Robinson et al v. Midfirst Bank et al
OPINION AND ORDER granting 25 33 Motions to Dismiss, denying 37 Motion for Default Judgment and denying as moot 15 27 motions. Signed by Judge Susan Webber Wright on 09/22/2014. (rhm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
WILLIAM O. ROBINSON and
BRENDA E. ROBINSON,
MIDFIRST BANK, MIDLAND
MORTGAGE, and NEW DAY FINANCIAL,
No. 4:14CV000360 SWW
Opinion and Order
Before the Court are motions to dismiss to which plaintiff responded. The Court has
reviewed the motions and finds that they should be granted.
Plaintiff William O. Robinson, who is proceeding pro se, brings this action against
Midfirst Bank, Midland Mortgage, and New Day Financial alleging claims of intentional
infliction of emotional distress, slander, deceitful business practices, and fraud. In support of his
claims, Robinson sets forth a time line of events leading up to foreclosure on his house in Saline
County, Arkansas. Defendants argue that the facts do not support the claims Robinson asserts,
and even if they did, his claims are barred by claim preclusion. New Day Financial also
contends the claims against it are time barred
Under claim preclusion, a valid and final judgment rendered on the merits by a
court of competent jurisdiction bars another action by the plaintiff or his privies
against the defendant or his privies on the same claim. Claim preclusion (res
judicata) bars not only the relitigation of claims which were actually litigated in
the first suit, but also those which could have been litigated. Where a case is
based on the same events as the subject matter of a previous lawsuit, claim
preclusion will apply even if the subsequent lawsuit raises new legal issues and
seeks additional remedies.
Crockett v. C.A.G. Investments, Inc., 381 S.W.3d 793, 799 (Ark. 2011)(citations and footnotes
omitted). Claim preclusion requires five elements: (1) the earlier action resulted in a final
judgment on the merits; (2) the court in the earlier action had jurisdiction; (3) the earlier action
was fully contested in good faith; (4) both actions involved the same claims; and (5) both actions
included the same parties or persons in privity with them. Orr v. Hudson, 374 S.W.3d 686, 69192 (Ark. 2010). Res judicata bars not only relitigation of claims that were actually litigated in
the first suit bit also those that would have been litigated. Linder v. Ark. Midstream Gas Servs.
Corp., 362 S.W.3d 889 (Ark. 2010).
Midfirst Bank and Robinson were parties to a foreclosure complaint filed in the Circuit
Court of Saline County, Arkansas. New Day Financial was privy to the foreclosure action. The
Saline County Circuit Court had jurisdiction and issued a valid and final judgment on the merits.
Robinson appealed the judgment and it was affirmed by the Arkansas Court of Appeals.1 In
support of his claims for outrage, slander, deceitful business practices, and fraud, Robinson
states as fact the history of his dealings with defendants, starting in 2008 when Midland
Mortgage2, a division of MidFirst Bank, allegedly notified Robinson that it had purchased the
See ECF No. 26-1.
Midfirst Bank states Robinson improperly identified it as Midland Mortgage. See ECF No. 3. In
a pleading titled “Confirming Midland Mortgage as a defendant,” Robinson includes copies of
correspondence from Midland Mortgage, which describes it as a division of Midfirst Bank. Robinson
says the correspondence is evidence that Midland Mortgage claims ownership of the loan because it sent
him a mortgage payment book. See ECF No. 24. In another pleading, Robinson attaches a letter in
which Midfirst Bank’s attorney states he is also the attorney for Midland Mortgage, a division of MidFirst
Bank. ECF No. 32.
mortgage note from New Day Financial. Robinson alleges he filed for bankruptcy in 2009.
Robinson goes on to say:
10. 07/20/2012-Midfirst Bank files suit in Circuit Court. Against Plaintiff and
Mortgage Electronic Registry. Couldn’t Prove ownership.
11. 08/30/2013-Midfirst Bank returns back to Circuit Court with Original Note
from New Day Financial. Claiming Plaintiff Doesn’t understand that New Day
Financial sold the note to Midfirst Bank. The Court did not allow the Plaintiff to
enter the Warranty deed or the Bankruptcy into evidence. Granted Judgment.
Am. Comp., ¶¶ 10 & 11.
Based on his statement of facts, Robinson’s claims are all based on the foreclosure
action. When a case is based upon the same events as the subject matter of a previous lawsuit,
claim preclusion bars the subsequent lawsuit even if the subsequent suit raises new legal issues
and seeks additional remedies. Crockett, 381 S.W.3d at 799. Because Robinson’s claims of
outrage, slander, deceitful business practices, and fraud relate to the actions of defendants in
regard to the foreclosure, they are barred by claim preclusion.
New Day Financial also moves for dismissal based on the statute of limitations. The
allegations against New Day Financial relate to events that occurred in 2008 or 2009. See Am.
Compl., ¶¶ 1, 2, 3, and 7. Plaintiff filed his original complaint in June 2014, more than three
years after New Day Financial is alleged to have committed intentional infliction of emotional
distress, fraud, and slander. In any event, Robinson fails to plead “enough facts to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).
The facts alleged in his amended complaint fail to show Robinson is entitled to relief on his
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Midfirst Bank’s motion to dismiss [ECF No. 25]
and New Day Financial’s motion to dismiss [ECF No. 33] are granted.3 Plaintiff’s amended
motion for default judgment [ECF No. 37] is denied. The motion for protective order [ECF No.
27] is moot. Plaintiff’s claims against all defendants4 are dismissed. A separate judgment
dismissing the complaint will be entered accordingly.
DATED this 22nd day of September, 2014.
/s/Susan Webber Wright
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
New Day Financial’s Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 15] is moot.
Whether Midland Mortgage is a separate defendant or not, Robinson fails to state a claim for
relief against it.
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