Sauceda v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
ORDER GRANTING 2 Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. Signed by Judge David Ezra. (rg)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
SAN ANTONIO DIVISION
ROBERT G. SAUCEDA,
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.,
CV. NO. SA-12-CV-01094-DAE
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS
Before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss brought by Defendant Wells
Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Defendant”). (Doc. # 2.) After careful consideration, the
Court GRANTS Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss.
On or about August 31, 2004, Plaintiff Robert Sauceda (“Plaintiff”)
entered into a loan transaction which was secured by a mortgage encumbering real
property located at 9910 Shady Meadows, San Antonio, Texas 78245 (the “Subject
Property”). (“Mot.,” Doc. # 2 ¶ 2.) The Deed of Trust was recorded the Official
Public Records of Bexar County. (Id.)
On November 5, 2012, Plaintiff filed suit in Texas state court seeking
equitable relief in the form of an accounting and an injunction preventing the
foreclosure sale of the Subject Property scheduled for November 6, 2012. (Doc. #1
Ex. C.) Plaintiff obtained an ex parte temporary restraining order preventing
Defendant from “posting or selling Plaintiff’s homestead at auction.” (Id.)
On November 19, 2012, Defendant removed the instant case to federal
court. (Doc. # 1.) On November 28, 2012, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss.
(Doc. # 2.) Plaintiff did not file any Response in Opposition.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule 12(b)(6) authorizes dismissal of a complaint for “failure to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Review is limited to the contents of the
complaint and matters properly subject to judicial notice. See Tellabs, Inc. v.
Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007). In analyzing a motion to
dismiss for failure to state a claim, “[t]he court accepts ‘all well-pleaded facts as
true, viewing them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.’” In re Katrina
Canal Breaches Litig., 495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th Cir. 2007) (quoting Martin K. Eby
Constr. Co. v. Dallas Area Rapid Transit, 369 F.3d 464, 467 (5th Cir. 2004)). To
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must plead “enough facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
A complaint need not include detailed facts to survive a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss. See Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555–56 (2007). In providing
grounds for relief, however, a plaintiff must do more than recite the formulaic
elements of a cause of action. See id. at 556–57. “The tenet that a court must
accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal
conclusions,” and courts “are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion
couched as a factual allegation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal quotations and
citations omitted). Thus, although all reasonable inferences will be resolved in
favor of the plaintiff, the plaintiff must plead “specific facts, not mere conclusory
allegations.” Tuchman v. DSC Commc’ns Corp., 14 F.3d 1061, 1067 (5th Cir.
1994); see also Plotkin v. IP Axess Inc., 407 F.3d 690, 696 (5th Cir. 2005) (“We
do not accept as true conclusory allegations, unwarranted factual inferences, or
When a complaint fails to adequately state a claim, such deficiency
should be “exposed at the point of minimum expenditure of time and money by the
parties and the court.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 558 (citation omitted). However, the
plaintiff should generally be given at least one chance to amend the complaint
under Rule 15(a) before dismissing the action with prejudice. Great Plains Trust
Co. v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., 313 F.3d 305, 329 (5th Cir. 2002).
In his pleading, Plaintiff seeks “a complete accounting of the sums
paid and a reasonable opportunity to satisfy or reinstate Plaintiff’s mortgage note
owing to Defendant.” (Mot. Ex. C ¶ 8.) In support of this request, he alleges that
Defendant acted in bad faith by “failing to negotiate fairly and justly toward fixing
the extent of and curing any default [on the mortgage].” (Id. ¶ 6.)
“An action for accounting may be a suit in equity, or it may be a
particular remedy sought in conjunction with another cause of action.” Michael v.
Dyke, 41 S.W.3d 746, 754 (Tex. App. 2001). To be entitled to an accounting, a
plaintiff usually must have a contractual or fiduciary relationship with the party
from which the plaintiff seeks the accounting. T.F.W. Mgmt., Inc. v. Westwood
Shores Prop. Owners Ass’n, 79 S.W.3d 712, 717 (Tex. App. 2002). An action for
an accounting is a proper action “when the facts and accounts in issue are so
complex that adequate relief cannot be obtained by law.” Hutchings v. Chevron
U.S.A., 862 S.W. 2d 752, 762 (Tex. App. 1993) (citing Richardson v. First Nat’l
Life Ins. Co., 419 S.W.2d 836, 838 (Tex. 1967)). Granting an accounting is within
the discretion of the trial court. Sw. Livestock & Trucking Co. v. Dooley, 884
S.W.2d 805, 809 (Tex. App. 1994).
In the instant case, Plaintiff has not argued that the facts surrounding
his mortgage payments “are so complex that adequate relief cannot be obtained by
law.” Thus, to the extent that Plaintiff seeks to pursue a stand-alone equitable
action for an accounting, he has not plead sufficient facts to warrant such an action.
Additionally, to the extent Plaintiff appears to argue that an
accounting might serve as a remedy for some type of “bad faith” claim, his action
for an accounting fails because he fails to state a claim for bad faith. The Texas
Supreme Court has expressly refused to impose an obligation of good faith and fair
dealing on the performance of contracts absent a “special relationship marked by
shared trust or an imbalance in bargaining power.” See Arnold v. Nat’l Cnty. Mut.
Fire Ins. Co., 725 S.W.2d 165, 167 (Tex. 1987); see also City of Midland v.
O’Bryant, 18 S.W.3d 209, 215 (Tex. 2000). Moreover, “[t]he relationship of
mortgagor and mortgagee ordinarily does not involve a duty of good faith.” FDIC
v. Coleman, 795 S.W.2d 706, 708–09 (Tex. 1990) (citing English v. Fischer, 660
S.W.2d 521, 522 (Tex. 1983)). In the instant case, Plaintiff does not even plead a
formal cause of action for the tort of bad faith, let alone allege some kind of
“special relationship” with Defendant that would give rise to a bad faith claim
under Texas law. As such, Plaintiff has failed to state a claim for bad faith, and the
remedy of an action for accounting must therefore also fail.
For the reasons stated above, the Court GRANTS Defendant’s
Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. # 2.)
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: San Antonio, Texas, February 25, 2013.
David Alan Ezra
Senior 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?