United States District Court, E.D. Washington
RICHARD N. BATSON, BEVERLY J. JONES-BATSON, Plaintiffs,
DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST AMERICAS, INDEPENDENT TRUSTEE FOR SASTA 2005-3 MORTGAGE BACKED ASSETS 2005-3, MORGAN STANLEY FINANCIAL, OCWEN MORTGAGE SERVICES, NORTH CASCADE TRUSTEE SERVICES, DOES 1-10, ALL OTHERS WITH SECURED INTEREST, Defendants.
ORDER DENYING PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND PARTIALLY
GRANTING MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT
Stanley A. Bastian, United States District Judge.
the Court are Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary
Injunction, ECF No. 149, and Defendant's Motion
to Amend the Complaint, ECF No. 97. Plaintiffs Richard Batson
and Beverly Jones-Batson appear pro se, and Defendants Ocwen
Mortgage Services and Deutsche Bank Trust Americas,
Independent Trustee (Defendants) are represented by Robert
Norman and Cara Christensen. The motions were heard without
reasons below, the Court grants in part and denies in
part the motion to amend the complaint, and
denies the motion for a preliminary
injunction. The Court dissolves the
temporary restraining order in effect and
lifts the stay in this case.
complaint alleging causes of action for violations of the
Real Estate Procedures Act (“RESPA”) and various
claims under the Washington Consumer Protection Act
(“CPA”) survives, and the Court orders that a
scheduling conference be held to set a case schedule.
April 16, 2005, Beverly J. Jones-Batson and Richard N. Batson
entered an agreement to purchase the property contested in
the instant action, 12910 East Sinto Avenue, Spokane Valley
Washington 99216. The Plaintiffs executed a promissory note
to finance the home purchase, and the deed of trust was
executed on July 3, 2005. The Plaintiffs received their first
payment statement in late July 2005. The amount due differed
“with no explanation, [from the] amount previously
outlined.” ECF No. 1-3 at 32:18-19. The Plaintiffs then
engaged in a five year effort, from July 2005 to October
2010, to “correct, clear up, and eventually end
association” with Saxon Mortgage, the original lender.
Id. at 32:22-23. Once Saxon Mortgage transferred the
deed, the Batsons attempted to similarly contest the terms of
their loan with Ocwen, from March 2011 to October 2013. In
2009, the Batsons defaulted on their loan payments.
Batsons unsuccessfully attempted to secure information about
their loan from Saxon Mortgage, Ocwen, and Deutsche Bank from
March 2011 through July 2013. After sending a demand letter
in July 2014, the Batsons did not receive word from the
Defendants until January 2015, when Ocwen began sending
letters “claiming debt and attempting debt collection
by way of invoices for reinstated loan, required insurance
and threats of foreclosure.” Id. at 33:13-16.
A Notice of Trustee Sale was posted on the property on March
28, 2015, which was filed on June 1, 2015 with the Spokane
Plaintiffs' filed a complaint on June 26, 2015 in Spokane
County Superior Court. ECF No. 1-3. The complaint stated
causes of action for Wrongful Foreclosure, Intent to Defraud,
Wrongful Claim to Debt Secured by Deed, Violation of Consumer
Rights, and Violation of Plaintiffs' Civil Rights. The
case was removed to this Court's jurisdiction on July 24,
2015, and Plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction on
August 21, 2015, to halt the trustee's sale.
Court dismissed Defendant Morgan Stanley with prejudice and
dismissed Plaintiffs' claims for various federal
statutory violations, Wrongful Foreclosure, Fraud, and civil
rights claims. ECF No. 57. A Real Estate Settlement
Procedures Act claim survived. The Court also denied a motion
for an injunction, finding Plaintiffs unlikely to prevail on
any claim that could halt the foreclosure.
filed a second action in state court, which was promptly
removed to this Court. The Court dismissed this second case
with prejudice on March 22, 2016, on grounds of claim
proceeded to file a motion to stay and a motion for a
temporary restraining order (“TRO”), which the
Court denied. On April 14, 2016, a trial was set for April
proceeded with the trustee's sale on July 22, 2016, and
the property reverted to the trust. In face of the sale of
their house, Plaintiffs then filed another motion for a
preliminary injunction on August 1, 2016, attesting they
would be evicted in days. The Court construed the motion as
one for a TRO, and granted the motion. ECF No. 81.
motion hearing was held on Dec. 16, 2016, where argument was
heard on the injunction and a motion to strike. The Court
concluded it would take the matters under advisement. On Jan.
10, 2017, the Court entered an order staying the case and
consideration of the motions until the question of pro bono
counsel could be answered. No pro bono counsel was appointed,
because there were no volunteers. A lawyer from Seattle
volunteered to meet with and provide advice to the Batsons,
and his involvement has been very helpful to the Court.
delays, scheduling conflicts and untimely filings lead to the
postponement of the consideration of these motions. After
in-person conferences were held in June 2017, the Court gave
all parties a final opportunity to file briefing, and stated