HALL v. WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.
ORDER granting 4 Motion to Dismiss. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on July 28, 2015. (lcegs4)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
) Civ. Action No. 14-01423 (EGS)
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.,
On August 19, 2014, Plaintiff Ollie Hall (“Hall”) filed
a complaint against Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells
Fargo”) alleging claims related to the foreclosure of his home
in Michigan. Compl., ECF No. 1. Wells Fargo moves to dismiss
Hall’s lawsuit on the basis of res judicata (claim and issue
preclusion) and for failure to state a claim. Def.’s Mot.
Dismiss, ECF No. 4. Upon consideration of the motion, the
response and reply thereto, the applicable law, and the entire
record, Wells Fargo’s Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED.
On February 11, 2011, Hall secured a home loan for
$87,718.00 to purchase a house in Roseville, Michigan. Def.’s
Mem. Supp. Mot. Dismiss (“Def.’s Mem. Supp.”), ECF No. 4, Ex. A
The mortgage was assigned to Wells Fargo on August 29,
2012. Id. In 2012, Hall defaulted on the mortgage and the
property was foreclosed and sold at a sheriff’s sale on
September 13, 2013. Id.
Hall filed a lawsuit in the Macomb County Circuit Court in
Michigan on March 10, 2014, three days before Michigan’s
statutory right of redemption expired. Id. at 3. Defendant
removed the suit to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Michigan on diversity jurisdiction on March 27,
2014. Id. In that case, the court granted the Defendant’s Motion
to Dismiss for failure to state a claim on June 4, 2014. Id. at
Hall subsequently filed this suit, pro se, on August 19,
2014. See Compl., ECF No. 1. Although the complaint is difficult
to understand, Hall seems to be alleging that Wells Fargo is not
the proper owner of the mortgage, that the Defendant took
advantage of Hall’s ignorance of the law in issuing the loan,
and that the Wells Fargo is engaged in counterfeiting. Id. at 24. 1 The Civil Cover Sheet filled out by Hall indicates the cause
The confusing nature of Hall’s complaint is evidenced by the
first paragraph where he states:
Now Comes Ollie Hall Jr., hereinafter (“Plaintiff”) on
original civil complaint against WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A;
of action as “26 USC 7609 For independent State Audit and
Federal Investigation on defendants for accounting fraud.”
at 1-1. 2 The relief requested by Hall is $86,079.20. Id. at 1.
Wells Fargo moves to dismiss this action on the basis of
res judicata and for failure to state a claim. Def.’s Mem. Supp.
Wells Fargo asserts that, to the extent any cognizable
claims can be construed from Hall’s complaint, they are barred
by res judicata in light of the Eastern District of Michigan’s
ruling on the merits in the related case, Hall v. Wells Fargo
Bank, N.A., No. 4:14-cv-11267 (E.D. Mich. June 4, 2014). Id. at
2. Moreover, to the extent Hall seeks to plead any claims not
already adjudicated, Wells Fargo maintains that Hall had the
($US86,079.20) that deals in Internal Revenue Service
(“IRS”) cancelled debt and this IRS Federal 871 Tax Suit;
Cause cited as 26:7609 as an IRS Petition to Quash IRS
Summons to require Defendant to produce bona fide proof of
an Execution of Assignment to offset claims of fraud and
civil demands and judgments. This case is directly related
to DISMISSED case No. 1:14-CV-00110-JDBand will create a
conflict of interest to the U.S. Government Defendant and
all Defendants to these actions in terms of an adverse
action against Plaintiff. The manner in which the prior
case was DISMISSED will provide the necessary protection(s)
to Plaintiff that prevents DOUBLE JEOPARDY from being
carried out by this Court on Motion(s) of Defendant and
subsequent new cases related to PENDING Case No. 1:14-CV01112-CCK.
Compl. at 1-2.
26 U.S. Code § 7609 specifies the special procedures for thirdparty summons.
opportunity to plead such claims in the related case, and
regardless, any new claims are insufficiently pled and thus Hall
has failed to state a claim. Def.’s Mem. Supp. at 9. Hall does
not directly respond to Wells Fargo’s arguments. See Aff. Supp.
Pl.’s Claims (“Pl.’s Response”). Rather, Hall asserts what
appear to be 24 irrelevant affirmative defenses. Id. at 10-11.
