Eaton v. Chase Home Finance LLC
ORDER GRANTING 9 Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. The plaintiff's claims are hereby dismissed with prejudice. Signed by US District Judge Terrence W. Boyle on 7/28/2014. Copy mailed to pro se plaintiff via US Mail. (Fisher, M.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
CHASE HOME FINANCE LLC,
This matter is before the Court on defendant Chase Home Finance LLC's 1 ("Chase")
motion to dismiss pursuant to FED. R. Crv. P. 12(b)(6). [DE 9]. The motion is ripe for
adjudication. For the reasons stated herein, the motion is GRANTED.
Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed this action against Chase on May 19, 2014. Plaintiff
alleges, in a single paragraph, that his house was foreclosed on in 2010, that he was promised a
loan modification, but was denied, and that in 2012, the United States Department of Agriculture
started garnishing his wages which forced him to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Based on these
allegations, plaintiff seeks $350,000 from Chase in punitive and compensatory damages.
A Rule 12(b)( 6) motion challenges the legal sufficiency of a plaintiffs complaint.
Francis v. Giacomelli, 588 F.3d 186, 192 (4th Cir. 2009). When ruling on the motion, the court
"must accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint." Erickson v.
On May 1, 2011, Chase Home Finance LLC merged with and into JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., with JPMorgan
Chase Bank, N.A. as the surviving entity. See Gardocki v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., 538 Fed. App'x 459, 460
(5th Cir. 20 13).
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56
(2007)). Although complete and detailed factual allegations are not required, "a plaintiffs
obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his 'entitle[ment] to relief requires more than labels and
conclusions." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citations omitted). "Threadbare recitals of the elements
of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). Similarly, a court need not accept
as true a plaintiffs "unwarranted inferences, unreasonable conclusions, or arguments." Eastern
Shore Mkts. v. JD. Assocs. Ltd., 213 F.3d 175, 180 (4th Cir. 2000). A trial court is "not bound to
accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
"A document filed pro se is to be liberally construed and a pro se complaint, however
inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers." Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94 (quotations omitted). However, the Court is not required to
accept without question a prose plaintiffs contentions as true, Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S.
25, 32 (1992), and the Court cannot ignore a clear failure to allege facts setting forth a
cognizable claim. See Weller v. Dep't ofSoc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990).
Here, defendant raises the issue of the statute of limitations period and argues that
plaintiffs claim is time barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Whether plaintiffs claim
for relief sounds in contract or negligence, the statute of limitations period is the same. North
Carolina law establishes a three-year limitations period for a breach of contract claim. N.C. Gen.
Stat. § 1-52(1). North Carolina law also establishes a three-year limitations period for claims of
negligence. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-52(5). Both claims accrue when the contract is breached or when
the negligent act is committed even though damages at the time be nominal and injuries cannot
be discovered until a later date. Harold v. Dowd, 561 S.E.2d 914, 918 (N.C. App. 2002).
Although plaintiff asserts that a "discovery of harm rule" should apply in this instance that is
clearly not the case.
Here, plaintiff filed the instant action on April 14, 2014. Plaintiff affirmatively pleads that
the wrongful foreclosure occurred in 2010 and a review of the Wake County Registry confirms
that plaintiffs real property was sold under the power of sale in the deed of trust and that the
Substitute Trustee's Deed was recorded on August 2, 2010. [DE 10-1]. Plaintiff has alleged no
fact that can plausibly establish that Chase breached an agreement or violated a duty towards
plaintiff within three years of the filing of this action. Therefore plaintiffs action is time barred
under North Carolina law and must be dismissed with prejudice.
For the foregoing reasons, the motion to dismiss [DE 9] is GRANTED. Plaintiffs claims
are hereby DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The Clerk is directed to enter judgment
accordingly and to close the file.
This the~ day of July, 2014.
NCE w. BOYLE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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