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Bly v. Field Asset Services

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

June 2, 2014

TERRY BLY, Plaintiff,
v.
FIELD ASSET SERVICES, et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

JAMES L. ROBART, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Before the court is Defendants Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC ("Ocwen") and Deutsche Bank Trust Company's ("Deutsche Bank") motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Mot. (Dkt. #18).) The court has considered the motion, the parties' submissions filed in support of and opposition thereto, the balance of the record, and the applicable law. Considering itself fully advised, the court GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Defendants' motion to dismiss.

II. BACKGROUND

This a dispute over an obligation secured by a deed of trust. On or about August 15, 2000, Plaintiff Terry Bly purchased the property located at 17327 114th Place Northeast, Granite Falls, Washington 98252. (Am. Compl. (Dkt. #5) ¶¶ 3, 8.) Mr. Bly claims this property has been his primary place of residence since he purchased it. ( Id. ¶ 8.) At the same time he purchased the property, Mr. Bly executed and delivered a promissory note to Saxon Mortgage ("Saxon") for $75, 000. ( See Jud. Not. (Dkt #19) Ex. 1 at 6.) To secure the note, Mr. Bly granted a deed of trust to Fidelity National Title ("Fidelity"), as trustee. (Jud. Not. Ex. 2 at 9.) Fidelity assigned the deed of trust to Bankers Trust Company, now Deutsche Bank. (Jud. Not. Ex. 3 at 22; Am. Compl. ¶ 3.) Presently, Deutsche Bank holds the deed of trust. (Am. Compl. ¶ 3.) The current servicer of the deed of trust is Ocwen. ( Id. ¶ 17.)

Mr. Bly has not made a payment on the note since 2001. ( Id. ¶ 16.) Mr. Bly claims that Defendants took steps to enforce the obligation. ( See id. ¶¶ 9-12, 14-16, 21-23.) Defendants recorded two notices of trustee's sale: the first on February 5, 2001, and the second on January 21, 2002. (Resp. (Dkt. #24) Ex. 1 at 1; Resp. Ex. 2 at 4.) On February 8, 2005, Deutsche Bank (Banker's Trust at the time) filed a complaint in Snohomish County Superior Court requesting that the court grant Deutsche Bank the ability to foreclose on Mr. Bly's property. (Am. Compl. ¶ 12; Resp. Ex. 3.) The state court never entered judgment in favor of Deutsche Bank, and the case was dismissed in July, 2009. (Am. Compl. ¶ 12.)

After the superior court dismissed the foreclosure action, Defendants allegedly took steps to lock Mr. Bly out of his home. ( See id. ¶ 26.) Mr. Bly claims that Field Asset Services ("Field Asset") removed all of his personal belongings and changed the locks. ( Id. ) According to Mr. Bly, his attorney attempted to contact Field Asset twice regarding the incident. On both occasions, Field Asset was unresponsive and denied any knowledge or record of the incident. ( Id. ¶¶ 28-30.) Mr. Bly also claims that on October 22, 2013, Field Asset placed a notice on his property indicating that the property was vacant. ( Id . ¶ 21.) The notice indicated that the property was inspected by Field Asset and that Field Asset should be contacted directly with any problems. ( Id. ¶ 22.) In addition, there was another notice on the inside of Mr. Bly's door indicating that the house had been winterized. ( Id. ¶ 23.) Mr. Bly claims that the actions of Field Asset are attributable to Deutsche Bank and Ocwen under an agency theory. ( Id. ¶ 31.)

Subsequently, Mr. Bly filed this suit in Snohomish County Superior Court seeking to quiet title and asserting various tort claims and a violation of the Consumer Protection Act ("CPA"), RCW 19.86. ( See Not. (Dkt. #1).) Defendants removed the suit to this court. ( See id. ) Defendants now bring a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). ( See Mot.)

III. ANALYSIS

A. Standard For Dismissal Under Rule 12(b)(6)

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 sets the general requirements for pleadings. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 8. Rule 8 requires that the plaintiff include three things in his or her complaint: (1) a statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction; (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and (3) a prayer for relief. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss under Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), a complaint must contain factual matter sufficient to support a facially plausible claim to relief. Shroyer v. New Cingular Wireless Servs., Inc., 622 F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662). A claim for relief is plausible on its face when "the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). Although this standard is not a probability requirement, it requires the plaintiff to do more than present facts tending to show that the defendant might be liable. Id. A complaint crosses the threshold from conceivable to plausible when it contains factual matter alleged with sufficient specificity to raise entitlement to relief above the speculative level. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Otherwise stated, "the pleading standard Rule 8 announces does not require detailed factual allegations, but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal quotations and citations omitted).

"Apart from factual sufficiency, a complaint is also subject to dismissal [under Rule 12(b)(6)] where it lacks a cognizable legal theory, or where the allegations on their face show that relief is barred for some legal reason." Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). When considering a party's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the court construes all facts in the light most favorable to non-moving party. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. However, the court is not bound to accept as true labels, conclusions, formulaic recitations of the elements, or legal conclusions couched as factual allegations. Id.

When ruling on a motion to dismiss, a court may consider the complaint, documents attached to the complaint, documents incorporated by reference in the complaint, and matters of judicial notice. United States v. Ritchie, 342 F.3d 903, 907-08 (9th Cir. 2003). "Even if a document is not attached to a complaint, it may be incorporated by reference into a complaint if the plaintiff refers extensively to the document or the document forms the basis of the plaintiff's claim." Id. at 908. Further, the "defendant may offer such a document, and the district court ...


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