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WI Court of Appeals – District III

Case Name: Aaron Carmody v. Byline Bank

Case No.: 2022AP001660

Officials: Stark, P.J., Hruz and Gill, JJ.

Focus: Contract

Aaron Carmody and Nicole Elizabeth Carmody, both pro se, appeal from the circuit court’s order, entered after a bench trial, dismissing Aaron’s claims and Nicole’s third-party counterclaims against Byline Bank and Dylan Esterling and granting or dismissing as moot Byline’s counterclaims and third-party claims against Aaron and Nicole, respectively. The Carmodys also challenge the court’s decision on the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment, which denied Aaron’s and Nicole’s motions in their entirety and granted in part Byline’s motions as to Nicole’s third-party counterclaims and several of Aaron’s claims. The Carmodys’ main contention is that Aaron did not sign loan documents with Byline, including mortgages on two parcels of real property, used to obtain a $2.255 million loan from Byline to purchase a commercial business.

The circuit court found that Aaron Carmody did sign the relevant loan documents, which was a central issue in the case. This finding was based on substantial evidence, including Aaron’s own admissions in text messages and the lack of credible contrary evidence presented by the Carmodys. The court determined that Aaron’s claim he did not remember signing in front of a notary suggested he acknowledged signing the documents. Additionally, the appeals court noted that the circuit court is the best judge of witness credibility and found no error in the lower court’s acceptance of testimonies favoring Byline Bank.

Moreover, the appeals court upheld the circuit court’s rulings on summary judgment regarding several claims, including intentional misrepresentation and violations of Wisconsin Statutes, noting the Carmodys failed to provide evidence of misrepresentation or causal damages. The appeals court also agreed with the lower court’s conclusion that the Carmodys failed to prove damages linked to the alleged notarization misconduct by Byline’s employee, a necessary element for their claims to succeed.

Overall, the appeals court found no clear error in the circuit court’s findings.


Decided 04/16/24

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