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