendants: J. Cal Mayo, Jr., Matthew Warren Burris, Paul Bowie Watkins, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEYS, Kate Mauldin Embry, Pope S. Mallette, MAYO MALLETTE, PLLC, Oxford, MS.

For Jazz Casino Company, L.L.C. d/b/a Harrah's New Orleans, a Louisiana LLC, Horseshoe Entertainment, LP d/b/a Horseshoe Bossier City, a Louisiana Limited Partnership, Harrah's Las Vegas, LLC, Desert Palace, Inc., doing business as Caesars Palace, Harrah's Shreveport Management Company, LLC, doing business as Harrah's Louisiana Downs, Defendants: J. Cal Mayo, Jr., Matthew Warren Burris, Paul Bowie Watkins, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEYS, Kate Mauldin Embry, MAYO MALLETTE, PLLC, Oxford, MS.

For Robinson Property Group Corporation, doing business as Horseshoe Tunica, Robinson Property Group Corporation, Counter Claimants: J. Cal Mayo, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, Pope S. Mallette, Paul Bowie Watkins, Jr., MAYO MALLETTE, PLLC, Oxford, MS.

For Robinson Property Group Corporation, Counter Claimant: J. Cal Mayo, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, Kate Mauldin Embry, Pope S. Mallette, Paul Bowie Watkins, Jr., MAYO MALLETTE, PLLC, Oxford, MS.

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MEMORANDUM OPINION

NEAL B. BIGGERS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Presently before the court are several motions filed by Defendants and the Mississippi Attorney General in the above-styled matter. Upon due consideration of the motions, responses, exhibits, and supporting and opposing authority, the court is ready to rule.

Factual Background

On April 28, 2011, John Harvey visited the Horseshoe casino in Bossier City, Louisiana and executed markers [1] in the amount of $500,00.00. Harvey next executed markers at Harrah's in New Orleans, Louisiana in the amount of $1,500,000.00 on May 26, 2011. Finally, Harvey traveled to the Horseshoe casino in Tunica, Mississippi on June 1, 2011, and executed markers totaling $1,000,000.00.[2]

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Harvey represented to the casinos that he had sufficient funds on deposit in his bank account to cover the full value of the markers.

By June 30, 2011, Harvey had not made payment arrangements with the casinos to satisfy the markers. Therefore, on July 5, 2011, after notifying Harvey, Harrah's New Orleans placed the markers for collection at Harvey's bank. Harvey stopped payment on the markers. Horseshoe Bossier City deposited its markers on July 11, 2011, and Harvey stopped payment on these markers. On August 11, 2011, Harvey and Scott Barber, the general manager of Horseshoe Tunica, reached a conditional resolution agreement on the collection of all the markers whereby Harvey would make an initial payment of $150,000.00 and subsequent monthly payments of $100,000.00, with the entire balance due by the end of January 2012. Horseshoe required that Harvey agree not to play at any non-Caesars owned casino. Harvey could play at any Caesars-owned casino, but any winnings would be used to pay the outstanding balance on the markers. Barber agreed to write a letter to Harvey's bank concerning the resolution. Harvey made his first payment.

On August 21, 2011, Caesars employees learned that Harvey was gambling at the MGM-owned Aria Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. After Barber confronted Harvey, Harvey ultimately admitted to gambling. Barber notified Harvey that Harvey had breached the terms of the agreement and that the full amount owed was due immediately. Harvey refused to pay the balance. Horseshoe Tunica then deposited its markers, worth then $850,000.00, with Harvey's bank. Harvey stopped payment on these markers.

Harrah's New Orleans and Horseshoe Bossier City reported Harvey's markers and Harvey's refusal to honor them to their respective district attorneys in Louisiana. The prosecutors pursued prosecution against Harvey and restitution agreements were ultimately reached.[3] Harvey repaid Horseshoe Bossier City and currently makes timely payments to repay Harrah's New Orleans.

Harvey initiated the instant action against the Caesars Defendants on September 12, 2011, alleging the following claims: breach of contract, malicious prosecution, false arrest, abuse of process, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, extortion, violations of 42 U.S.C. § § 1983 and 1985 and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (" RICO" ), and actions to declare Miss. Code Ann. § § 97-19-75 and 97-19-55 and La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 14:71 and 16:15 unconstitutional. Defendants asserted a counter-claim against Harvey for breach of contract and subsequently moved for summary judgment on its counter-claim as well as Harvey's claims. The Mississippi Attorney General has entered an appearance to defend the constitutionality of the state statutes.[4]

Standard

Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories,

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and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). An issue of material fact is genuine if a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmovant. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). In reviewing the evidence, this court must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party, and avoid credibility determinations and weighing of the evidence. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods. Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150, 120 S.Ct. 2097, 147 L.Ed.2d 105 (2000). In so doing, the court must disregard all evidence favorable to the moving party that the jury is not required to believe. Reeves, 530 U.S. at 151. Plaintiff's " burden is ...


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