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Kastner v. Intrust Bank

United States District Court, Tenth Circuit

September 25, 2013

KRISTOFER THOMAS KASTNER, Plaintiff,
v.
INTRUST BANK, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

ERIC F. MELGREN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

In 1996, Plaintiff Kristofer Thomas Kastner’s grandmother executed a trust with Defendant Intrust Bank serving as the trustee. Plaintiff, a beneficiary, brings suit against Intrust Bank, four of its bank officers, and Intrust Financial Corporation alleging that the trust has lost value since his grandmother’s death in 2000. Before the Court is Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 192). For the following reasons, the Court grants Defendants’ motion.

I. Factual and Procedural Background[1]

Local Rules for Summary Judgment

The required rules for summary judgment motions in the District of Kansas are set forth in D. Kan. Rule 56.1. Under that rule, “[a]ll material facts set forth in the statement of the movant will be deemed admitted for the purpose of summary judgment unless specifically controverted by the statement of the opposing party.”[2] D. Kan. Rule 56.1(b) addresses a party’s responsibility in opposing a motion for summary judgment.

(1) A memorandum in opposition to a motion for summary judgment must begin with a section containing a concise statement of material facts as to which the party contends a genuine issue exists. Each fact in dispute must be numbered by paragraph, refer with particularity to those portions of the record upon which the opposing party relies, and, if applicable, state the number of movant's fact that is disputed.
(2) If the party opposing summary judgment relies on any facts not contained in movant's memorandum, that party must set forth each additional fact in a separately numbered paragraph, supported by references to the record, in the manner required by subsection (a), above. All material facts set forth in this statement of the non-moving party will be deemed admitted for the purpose of summary judgment unless specifically controverted by the reply of the moving party.

Plaintiff is pro se, and the Court must afford him some leniency in his filings.[3] A pro se litigant, however, is still expected to “follow the same rules of procedure that govern other litigants.”[4] In this case, Plaintiff failed to appropriately controvert any of Defendants’ facts because he did not coherently respond to Defendants’ factual statement.[5] He also failed to appropriately set forth additional facts coherently. Nonetheless, the Court recognizes that Plaintiff is pro se, and to the extent it could understand Plaintiff’s argument, the Court construes it generously.

Facts

Jessie I. Brooks executed a Trust Agreement, denominated the “Jessie I. Brooks Revocable Trust, ” on June 5, 1996 (“the Trust”). The Trust named Intrust Bank, NA as the Trustee for the Trust. The Trust provided for distributions during the lifetime of the settlor and, upon her death, they continued for the benefit of the settlor’s daughter, Nola Mae Wills. The remainder of the Trust assets, if any, is to be distributed to the settlor’s grandson, Plaintiff Kristofer Thomas Kastner, upon the death of Ms. Wills. Upon the death of the settlor, the Trust provided for several distributions, including a one-time distribution of twenty-five thousand dollars to Plaintiff.

Jessie I. Brooks died in 2000. Ms. Wills is still living.[6] On January 1, 2001, the Trust had a total balance of $859, 264.52. On December 31, 2008, the Trust had a total balance of $847, 518.09. On December 31, 2011, the Trust had a balance of $1, 006, 425.44. The Trust disbursed $516, 364.51 between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2011. From 2001 to 2011, the Trust earned more percentage-wise than the S&P 500 index did.

This page runs through the numbered assertion of 27, but again cuts off mid-sentence. The fourth page (Doc. 200-3) is half of one sentence with Plaintiff’s signature and address. The last two pages (Docs. 200-4, 200-5) are a list of 31 footnotes with citations. The Court notes, however, that these footnotes do not appear to match the footnotes referenced in the text of the previous four pages. For example, Plaintiff cites to footnote 29a through 29f in Doc. 200-2. Footnote 29 in Doc. 200-5 references a Kansas case. Yet, none of Plaintiff’s assertions in Doc. 200-2 referencing footnote 29 relate to this Kansas case. It appears that most of Plaintiff’s “response” is contained in Doc. 202 and its accompanying supplements.

Thomas Weiford, an expert retained by Defendants regarding Intrust Bank’s handling of investments, opined that the investment management activities of Defendant Trustees during the referenced time period were within the norms of industry practice and met the standard of care for professional trustees in managing and investing the Trust assets. Mr. Weiford also opined that the investments were made in accordance with the terms of the Trust and in the interests of the beneficiaries, not favoring one beneficiary over another. Furthermore, Mr. Weiford stated that Defendant Trustees exercised reasonable care, skill, and caution in administering the Trust.

On or about March 5, 2009, Plaintiff received annual accountings for the Trust from the year 2000 to 2008. On or about January 12, 2010, Plaintiff received the ...


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