“The doctrine of res judicata provides that when a final
judgment has been entered on the merits of a case, the effect of
that final judgment would be preserved and applied to subsequent
cases that arise out of the same set of facts and transaction.”
Johnson v. Chase Manhattan Mortg. Corp., No. 04-cv-344 (EGS),
2006 WL 2506598, at *2 (D.D.C. Aug. 28, 2006) (citing Nevada v.
U.S., 463 U.S. 110 (1983)). The doctrine of res judicata is
divided into issue and claim preclusion. Issue preclusion will
apply in a case if: (1) “the issue decided in the prior
adjudication [was] identical with the one presented in the
action at question,” (2) there was a “final judgment on the
merits,” in the previous action, and (3) “the party against whom
the plea is asserted [was] a party or in privity with a party to
the prior adjudication.” Blonder-Tongue Labs. v. Univ. of Ill.
Found., 402 U.S. 313, 323-24 (1971).
Claim preclusion prevents parties from “relitigat[ing] any
ground for relief which they already have had an opportunity to
litigate—even if they chose not to exploit that opportunity—
whether the initial judgment was erroneous or not.” Page v.
United States, 729 F.2d 818, 820 (D.C. Cir. 1984) (quotation
marks omitted). “Res judicata bars not only claims that actually
were litigated, but also claims that could have been litigated
in the previous action.” Ivey v. Paulson, 574 F. Supp. 2d 141,
142 (D.D.C. 2008) (citing Allen v. McCurry, 449 U.S. 90, 94
(1980)). A prior judgment “bars any further claim based on the
same ‘nucleus of facts.’” Page, 729 F.2d at 820. This is
determined by “whether the facts are related in time, space,
origin, or motivation, whether they form a convenient trial
unit, and whether their treatment as a unit conforms to the
parties’ expectations or business understanding or usage.”
Stanton v. D.C. Court of Appeals, 127 F.3d 72, 78 (D.C. Cir.
1997) (quoting Restatement (Second) of Judgments § 24(2)
Halls’ claims are barred under the principles of both issue
and claim preclusion. With respect to issue preclusion, the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has already
ruled on the Hall’s quiet title 3 and fraud claims, which Hall
Hall’s complaint also alleges that Wells Fargo engaged in
counterfeiting because “Defendant cannot produce the original
‘wet ink signature’ mortgage note it claims Plaintiff owes an
obligation on.” Compl. at 4. This argument is tantamount to the
quiet title claims that Hall made in the original complaint
filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Michgian, in which he alleged that Wells Fargo “is not the
seems to be raising again in this is lawsuit. See Hall v. Wells
Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 4:14-cv-11267 (E.D. Mich. June 4, 2014).
Because the Eastern District of Michigan issued a final judgment
on the merits, issue preclusion prevents Hall from relitigating
Claim preclusion also bars several of the Plaintiff’s
claims. To the extent Hall seeks to raise an accounting fraud
claim and other IRS-related claims not adjudicated in Hall’s
Michigan case, such claims are barred because they are based on
the same nucleus of operative fact as the prior adjudication,
namely the foreclosure and sale of his home. 4 Because the same
facts are being used to support the current cause of action,
this lawsuit and the related Michigan suit are undoubtedly
“related in time, space, origin, [and] motivation” such that
claim preclusion bars this action. 5
actual titleholder of the debt secured by the mortgage.” Def.’s
Mem. Supp., Ex. E, at 11.
It is not clear whether Hall is alleging that it was the IRS or
Wells Fargo that engaged in accounting fraud. If it is the
latter, this claim would be barred by claim preclusion since it
could have been raised in the related Michigan District Court
case. If it is the former, the IRS is not a party to the suit
and the claim fails.
Even if Hall’s claims were not barred by claim preclusion, the
Complaint would be dismissed for failure to state a claim for
substantially the same reasons as stated in Judge Levy’s
opinion in the Eastern District of Michigan. See Hall v. Wells
Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 4:14-cv-11267 (E.D. Mich. June 4, 2014).
Besides not providing a short and plain statement of the claim
For the foregoing reasons, Wells Fargo’s Motion to Dismiss is
GRANTED and Hall’s claims are DISMISSED WITH PREJUEDICE.
Emmet G. Sullivan
United States District Judge
July 28, 2015
as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), the
Plaintiff’s complaint is filled with conclusory and irrelevant
statements and fails to allege facts that would support any
claim for relief. See Compl., ECF No. 1.
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