Spouses Dudley and Peggy Webb executed a joint venture agreement in January 2003 to operate a rice farming business under the name "Dudley R. Webb, Jr. Farms Joint Venture." The agreement specified that each of them would have a 50% interest in the business, and that "during the duration of this partnership" both parties "shall . . . exercise their utmost skill, effort and endeavor for the furtherance of the interests, profits, benefits and advantage of this joint venture." Paragraph 13 of the agreement stated that "[n]othing herein shall be construed to create a partnership of any kind." During the operation of their business the Webbs borrowed funds from the Bank of England located in England, Arkansas, and from the United States Department of Agriculture Commodity Credit Corporation. Many of these loan agreements were executed in the name of the joint venture.
The Webbs jointly filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in February 2012. The couple listed in their bankruptcy schedules an ownership interest in an estimated 105,000 bushels of rice located in grain bins, an estimated 117,000 bushels of rice located at the Federal Dryer and Storage Company, and certain vehicles, rolling stock, and farm equipment. In early March 2012 the Bank of England filed in the bankruptcy court a motion for relief from the automatic stay imposed under 11 U.S.C. § 362, arguing that it had a perfected security interest in this rice and equipment arising out of nine unpaid loans made by the bank to the joint venture. The court scheduled a hearing on the bank's motion for April 26, 2012.
Judge(s): Diana Murphy
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
Related Categories: Agriculture , Bankruptcy
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Price Marshall, Jr.|