Oney v. PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust Holdings I, LLC
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING 11 Motion to Certify Class; DENYING 12 Motion for Summary Judgment; DENYING AS MOOT 13 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response. Signed by Judge Ellen L. Hollander on 8/27/2015. (hmls, Deputy Clerk)
United States District Court
District Of Maryland
Ellen Lipton Hollander
District Court Judge
101 West Lombard Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
August 27, 2015
MEMORANDUM TO COUNSEL
Oney v. PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust Holdings I, LLC, et al.
Civil Action No. ELH-15-1525
As you know, On May 27, 2015, plaintiff Carol Jean Oney filed suit on behalf of herself
and others similarly situated. ECF 1 (“Complaint”). In response to a motion to dismiss (ECF 4),
plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint (ECF 5). It names “PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust
Holdings I, LLC n/k/a Pennymac Holdings LLC” (“Holdings”)1 and PennyMac Loan Servicing,
LLC (“Servicer”) as defendants. Id. The disputes relate to alleged unlawful efforts by
defendants to collect payments from Oney in connection with a mortgage debt.
In particular, plaintiff’s Amended Complaint lodges three counts. Count I alleges a
violation by Holdings of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692
et seq.; Count II alleges a violation by Servicer of the FDCPA; and Count III alleges that both
defendants violated the Maryland Consumer Protection Act (“MCPA”), Md. Code (2013 Repl.
Vol., 2014 Suppl.), §§ 13-101 et seq. of the Commercial Law Article. ECF 5 ¶¶ 78-94,
Defendants have moved to dismiss the Amended Complaint (ECF 8), supported by a
memorandum of law (ECF 8-1, MTD Memo.) (Collectively, I refer to ECF 8 and ECF 8-1 as the
“Motion to Dismiss”). Plaintiff has opposed the Motion to Dismiss. ECF 9. In addition,
plaintiff has moved for summary judgment (ECF 12, “Summary Judgment Motion”), and has
also moved to certify the class, under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23. ECF 11 (“Motion to Certify”)
(Collectively, I refer to ECF 11 and ECF 12 as “Plaintiff’s Motions”).
Thereafter, defendants moved for an extension of time to respond to Plaintiff’s Motions.
ECF 13 (“Motion for Extension”). The Motion for Extension is supported by a memorandum of
law. ECF 13-1 (“Def. Extension Memo.”). (Collectively, I refer to ECF 13 and ECF 13-1 as
“Motion for Extension”). In particular, defendants ask the Court to extend their deadline to
respond to Plaintiff’s Motions until twenty days after the Court issues a disposition on the
Motion to Dismiss. ECF 13-1 at 5, Def. Extension Memo.
Defendant Holdings lists its name as “PennyMac Holdings, LLC,” with a comma
between Holdings and LLC.
Plaintiff opposes the Motion for Extension (ECF 14), supported by a memorandum of
law (ECF 14-1). (Collectively, I refer to ECF 14 and ECF 14-1 as the “Extension Opposition”).
Defendants have replied. ECF 15 (“Extension Reply”). No hearing is necessary to resolve
defendants’ Motion for Extension and Plaintiff’s Motions. See Local Rule 105.6. For the
reasons that follow, I will deny, without prejudice, plaintiff’s Motion to Certify (ECF 11) and
plaintiff’s Summary Judgment Motion (ECF 12). And, I will deny as moot defendants’ Motion
for Extension (ECF 13).
As noted, defendants moved to dismiss the Amended Complaint. ECF 8. The Motion to
Dismiss is predicated on Fed. R. Civ. 12(b)(6) and argues, inter alia, that the Amended
Complaint is on its face “insufficiently pled . . . .” ECF 8-1 at 12, MTD Memo.2 It is
defendants’ position that briefing on Plaintiff’s Motions should be postponed until after
resolution of the Motion to Dismiss. ECF 15 at 4, Extension Reply. Defendants explain: “[I]t
does not comport with the interests of judicial efficiency to require Defendants to respond to
Plaintiff’s dispositive motions until the basic parameters of her pleadings are determined.” ECF
13-1 at 3, Def. Extension Memo.
Plaintiff opposes defendants’ request to postpone briefing on the Summary Judgment
Motion and the Motion to Certify until the Motion to Dismiss is resolved. See ECF 14-1 at 5-6,
Extension Opposition. No scheduling order has yet been issued in this case. But, plaintiff insists
that, “[b]ased upon the discovery that has been exchanged by the parties, in the first filed
action[, Ademiluyi v. PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust Holdings I, LLC, et al., Civ. No.
ELH-12-752,]” entry of judgment in plaintiff’s favor is “supported by undisputed material facts”
(ECF 14-1 at 2, Extension Opposition), and is appropriate “at this stage” of the case. Id. at 3.
The case referenced by plaintiff, Ademiluyi v. PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust
Holdings I, LLC, et al., Civ. No. ELH-12-752, was filed by an unrelated plaintiff, Christie
Ademiluyi, challenging, inter alia, efforts by Holdings to collect a delinquent mortgage debt.
Counsel for Oney in this case also represented Ademiluyi. According to plaintiff’s counsel, in
view of the discovery procured in the Ademiluyi case, “[t]he class action suit [here] is ripe for
summary disposition and any further delay in bringing this case to closure is prejudicing many
parties and wasting this Court’s time.” ECF 14-1 at 6, Extension Opposition.
Plaintiff’s position is unpersuasive. In seeking summary judgment at such an early stage
in this case, Oney relies on discovery obtained in a separate action. See ECF 14-1 at 2,
In the alternative, defendants contend that, “should the Court decline to dismiss the
Amended Complaint, Holdings moves to strike certain portions” of plaintiff’s pleading
“pertaining . . . to a separate borrower, Christie Ademiluyi,” who is not a party to this action.
ECF 8-1 at 14, MTD Memo. As discussed, infra, counsel for plaintiff Oney represented
Ademiluyi in a separate but related case, Ademiluyi v. PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust
Holdings I, LLC, et al., Civ. No. ELH-12-752.
Extension Opposition. However, Oney was not a party to the Ademiluyi case, Civ. No. ELH-12752. The commonality of defendants does not constitute a basis to preclude defendants from the
opportunity to engage in discovery as to a separate borrower with a separate debt. As a general
matter, summary judgment is inappropriate “where the parties have not had an opportunity for
reasonable discovery.” E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. Kolon Indus., Inc., 637 F.3d 435, 448
(4th Cir. 2011).
Moreover, I agree with defendants that in this case an initial determination of whether the
Amended Complaint states a viable cause of action would promote efficiency in the conduct of
this litigation. If there is no viable cause of action, there is no reason for the parties to address
plaintiff’s request for summary judgment or to engage in the potentially expensive and timeconsuming process of determining whether a class should be certified.
Accordingly, plaintiff’s Summary Judgment Motion (ECF 12) and Motion to Certify
(ECF 11) shall be denied as premature, without prejudice to plaintiff’s right to refile these
motions at some point after disposition of defendants’ Motion to Dismiss. In view of the
foregoing, defendants’ Motion for Extension (ECF 13) shall be denied, as moot.
Despite the informal nature of this Memorandum, it is an Order of the Court, and the
Clerk is directed to docket it as such.
Very truly yours,
Ellen Lipton Hollander
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?