Daniel Masterson et al v. The Bank of New York Mellon et al

Filing 61

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS MOTION TO DISMISS 37 by Judge Dean D. Pregerson: Plaintiffs First through Eighth Causes of Action are DISMISSED, with leave to amend. Any amended complaint shall be filed within fourteen days of the date of this Order. All other causes of action are DISMISSED, with prejudice.(lc). Modified on 3/20/2015.(lc).

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1 2 O 3 4 NO JS-6 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 DANIEL MASTERSON, BIJOU MASTERSON, 12 Plaintiffs, 13 v. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, formerly known as THE BANK OF NEW YORK AS TRUSEE FOR CWALT, INC., ALTERNATIVE LOAN TRUST 2007-19, MORTGAGE PASS THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2007-19; CWALT, INC. ALTERNATIVE LOAN TRUST 20079, MORTGAGE PASS-TRHOUGH CERTIFICATES, et al., Defendants. 21 22 23 ___________________________ ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No. CV 14-08741 DDP (AJWx) ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS [Dkt. No. 37] 24 25 Presently before the court is Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss 26 Plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint (“FAC”). 27 submissions of the parties, the court grants the motion and adopts 28 the following order. Having considered the 1 I. 2 Background In 2007, Plaintiffs executed a promissory note for 3 $1,995,000.00, secured by a Deed of Trust to real property located 4 at 6227 Hollymont Drive, Los Angeles, California 90068. 5 Ex. 1 at 3.) 6 Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) as a nominee for the lender and 7 beneficiary under the Deed. 8 2010, MERS recorded an assignment of the Note and Deed to Defendant 9 Bank of New York Mellon (“the Bank”), as Trustee for the CWALT, (FAC ¶ 31, The Deed named Defendant Mortgage Electronic (FAC Ex. 1 at 3.) 10 Inc. Alternative Loan Trust (“the Trust”). 11 On December 23, 2.) 12 (FAC ¶ 32, Ex. 2 at On August 20, 2014, Plaintiffs, proceeding pro se, filed the 13 instant action in the United States District Court for the Southern 14 District of New York. 15 on October 27, 2014. 16 of New York later transferred this matter sua sponte to this court. 17 (Dkt. 27.) 18 improperly assigned in 2010, and that the assignment violated the 19 Trust’s Prospectus and the Bank’s duties as Trustees. 20 alleges nineteen causes of action, brought under federal, 21 California, and New York law, related to these allegations.1 22 Plaintiffs seek, among other relief, monetary damages and a 23 declaratory judgment that no Defendant has an interest in 24 Plaintiffs’ Note or Deed of Trust. 25 move to dismiss the FAC. Plaintiffs filed the First Amended Complaint The District Court for the Southern District In essence, the FAC alleges that the Deed was (FAC ¶ 53.) The FAC Defendants now 26 27 28 1 Although the caption of Plaintiffs’ FAC lists only eight causes of action, the body of the FAC lists nineteen causes of action. 2 1 2 II. Legal Standard A complaint will survive a motion to dismiss when it contains 3 “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to 4 relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 5 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 6 570 (2007)). 7 “accept as true all allegations of material fact and must construe 8 those facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Resnick 9 v. Hayes, 213 F.3d 443, 447 (9th Cir. 2000). When considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court must Although a complaint 10 need not include “detailed factual allegations,” it must offer 11 “more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me 12 accusation.” 13 allegations that are no more than a statement of a legal conclusion 14 “are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Id. at 679. 15 other words, a pleading that merely offers “labels and 16 conclusions,” a “formulaic recitation of the elements,” or “naked 17 assertions” will not be sufficient to state a claim upon which 18 relief can be granted. 19 quotation marks omitted). 20 Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Conclusory allegations or In Id. at 678 (citations and internal “When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should 21 assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly 22 give rise to an entitlement of relief.” Id. at 679. 23 must allege “plausible grounds to infer” that their claims rise 24 “above the speculative level.” 25 “Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for 26 relief” is a “context-specific task that requires the reviewing 27 court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” 28 556 U.S. at 679. Plaintiffs Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. 3 Iqbal, 1 III. Discussion 2 A. Prospectus-Based Claims 3 Plaintiffs’ Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Causes of Action 4 allege that the December 2010 assignment of the Deed violated 5 several terms of the Trust’s Prospectus. 6 Plaintiffs lack standing to challenge alleged violations of the 7 Prospectus. 