"Taking It Back"
U.S. Marshals to help repossess equipment
A Houston mining-equipment company that won a repossession judgment
against the Bull Mountain coal mine in December 2003, but then did not
reclaim the equipment, has asked the U.S. Marshal's Office to again help
The equipment is a conveyor belt system that brings coal to the surface.
A writ of assistance from the U.S. District Court in Billings instructs
the marshal to help recover three conveyor systems that were ordered
FMC Technologies Inc. won a default judgment against the mine for $1.57
million in the fall of 2003. At that time, a spokesman for the mine said
the company was trying to negotiate with FMC. A writ of assistance
issued then was withdrawn.
The mine's attorney Joe Gerbase said Tuesday said the mine had hired a
Billings law firm to represent it in the controversy, saying BMP
Investments owed "way, way less than the $1.57 million judgment."
Billings attorney Alan Bryan, who represents FMC, did not return a call
U.S. Marshal Dwight MacKay said his office would have a conference call
with attorneys to work out a schedule for the repossession.
Gerbase said he was not party to the conference call. He suggested that
BMPI might seek court action. "We were getting it paid off," he said.
The coal mine, owned by BMPI, is part of a three-pronged plan to produce
coal, build a railroad to haul it and build two coal fired power plants
adjacent to the mine. The mine began operating in September 2003. It has
had continuing problems maintaining working capital.
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