4201 2nd Ave W v. First State Bank & Trust, et al.Annotate this Case
4201 2nd Ave. W., LLC, d.b.a. Safari Fuels 105 (“4201”) appealed a district court’s judgment finding First State Bank & Trust, formerly First National Bank & Trust Company (“the bank”), held a valid and enforceable security interest in a liquor license and other collateral. In 2015, the bank loaned approximately $4.34 million to Racers Store 102, LLC (“Racers”) under a promissory note for its operation of a convenience store. As security for the loan, Racers signed the bank a leasehold mortgage, security agreement, and fixture filing against real and personal property including a liquor license, coffee kiosk, walk-in freezer, and Kohler generator, among other collateral. In 2016, Racers defaulted on its loan, and the bank commenced a foreclosure action. During foreclosure proceedings, the bank took control of the convenience store and contracted with 4201 to operate the store while the foreclosure action was pending. Racers transferred its rights, titles, and interests in the ground lease and assets of the store to 4201; 4201 entered into a forbearance agreement with the bank. The parties subsequently discovered the liquor license could not be transferred until delinquent property taxes were paid. The bank and 4201 executed an addendum to the forbearance agreement agreeing to pay equal shares of the property taxes whereby the liquor license would become an asset of 4201 subject to the existing lien held by the bank. The parties also entered into a personal property pledge in which 4201 pledged to give the bank a continuing first-priority interest in the liquor license, 4201 agreed not to sell, assign, or transfer the license, and 4201 agreed to reimburse the bank for costs associated with defending its interest in the license. In 2021, the bank decided to cease operations of the store and offered to sell the liquor license to 4201. 4201 commenced legal action seeking a declaratory judgment that the bank no longer held a valid and enforceable lien on the liquor license, coffee kiosk, walk-in freezer, and Kohler generator. Following a bench trial, the district court determined the bank held a valid and enforceable security interest in the liquor license and other collateral. The court dismissed the bank’s counterclaim. Finding no reversible error in the district court's judgment, the North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed.