Judge considers summary judgment

NEWFANE — Given the claims mounting up against the financially troubled Hermitage Club, Judge John Treadwell plans to write a decision regarding an alleged lack of payment for a food vendor as clearly as possible because it could set a precedent for other cases.

"There are a number of creditors in a similar situation as my client," Adam R. Mordecai, an attorney for Reinhart Food Service, said during a hearing in Windham Superior Court, Civil Division on Monday morning. Hermitage founder Jim "Barnes lives in Connecticut and is believed to have substantial assets."

Mordecai worried those assets may disappear if there are more delays in the process. He requested the court order summary judgment in his client's favor. That would mean no trial for the case.

The Hermitage is accused of breaching a contract with Reinhart on a $1.3 million note.

"It's a simple case," Mordecai said. "There's no indication in the opposing papers that the note was not breached. There seems to be pretty wide agreement there."

Treadwell noted that attorneys for the defendants — Jim Barnes, Hermitage Inn Real Estate Holding Company LLC and Hermitage Inn LLC — have not appeared in court.

Barnes nor any representative of the Hermitage were in court on Monday or at an April 30 hearing when attorney Donald Frechette was allowed to withdraw as counsel in the case. Frechette had told the court the Hermitage failed to pay fees for his services.

Barnes and the Hermitage were given 30 days to retain new counsel. But they had not done so by Monday morning.

"It's somewhat unusual, certainly," Mordecai told the court.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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