Hetzel v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA, et al
ORDER DENYING 68 Motion to Strike the Second Amended Complaint. Signed by US District Judge Terrence W. Boyle on 10/27/2014. (Fisher, M.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
PAUL B. HETZEL,
JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., TRG
SETTLEMENT SERVICES, LLP d/b/a CCS
CONVENIENT CLOSING SERVICES,
TRUSTEE SERVICES OF CAROLINA, LLC,
SELECT PORTFOLIO SERVICING, INC., and
U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION as
Trustee for Chase Mortgage Finance Corporation
Multi-Class Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates,
This matter is before the Court on defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.'s ("Chase")
motion to strike the second amended complaint [DE 59] for failure to comply with Rule 15 [DE
68]. The motion is ripe for adjudication. For the reasons stated herein, the motion is DENIED.
The Court incorporates by reference as if fully set forth herein the factual and procedural
background of this matter as recited in its order entered July 22, 2014 [DE 58]. The July 22,
2014 order allowed plaintiff to amend his complaint and granted some of defendants' motions to
dismiss. [DE 58]. The Court dismissed US Bank and Trustee Services from this action and
dismissed plaintiff's declaratory judgment claim and claim to enjoin foreclosure. The Court then
allowed plaintiff to amend his complaint as desired and ordered him to file a second amended
complaint consistent with the Court's order. Defendant Chase now seeks to have that amended
complaint struck as inconsistent with Rule 15 and this Court's order.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f) allows the Court to "strike from a pleading an
insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter." FED. R.
CIV. P. 12(f). "The purpose of the motion to strike is to avoid the waste of time and money that
arises from litigating unnecessary issues. The district court possesses considerable discretion in
disposing of a Rule 12(f) motion to strike." Godfredson v. JBC Legal Group, P.C., 387 F. Supp.
2d 543, 547 (E.D.N.C. 2005) (citations omitted).
Chase argues that the second amended complaint filed at DE 59 should be struck because
"the filed complaint differs from that attached complaint approved by the Court." [DE 69 at 3].
To support its argument, Chase relies on Bogdan v. Housing Auth. of Winston-Salem, 2006 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 94129 (M.D.N.C. Dec. 29, 2006). The Court notes that this unpublished case from
another district in the Fourth Circuit is not binding on this Court and therefore does not lay out a
path that must be followed in dealing with the instant matter. Chase's argument is summarized as
follows. First, plaintiff submitted a proposed amended complaint with his motion to amend that
contained certain factual allegations. Then this Court granted the motion to amend except as it
pertained to two particular parties and claims. Then, plaintiff submitted a new second amended
complaint that was not simply the proposed amended complaint minus the parts that this Court
did not allow. This, in Chase's understanding constitutes a clear failure to follow this Court's
directives regarding the motion to amend. The Court does not agree.
While it is normal course, upon the grant of a motion to amend, for the proposed
amended complaint to be filed by the Clerk as the new amended complaint, this matter was not
one of normal course. Here there was a confusing mix of three separate motions to dismiss
combined with a motion to amend that purported to cure the deficiencies highlighted by the
motions to dismiss. In order to simplify the matter and to focus the arguments, the Court allowed
plaintiffs motion to amend and, in order to mitigate any prejudice suffered by defendants due to
the lateness of plaintiffs motion to amend, allowed defendants to file new motions to dismiss
tailored to the new second amended complaint to be filed by plaintiff pursuant to the Court's
order. In his motion to amend, plaintiff indicated that the intent of the proposed amendment was
to plead additional facts regarding the circumstances surrounding the 2009 loan closing and his
equitable estoppel claim. Indeed, the Court summarized the motion to amend as seeking such
amendments. Therefore by pleading additional facts in regards to these items, plaintiff did not go
outside of the Court's intent in granting the motion to amend. Although all of the factual
allegations in the filed amended complaint were not included in the proposed amended
complaint, this is of little consequence as the Court only granted the motion to amend in part,
thereby requiring changes to the proposed amended complaint, and ordered the plaintiff to file a
new second amended complaint consistent with the order. Notably the Court did not order
plaintiff to merely file the proposed amended complaint minus the dismissed parties and claims.
Further, plaintiff did not abuse the permission of the Court by adding additional claims which
clearly would have been outside the scope of the Court's intent.
In short, the Court finds no good cause to strike the second amended complaint [DE 59]
and denies Chase's motion to strike.
For the foregoing reasons, defendant Chase's motion to strike is DENIED.
_a}_ day of October, 2014.
ERRENCE W. BOYLE
UNITED STATES DISTRI
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?