Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bull Mountain Sanitation, LLC v. Allied Waste Services of North America, LLC

United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division

July 31, 2019

BULL MOUNTAIN SANITATION, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
ALLIED WASTE SERVICES OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC. and BAYSIDE DISPOSAL, INC., Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

          TIMOTHY J. CAVAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Bull Mountain Sanitation ("Bull Mountain") brings this action against Allied Waste Services of North America, LLC ("Republic") and Bayside Disposal, Inc. ("Bayside") (collectively, "Defendants"), alleging Defendants acted through threats and litigation to cause Bull Mountain financial damage and to appropriate its customers. (Doc. 9.) Bull Mountain sets forth three identical claims against each Defendant: tortious interference with contract (Counts One and Four); abuse of process (Counts Two and Five); and malicious prosecution (Counts Three and Six). Bull Mountain seeks general, special, and punitive damages, as well as attorney's fees and costs. (Doc. 9 at 8.)

         Currently before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. (Doc. 11.) Having reviewed the parties' arguments and submissions, and for the reasons discussed below, the Court recommends Defendants' motion be GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

         I. Background

         For purposes of the pending Rule 12(c) motion, the Court accepts as true all factual allegations in the complaint and construes them in a light most favorable to the Defendants. Fleming v. Pickard, 581 F.3d 922, 925 (9th Cir. 2009). Accordingly, the Court has compiled the following factual background from Bull Mountain's Complaint.

         Bull Mountain is an organized limited liability company that provides solid waste services to residences, ranches, and farms in Musselshell County, Montana. (Doc. 9 at ¶¶ 1, 3.) Bull Mountain was created to provide these services to rural Musselshell County residents who did not previously have access to them. Id. at ¶ 15. As of March 2015, Bull Mountain had contracted with approximately 70 customers to provide solid waste hauling services. Id. at ¶ ¶ 3-4.

         Republic is also a solid waste hauler in Musselshell County, but it services only those parts of Musselshell County within 50 miles of Billings. Id. at ¶¶ 5-7. Although Republic has operated in Musselshell County for 20 years, it served only 11 customers in rural Musselshell County as of March 2015. Id. at ¶ 9. Bayside is another solid waste hauler in Musselshell County, and served 18 customers in rural Musselshell County as of March 2015. Id. at ¶¶l 1, 13.

         In August 2014, Republic sent Bull Mountain a letter demanding Bull Mountain cease all garbage hauling in Musselshell County for residential customers outside of the town of Melstone, and for commercial customers outside a two-mile radius of the post office in Melstone, within 90 days. (Doc 9. at ¶ 18.) Republic's letter accused Bull Mountain of operating without proper certification, and it demanded that Bull Mountain roll-over its customer-base to Republic. Id. at ¶¶ 17, 19, 20.

         In August 2014, Bull Mountain filed a Petition for Declaratory Ruling before the Montana Public Service Commission ("PSC"), requesting it declare Bull Mountain to be exempt from Class D motor carrier certificate requirements. Id. at ¶ ¶ 21, 22. See also, Mont. Code Ann. § 69-12-314. The PSC did not make a finding that Bull Mountain operated illegally; rather, it declared the town of Melstone to be exempt and refrained from issuing a declaratory ruling as to the rest of rural Musselshell County. Id. at ¶ 23.

         In September 2014, Republic filed a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief action against Bull Mountain in Montana state court. Id. at ¶ 24-25. Republic contended Bull Mountain was operating in violation of Montana's motor carrier statues, and asked the court to bar Bull Mountain from hauling solid waste in Musselshell County without a Class D Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. Id. at ¶ 25. The action was not resolved when Bull Mountain filed the instant matter. Id. at ¶ 26.

         In December 2014, Bull Mountain filed an application for Intrastate Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity before the PSC. (Doc. 9 at ¶ 27.) Both Republic and Bayside filed objections to the application. Id. at ¶¶ 28, 19. The PSC conducted a hearing to consider Bull Mountain's application on March 2, 2015. Id. at ¶ 30. On April 17, 2015, the PSC granted the application, and issued Bull Mountain a Class D Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. Id. at ¶ 31. The certificate authorized Bull Mountain to haul garbage between all points and places in Musselshell County, except the town of Roundup. Id.

         In June 2015, Republic and Bayside filed a petition for judicial review in Montana state court, contending the PSC erred in granting Bull Mountain's certificate. Id. at ¶ 32. The petition was resolved in Bull Mountain's favor. Id. at ¶33.

         On September 6, 2018, Bull Mountain filed the instant action, alleging Defendants' actions caused it to lose business and inhibited the growth of its business. (See Doc. 9.) Specifically, Bull Mountain alleged Defendants sought to appropriate Bull Mountain's customers by inflicting financial damage upon Bull Mountain so that it was unable to conduct business. Id. at ¶¶ 38, 54. The Defendants each filed an answer denying Bull Mountain's allegations. (Docs. 3, 4.) Defendants now move the Court to dismiss Bull Mountain's Complaint for failure to state a claim and order judgment on the pleadings. (Doc. 11.)

         II. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.