8 alleging that Plaintiffs “do not have the authority to prosecute 9 the enforcement of securities violations.” Defendants argue that Indeed, Plaintiffs’ FAC seems to acknowledge as much, (FAC ¶ 30.) The import 10 of Plaintiffs’ assertion that their claims “establish the 11 plausibility that the [assignment is] in direct conflict with the 12 Prosepectus” is therefore unclear to the court. 13 Plaintiffs allege that they are entitled “to potential monies for 14 the identification of actions, to the SEC, that result [in] fines 15 or penalties as a direct result of Plaintiffs’ assistance,” 16 Plaintiffs provide no authority for that proposition nor any 17 argument why any such entitlement would confer standing upon 18 Plaintiffs to challenge the Prospectus. 19 Thirteenth Causes of action are dismissed, with prejudice.2 Although The Eleventh, Twelfth, and 20 B. 21 Plaintiffs’ Nineteenth Cause of Action alleges a violation of 22 TILA the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), 15 U.S.C. SEC 1601 et seq. 23 24 25 26 27 28 2 Plaintiffs devote much of their opposition to arguments regarding the pool servicing agreement governing the securitization of their Note. The FAC, however, asserts no claims based upon the PSA. Furthermore, courts have regularly concluded that mortgagors lack standing to bring such claims. See, e.g., Rubio v. U.S. Bank, N.A., No. C 13-05752 LB, 2014 WL 1318631 at *7-8 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 1, 2014); Armeni v. America’s Wholesale Lender, No. CV 11-8537 CAS, 2012 WL 603242 at *3 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 24, 2012); See also Rajamin v. Deutsche Bank Nat. Trust Co., 757 F.3d 79, 86 (2nd Cir. 2014). 4 1 Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that they did not receive written 2 notice of the assignment of their mortgage within thirty days of 3 the assignment. 4 however, within one year of the violation. 15 U.S.C. § 1640(e). 5 Here, that period expired in January 2012. Plaintiffs did not file 6 their complaint in New York until August 20, 2014. 7 TILA claim is, therefore, time-barred. 8 Action is dismissed with prejudice. 9 C. 15 U.S.C. § 1641(g). TILA claims must be brought, Plaintiffs’ The Nineteenth Cause of Declaratory Relief Re: Assignment 10 Plaintiffs’ First Cause of Action seeks a declaration that no 11 Defendant has any interest in Plaintiffs’ Note, Deed, or property. 12 (FAC ¶ 96.) 13 was assigned, the Deed of Trust was never transferred, and, 14 Plaintiffs allege, is now unsecured. 15 basis for Plaintiffs’ contentions is somewhat unclear, it appears 16 from the two sentences of Plaintiffs’ opposition devoted to this 17 issue that Plaintiffs’ First Cause of Action is premised upon 18 allegations that their Note was improperly securitized. 19 8.) 20 claims. 21 America, N.A., No. 14-cv-237 JM, 2014 WL 3002410 at *3-4 (S.D. Cal. 22 Jul7 2, 2014). Plaintiffs allege that only a “non-existent mortgage” (FAC ¶ 92.) Although the (Opp. at Plaintiffs do not have standing, however, to bring such See note 2, supra; See also Yarpezeshkan v. Bank of The First Cause of Action is dismissed. 23 D. IRS Requirements and New York EPTL Claim 24 Plaintiffs’ Second through Eighth Causes of Action allege 25 various violations of Internal Revenue Service requirements. 26 Rather than address Defendants’ contention that Plaintiffs lack 27 standing to bring such claims, Plaintiffs argue that they intend 28 “to amend the complaint to include the Internal Revenue Service.” 5 1 (Opp. at 13.) 2 Eighth Causes of Action.3 3 The court therefore dismisses the Second through Plaintiffs’ discussion regarding amendment to include the IRS 4 also refers to New York Estates Powers and Trusts Law (“EPTL”) § 7- 5 2.4. 6 of Action, which seeks a declaration that the assignment of 7 Plaintiffs’ Note is void under EPTL § 7-2.4. 8 is foreclosed by the Second Circuit’s decision in Rajamin v. 9 Deutsche Bank Nat. Trust Co., 757 F.3d 79 (2014), which concluded That statute serves as the basis for Plaintiffs’ Tenth Cause That claim, however, 10 that, even if mortgagors such as Plaintiffs had standing under EPTL 11 § 7-2.4, which they do not, any failure to comply with the terms of 12 a PSA would render an assignment voidable, not void. 13 F.3d at 88-90. 14 dismissed with prejudice. Rajamin, 757 Plaintiffs’ Tenth Cause of Action is therefore 15 E. 16 Plaintiffs have not opposed Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss with Remaining Claims 17 respect to the Ninth and Fourteenth through Eighteenth causes of 18 action, which are, therefore, dismissed. 19 20 21 22 23 /// 24 /// 25 /// 26 3 27 28 The nature of Plaintiffs’ proposed amendment is unclear to the court. Nothing in this Order shall be read to suggest that an amendment along the lines Plaintiffs suggest would state a viable claim. 6 1 2 IV. Conclusion For the reasons stated above, Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss is 3 GRANTED. Plaintiffs’ First through Eighth Causes of Action are 4 DISMISSED, with leave to amend. 5 filed within fourteen days of the date of this Order. 6 causes of action are DISMISSED, with prejudice. Any amended complaint shall be All other 7 8 IT IS SO ORDERED. 9 10 11 Dated: March 20, 2015 DEAN D. PREGERSON United States District Judge 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 7

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