and Submitted June 5, 2018
from the United States District Court for the Western
District of Washington No. 3:16-cv-05339-RJB Robert J. Bryan,
Senior District Judge, Presiding
J. Riddell (argued), Law Office of Sean J. Riddell, Portland,
Oregon, for Plaintiff-Appellant.
Matthew Sheldon (argued) and Jaime Ann Santos, Goodwin
Procter LLP, Washington, D.C.; John S. Devlin, III, Lane
Powell PC, Seattle, Washington; for Defendant-Appellee PHH
Before: Jay S. Bybee and N. Randy Smith, Circuit Judges, and
John Antoon II, [*] District Judge.
Civil Relief Act
panel affirmed the district court's dismissal as
time-barred of a private suit alleging violations of §
303(c) of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which provides
a limited prohibition on foreclosure of the property of
panel held that the federal catchall statute of limitations
in 28 U.S.C. § 1658(a) applies to private suits alleging
violations of § 303(c) of the SCRA, an Act of Congress
enacted after 1990. Because § 1658(a), like the state
statute relied upon by the district court, specifies a
four-year limitations period, the panel affirmed.
Calderon and Christine A. Monta, Attorneys, Appellate
Section; T.E. Wheeler, II, Acting Assistant Attorney General;
Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice,
Washington D.C.; for Amicus Curiae United States of America.
Gale Fjordbeck, Assistant Attorney General; Benjamin Gutman,
Solicitor General; Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General;
Civil/Administrative Appeals, Oregon Department of Justice,
Salem, Oregon; for Amicus Curiae State of Oregon.
ANTOON, DISTRICT JUDGE
appeal presents an issue of first impression-what is the
applicable statute of limitations for private suits alleging
violations of § 303(c) of the Servicemembers Civil
Relief Act (SCRA)? Section 303(c) provides a limited
prohibition on foreclosure of the property of servicemembers,
but the SCRA does not contain a statute of limitations. The
district court, applying the four-year limitations period of
what it determined to be the most closely analogous state
statute, found that Plaintiff Jacob McGreevey's §
303(c) claim was time-barred and dismissed the case.
carefully considering the parties' briefs, and with the
benefit of oral argument, we conclude that the federal
catchall statute of limitations in 28 U.S.C. § 1658(a)
applies to private suits alleging violations of § 303(c)
of the SCRA. Because that provision, like the state statute
relied upon by the district court, also specifies a four-year
limitations period, we affirm.
McGreevey, a United States Marine, refinanced the mortgage on
his home in Vancouver, Washington, with Defendant PHH
Mortgage Corporation (PHH Mortgage). By January 16, 2009, PHH
Mortgage and Defendant Northwest Trustee Services, Inc.
(Northwest) had initiated foreclosure proceedings.
Four months later, on May 18, 2009, the Marines recalled
McGreevey to active service in Iraq. On July 21, 2010, after
McGreevey completed his service in Iraq, the Marines released
him from military duty. Following his release, McGreevey
promptly advised Defendants of his military service and