Edwards v. JPMorgan Chase Bank National Association et al

Filing 24

ORDER signed by Judge Benjamin H. Settle granting 21 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim.(TG)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT TACOMA 5 6 SUE ANN EDWARDS, CASE NO. C17-5770 BHS 7 Plaintiff, 8 9 v. ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS QUALITY LOAN SERVICE CORP. WASHINGTON, 10 Defendant. 11 12 This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Quality Loan Service Corp. 13 Washington’s (“Quality”) motion to dismiss (Dkt. 21). The Court has considered the 14 pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file 15 and hereby grants the motion for the reasons stated herein. 16 17 I. PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND On September 14, 2017, Plaintiff Sue Ann Edwards (“Edwards”) filed a complaint 18 against JPMorgan Chase Bank National Association’s (“Chase”) and Quality asserting 19 claims for fraud, misrepresentation and concealment, and that her deed of trust is void ab 20 initio. Dkt. 1. 21 On September 27, 2017, Chase removed the matter to this Court. Dkt. 1. 22 ORDER - 1 1 On October 12, 2017, Chase filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Edwards’s 2 claims are barred by res judicata or collateral estoppel based on her previous actions in 3 this court. Dkt. 9 at 12 (citing Edwards v. JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, No. C10- 4 5839BHS (W.D. Wash)). On October 13, 2017, Quality filed a joinder in Chase’s motion 5 fully adopting Chase’s arguments. Dkt. 10. On December 14, 2017, the Court granted 6 Chase’s motion on the basis of res judicata. Dkt. 15. The Court denied Quality’s motion 7 on the issue of res judicata because it was not a party to the previous suit, but the Court 8 granted Quality’s motion in part because Edwards failed to sufficiently state a claim for 9 relief, and granted Edwards leave to amend. Id. 10 On January 10, 2018, Edwards filed an amended complaint asserting one claim of 11 fraud. Dkt. 18. On February 8, 2018, Quality filed a motion to dismiss. Dkt. 21. On 12 February 19, 2018, Edwards responded. Dkt. 22. On March 9, 2018, Quality replied. 13 Dkt. 23. 14 15 II. DISCUSSION Motions to dismiss brought under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil 16 Procedure may be based on either the lack of a cognizable legal theory or the absence of 17 sufficient facts alleged under such a theory. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Department, 18 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). Material allegations are taken as admitted and the 19 complaint is construed in the plaintiff’s favor. Keniston v. Roberts, 717 F.2d 1295, 1301 20 (9th Cir. 1983). To survive a motion to dismiss, the complaint does not require detailed 21 factual allegations but must provide the grounds for entitlement to relief and not merely a 22 “formulaic recitation” of the elements of a cause of action. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. ORDER - 2 1 Twombly, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1965 (2007). Plaintiffs must allege “enough facts to state a 2 claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 1974. 3 In this case, Quality moves to dismiss Edwards’s fraud claim because it is time- 4 barred and for failure to allege sufficient facts to state a claim against Quality. The Court 5 agrees with Quality on both issues. First, Edwards alleges that her original loan was 6 obtained by fraud in 2006. Dkt. 18. The statute of limitations for fraud is three years. 7 RCW 4.16.080(4). Edwards’s claim is time-barred because she filed this suit in 2017, 8 which is more than three years after the alleged fraud. Edwards, however, argues that the 9 statute of limitations “does not invalidate a claim.” Dkt. 22 at 2 (citing Walcker v. 10 Benson & McLaughlin, P.S., 79 Wn. App. 739, 743 (1995)). While Edwards is 11 technically correct, the very next phrase in Walcker provides that, instead of invalidating 12 a claim, the statute of limitations merely “deprives a plaintiff of the opportunity to invoke 13 the power of the courts in support of an otherwise valid claim.” Id. (quoting Stenberg v. 14 Pacific Power & Light Co., 104 Wash.2d 710, 714 (1985)). Therefore, Edwards’s claim 15 is not invalidated, but the Court has no power to consider it because the claim is time- 16 barred. 17 Second, Quality argues that Edwards fails to allege sufficient facts against Quality 18 to state a claim. Quality is correct because Edwards’s allegations involve third parties 19 that have no relation to Quality. In fact, Quality was not involved in the loan initiation 20 process, and only became associated with this matter in March 2017 when foreclosure 21 proceedings began. Therefore, the Court grants Quality’s motion on this issue as well. 22 ORDER - 3 1 Finally, Quality requests that the Court deny Edwards a second opportunity to 2 amend her complaint. Dkt. 21 at 6. Edwards failed to respond to this portion of 3 Quality’s motion, which the Court considers as an admission that the argument has merit. 4 LCR 7(b)(2). Moreover, Quality asserts that the foreclosure proceeding has been 5 discontinued and any cause of action against it would be futile. Under these 6 circumstances, the Court finds that leave to amend would be futile and denies Edwards 7 leave to amend. Roth v. Garcia Marquez, 942 F.2d 617, 628 (9th Cir. 1991). 8 9 10 III. ORDER Therefore, it is hereby ORDERED that Quality’s motion to dismiss (Dkt. 21) is GRANTED. 11 The Clerk shall enter a JUDGMENT and close the case. 12 Dated this 10th day of April, 2018. A 13 14 BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 ORDER - 4

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