United States District Court, E.D. Washington
RICHARD N. BATSON and BEVERLY J. JONES-BATSON, Plaintiffs,
DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST AMERICAS, INDENTURED TRUSTEE FOR SASTA 2005-3 MORTGAGE BACKED ASSETS 2005-3, OCWEN LOAN SERVICING LLC, Defendants.
ORDER DISMISSING CASE
Stanley A. Bastian United States District Judge
the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for
Plaintiffs' Failure to File an Amended Complaint Pursuant
to Two Court Orders, ECF No. 178. The motion was heard
without oral argument. Defendants request the Court exercise
its discretion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b),
and dismiss this action for Plaintiffs' failure to comply
with two court orders. For the following reasons, the Court
grants Defendants' motion and dismisses this case.
23, 2015, Plaintiffs filed a Complaint in the Spokane County
Superior Court in an attempt to stop the non-judicial
foreclosure on the real property located at 12910 E. Sinto
Avenue, Spokane Valley, Washington 99216 (the
“Property”). 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. ECF No. 1. The
action was removed to the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Washington on July 24, 2015.
August 4, 2015, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss for
failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
On August 21, 2015, Plaintiffs filed a “Petition for
Temporary Restraining Order” to halt the Trustee Sale
of the Property scheduled for October 2, 2015. The Court
construed Plaintiffs' pleading as a motion for a
preliminary injunction. ECF No. 20.
November 6, 2015, the Court issued an Order granting in part
and denying in part Defendants' motion to dismiss (the
“November 2015 Order”). ECF No. 57. The Court
dismissed all but Plaintiffs' Real Estate Settlement
Procedures Act (“RESPA”) claim, and only for
alleged violations occurring after June 23, 2012. The Court
directed Plaintiffs to file an amended complaint no later
than thirty days from the publication of the November 2015
Order. Plaintiffs failed to file an amended complaint as
Court also denied Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary
injunction, ECF No. 56. The Court found Plaintiffs' had
not demonstrated a strong likelihood of success on the merits
of their claims.
of filing an amended complaint, Plaintiffs filed a second
action in state court, which was promptly removed to this
Court. No. 2:15-cv-00329-SAB. On March 22, 2016, the Court
dismissed No. 2:15-cv-00329-SAB on claim preclusion grounds.
Then, Plaintiffs filed a motion to stay proceedings, which
the Court denied on April 25, 2016. ECF No. 71.
proceeded with a Trustee Sale of the Property on July 22,
2016, and the Property reverted to the trust. Plaintiffs,
facing eviction, filed a motion for a preliminary injunction
on August 1, 2016. The Court construed the motion as one for
a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”), and
granted the motion to prevent Plaintiffs' imminent
homelessness. ECF No. 81.
Court's suggestion, the parties participated in a
settlement conference conducted by the Chief Bankruptcy Judge
of this District. Unfortunately, the case did not settle. The
Court then located a volunteer attorney from the federal bar
association who agreed to meet with and provide advice to
Plaintiffs regarding this case. The TRO remained in place
while these efforts were made, to which Defendants did not
a year after the Court's November 2015 Order, Plaintiffs
filed a motion to amend their complaint. ECF No. 97.
Plaintiff submitted a proposed amended complaint, ECF No.
125, and later a revised proposed first amended complaint.
ECF No. 149. On August 30, 2017, the Court granted in part
and denied in part Plaintiffs' motion to amend (the
“August 2017 Order”). ECF No. 170.
Court did not accept Plaintiffs' proposed first amended
complaint as drafted because many of the proposed claims had
previously been dismissed, or failed as a matter of law.
Instead, the Court stated “[a] complaint alleging
claims in accordance with the Order may be filed.” The
August 2017 Order provided Plaintiffs with a framework to
file an amended complaint alleging the following: (1) any
claims for alleged RESPA violations occurring after June 23,
2012 (the earliest possible date for RESPA claims to survive
the statute of limitations); (2) any Consumer Protection Act
(“CPA”) claims predicated on RESPA violations;
and (3) an unaddressed CPA claim for attempting to collect on
a stale debt within the statute of limitations. Plaintiffs
failed to file an amended complaint in accordance with the
Court's August 2017 Order.
two months later, the Court held a telephonic status
conference in order to set discovery and dispositive motion
deadlines. Discovery in this matter was to be completed by
January 31, 2018, and any dispositive motion were to be filed
no later than March 15, 2018. In an attempt to comply with
the deadlines set by the Court, Defendants served written
discovery upon Plaintiffs and inquired about deposition
dates. Plaintiffs did not respond to those inquiries.
January 31, 2018, Defendants filed the instant motion
requesting the Court dismiss this action because Plaintiffs
failed to file an amended complaint as directed by two of the
Court's Orders. ECF No. 178. Thirty-six days later,