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Eagle Green Energy, Inc. v. Forsite Development, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

August 29, 2017

EAGLE GREEN ENERGY, INC. APPELLANT
v.
FORSITE DEVELOPMENT, INC., REVENTURE PARK INVESTMENTS I, LLC, AND CLEAN ENERGY, LLC APPELLEES

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/03/2016

         JEFFERSON DAVIS COUNTY CIRCUIT HON. PRENTISS GREENE HARRELL TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JOLLY W. MATTHEWS III

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEES: F. DOUGLAS MONTAGUE III

          BEFORE LEE, C.J., BARNES AND CARLTON, JJ.

          CARLTON, J.

         ¶1. Eagle Green Energy Inc. (Eagle Green) appeals the May 3, 2016 final order of the Jefferson Davis County Circuit Court. In its order, the circuit court held that a prior judgment issued by a North Carolina court, and later enrolled in the Jefferson Davis County Circuit Court, constituted a valid judgment in Mississippi. The judgment at issue provided that Eagle Green must pay Forsite Development Inc., Reventure Park Investments I, LLC, and Clean Energy LLC (collectively, Forsite) $25, 000 in actual damages and an additional $25, 000 in punitive damages. Eagle Green now claims that the North Carolina judgment should not be given full faith and credit.

         ¶2. Finding no error, we affirm the circuit court's judgment.

         FACTS

         ¶3. Forsite, a North Carolina corporation, initiated this civil action seeking to recover the $25, 000 Forsite paid to Eagle Green, a Mississippi corporation. Forsite filed a motion in the General Court of Justice, Superior Court Division, of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, seeking an entry of default against Eagle Green. The superior-court clerk entered the default on January 16, 2015.

         ¶4. On January 21, 2015, Eagle Green filed an answer asserting that the superior court lacked jurisdiction over Eagle Green, since Eagle Green is a Mississippi corporation that only does business in Mississippi. Eagle Green also initiated a cross-claim against Forsite for the amount of $35, 000.

         ¶5. On January 28, 2015, Forsite moved for a default judgment and also filed a motion to dismiss and/or strike the answer and cross-claim filed by Eagle Green.

         ¶6. On March 26, 2015, the superior court entered an order and final judgment ("North Carolina judgment") granting Forsite's motion to dismiss Eagle Green's answer and counterclaim and also granting Forsite's motion for a default judgment. The superior court also awarded Forsite $25, 000 in actual damages and $25, 000 in punitive damages.

         ¶7. As set forth in the North Carolina judgment, the superior court found that Eagle Green deposited a $25, 000 check paid by Forsite to Eagle Green, but then Eagle Green failed to provide the items paid for by Forsite. The North Carolina judgment reflects that on July 15, 2014, and November 21, 2014, Forsite demanded that Eagle Green return the $25, 000, but Eagle Green refused. As a result, the superior court found that

[Eagle Green] wrongfully converted the funds to its own use by:
(a) the unauthorized retention of the funds after [Forsite] made demand for return of the funds;
(b) the unauthorized exercise of a right of ownership over the funds belonging ...

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