United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE
B. Leighton United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant Chase Bank's
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [Dkt. #15]. The case
involves a residential loan, evidenced by a promissory note
and secured by a deed of trust on the home. The Imais sued a
variety of lenders and servicers connected with their loan,
claiming primarily that payments they made to reinstate their
in-arears loan were not properly credited, leading to a
default and an apparently pending foreclosure. They seek to
enjoin the foreclosure and damages for violations of
Washington's Consumer Protection Act.
seeks judgment on the pleadings on the two claims apparently
asserted against it. First, it seeks dismissal of the
Imais' injunction claim, arguing that it assigned its
interest in the loan in 2013, prior to the reinstatement
payment dispute, and prior to the pending foreclosure.
Chase argues that the only other claim the Imais assert
against it-a CPA claim for failure to give them the required
15 days' notice of the transfer of Chase's interest
in servicing their loan-is undermined by the Imais' own
allegations and evidence, demonstrating conclusively that the
required notice was timely given.
Judgment on the Pleadings Standard.
under Rule 12(b)(6) may be based on either the lack of a
cognizable legal theory or the absence of sufficient facts
alleged under a cognizable legal theory. Balistreri v.
Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir.
1990). A plaintiff's complaint must allege facts to state
a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. See
Aschcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). A claim
has “facial plausibility” when the party seeking
relief “pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. Although the
Court must accept as true the Complaint's well-pled
facts, conclusory allegations of law and unwarranted
inferences will not defeat a Rule 12(c) motion. Vazquez
v. L. A. County, 487 F.3d 1246, 1249 (9th Cir. 2007);
Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988
(9th Cir. 2001). “[A] plaintiff's obligation to
provide the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment]
to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and
a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(citations and footnotes omitted). This requires a plaintiff
to plead “more than an unadorned,
Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 (citing Twombly).
Iqbal establishes the standard for deciding a Rule
12(b)(6) motion, Rule 12(c) is “functionally
identical” to Rule 12(b)(6) and that “the same
standard of review” applies to motions brought under
either rule. Cafasso, U.S. ex rel. v. General Dynamics C4
Systems, Inc., 647 F.3d 1047 (9th Cir. 2011), citing
Dworkin v. Hustler Magazine Inc., 867 F.2d 1188, 1192
(9th Cir.1989); see also Gentilello v. Rege, 627
F.3d 540, 544 (5th Cir. 2010) (applying Iqbal to a
Rule 12(c) motion).
12(b)(6) motion, “a district court should grant leave
to amend even if no request to amend the pleading was made,
unless it determines that the pleading could not possibly be
cured by the allegation of other facts.” Cook,
Perkiss & Liehe v. N. Cal. Collection Serv., 911
F.2d 242, 247 (9th Cir. 1990). However, where the facts are
not in dispute, and the sole issue is whether there is
liability as a matter of substantive law, the court may deny
leave to amend. Albrecht v. Lund, 845 F.2d 193,
195-96 (9th Cir. 1988).
has argued persuasively that they are not subject to an
injunction because they are not foreclosing on the loan. The
Imais' Response does not address their injunction claim.
The Motion to for Judgment on the Pleadings as to the
plaintiffs' injunction claim against Chase is GRANTED.
pled, the Imais' CPA claim broadly alleges that
“all defendants” misrepresented the ownership of
their promissory note, and how their payments were applied.
They claim that all defendants “colluded to give the
false impression that they complied with the Deed of Trust
Act, ” and falsely claimed the Imais owe money that
they do not. Their complaint does not specifically allege
that Chase did anything else to violate the CPA.
Response to the Motion, the Imais repeat these general
allegations, and argue that part of the reason the subsequent
lenders/servicers did not properly credit their payment(s)
was because Chase failed to give them timely notice that
their loan servicing was being transferred. They claim they
did not get the required “15 days minimum notice”
of the transfer. 12 U.S.C. §2605(b)(2).
demonstrates that the Imais have repeatedly conceded that
they were notified on October 31, 2013, that the loan
servicing would be transferred, and that the transfer became
effective more than 15 days later, on November 16, 2013. To
the extent the Imais' CPA claim is based on this alleged
failure to give timely notice of the ...