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Lake v. MTC Financial, Inc.

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

March 3, 2017

WAYNE R. LAKE, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
MTC FINANCIAL, INC., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING MOTION TO STRIKE

          JAMES L. ROBART United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the court is Plaintiffs Wayne R. Lake and Cynthia A. Lake's (collectively “the Lakes”) “motion to strike” Defendant's appearance and motion to dismiss. (Mot. (Dkt. # 13).) Defendant Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas as Trustee for the Certificate Holders of Dover Mortgage Holder Capital 2005-A Corporation Grantor Trust Certificate, Series 2005-A (hereinafter “Deutsche Bank”) opposes the Lakes' motion. (Resp. (Dkt. # 14).) The court has considered the motion, the submissions filed in support thereof and opposition thereto, the relevant portions of the record, and the applicable law. Being fully advised, [1] the court DENIES the Lakes' motion to strike.

         II. BACKGROUND

         This case arises out of a planned foreclosure of the Lakes' home. (Compl. (Dkt. # 1) at 2.) On October 11, 2002, the Lakes signed a deed of trust for $145, 000.00, which was recorded against the Lakes' residence in Lake Forest Park, Washington. (Id.)

         On September 20, 2016, the Lakes filed a complaint in which they allege, in part, that Deutsche Bank violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., and breached a contract with the Lakes. (Id. at 7, 13, 15.) On October 12, 2016, Daniel Gibbons and Steven Dixson filed a notice of appearance as lead attorneys on behalf of Deutsche Bank. (Not. of App. (Dkt. # 7) at 1-2.) On November 14, 2016, Deutsche Bank filed a motion to dismiss the Lakes' complaint against Deutsche Bank. (MTD (Dkt. # 8).) The Lakes did not respond to the motion to dismiss (see generally Dkt.), and on December 19, 2016, Deutsche Bank filed a reply memorandum in support of its motion (Reply (Dkt. # 12)).

         On January 10, 2017, after Deutsche Bank filed its reply, the Lakes moved to strike the appearance of Mr. Gibbons and Deutsche Bank's motion to dismiss. (See Mot.) The Lakes contend that Deutsche Bank does not exist and thus cannot move to dismiss. (Mot. at 1-2.) On January 23, 2017, Deutsche Bank responded to the Lakes' motion. (Resp.) The Lakes did not file a reply memorandum. (See generally Dkt.)

         III. ANALYSIS

         Although not a model of clarity, the Lakes' motion to strike appears to argue that the Office of the Washington Secretary of State confirms that Deutsche Bank does not exist. (Mot. at 1.) In support of their motion, the Lakes attach a memorandum from the Office of the Washington Secretary of State: Corporations and Charities Division. (Id. at 3.)[2] In relevant part, the memorandum states that “Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas is not registered with [the Washington Secretary of State's] office.” (Id.) The Lakes also contend that there are “no records anywhere, within any known system of records . . . establishing that [Deutsche Bank] exists.” (Id. at 1.) Further, based on the argument that Deutsche Bank does not exist, the Lakes contend that Mr. Gibbons' appearance in this suit is “false and deceptive” and that he was “not retained or requested” by Deutsche Bank. (Id. at 1-2.) Finally, the Lakes state that Deutsche Bank is “not a national association and not permitted to appear in this forum under any rule.” (Id. at 2.) The Lakes cite no legal authority to support their contentions. (See generally Mot.)

         Deutsche Bank responds that it is a named defendant in this lawsuit. (Resp. at 2.) Because the Lakes brought claims against it, Deutsche Back argues that it has the right to respond to the claims. (Id.) Further, Deutsche Bank notes that if the Lakes' motion was accepted by the court, the appropriate remedy would be for the court to dismiss the charges against Deutsche Bank. (Id.) Nevertheless, Deutsche Bank argues that the court has personal jurisdiction over it and that it has the capacity to be sued. (Id. at 2-4.)

         A. Personal Jurisdiction

         At its core, personal jurisdiction represents the right of a court to exercise judicial power over a party. Dow Chem. Co. v. Calderon, 422 F.3d 827, 831 (9th Cir. 2005). In order to adjudicate a suit, a court must have personal jurisdiction over the defendants. Id. The court's adherence to the limitations of personal jurisdiction ensures that “the maintenance of the suit . . . [does] not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.'” Ranza v. Nike, Inc., 793 F.3d 1059, 1068 (9th Cir. 2015), cert. denied, 136 S.Ct. 915, 193 L.Ed.2d 793 (2016) (quoting Int'l Shoe v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945)). There are a variety of ways a court can establish personal jurisdiction over a party, and the defendant's consent is the most relevant to the motion at hand. Dow Chem., 422 F.3d at 831. “[B]ecause the personal jurisdiction requirement is a waivable right, ” the litigant can give “express or implied consent to the personal jurisdiction of the court.” Id. (quoting Ireland v. Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee, 456 U.S. 694, 703 (1982)).

         Here, by filing a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b) motion (see MTD) and not raising a defense under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), Deutsche Bank has waived the right to object to personal jurisdiction. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(g), (h). Further, Deutsche Bank has affirmatively acknowledged that it does not object to the court's exercise of personal jurisdiction over it. (Resp. at 3.) Thus, the court has personal jurisdiction over Deutsche Bank.

         B. ...


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