United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
KIM M. HANKINS, a single person, Plaintiff,
US ROF II LEGAL TITLE TRUST 2015-1, by U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, as Legal Trustee; and QUALITY LOAN SERVICE CORPORATION OF WASHINGTON, a Washington corporation, Defendant.
B. Leighton United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on Defendants' Motions to
Dismiss. [Dkt. # 14 and 16]. The Court has reviewed the
briefing, and the file in Hankins v. U.S. ROF Legal Title
Trust 2015-1, by U.S. Bank National Association, et al,
17-5142-RBL, which was dismissed with prejudice on August 31,
2017. The claims and allegations in this 2018 action all
emanate from the same foreclosure on the same property as did
the 2017 case. The theories espoused are the same. For that
reason, the claims are barred by res judicata.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
purchased the subject property at the center of this lawsuit
in March 2016. She used two loans, each secured by a deed of
trust on the property. This litigation [again] concerns her
senior obligation, the DOT Hankins used to secure her
obligation to repay a $212, 000.00 Promissory Note. The
property is commonly known as 50 W HONEYSUCKLE LANE SHELTON,
WA 98584. The DOT was recorded April 4, 2006 under Mason
County Auditor's Office recording number 1864400. Hankins
defaulted and the note holder (US ROF II Legal Title Trust
2015-1 by U.S. Bank National Association, as Legal Trustee)
initiated a non-judicial foreclosure on the property.
sued in Mason County, seeking Declaratory Judgment and Quiet
Title. The defendants removed the case here. See
Cause No. 17-5142-RBL. On May 9, 2017 this Court granted the
motion [Dkt. #15], but permitted Hankins 21 days to file an
Amended Complaint. She did so on May 28, 2017 [Dkt. #16]. The
defendants promptly renewed their motions to [Dkts. 17 and
18]. On August 22, 2017 and August 31, 2017 the Court, in
separate orders, granted Defendants' Motions to Dismiss,
with prejudice and without leave to again amend. [Dkts. 23
December 20, 2017, ROF TRUST appointed Quality Loan Service
Corp. of Washington as Successor Trustee under Hankins'
DOT. The Appointment of Successor Trustee was recorded
December 26, 2017 under MASON County Auditor's Office
recording number 2085933. On April 27, 2018 following the
process required under Washington Law, Quality noticed a
Trustee's Sale to be held September 7, 2018. The Notice
of Trustee's Sale was recorded April 30, 2018, under
MASON County Auditor's Office recording number 2091687.
The Trustee's Sale was held as scheduled on September 7,
2018. The Trustee's Deed upon Sale was subsequently
recorded September 14, 2018, under MASON County Auditor's
Office recording number 2099221.
failed to enjoin the Trustee's Sale and as a result has
waived her ability to challenge the validity or finality of
the foreclosure sale or a subsequent transfer of the
property. See RCW 61.24.127.
judicata, also known as claim preclusion, bars litigation in
a subsequent action of any claims that were raised or could
have been raised in the prior action. Owens v. Kaiser
Found. Health Plan, Inc., 244 F.3d 708, 713 (9th Cir.
Cal. 2001). Res judicata is applicable whenever there is (1)
an identity of claims, (2) a final judgment on the merits,
and (3) identity or privity between parties. Owens v.
Kaiser Found. Health Plan, Inc., 244 F.3d 708, 713 (9th
Cir. Cal. 2001).
estoppel, or issue preclusion, bars the re-litigation of
issues actually adjudicated in previous litigation between
the same parties. Clark v. Bear Stearns & Co.,
966 F.2d 1318, 1320 (9th Cir. Cal. 1992). To foreclose
relitigation of an issue under collateral estoppel, (1) the
issue at stake must be identical to the one alleged in the
prior litigation; (2) the issue must have been actually
litigated in the prior litigation; and (3) the determination
of the issue in the prior litigation must have been a
critical and necessary part of the judgment in the earlier
action. Clark v. Bear Stearns & Co., 966 F.2d
1318, 1320 (9th Cir. Cal. 1992).
Hannkins' wrongful foreclosure claims are barred by claim
preclusion because she previously asserted the same claims
against the prior loan servicers for the same conduct, and
her claims were dismissed with prejudice. The only factual
difference between the cases is that Quality issued a new
Notice of Sale following the prior litigation; however, the
foreclosure processed by Quality was issued with the same
authority as the prior foreclosure which was subject of the
previous litigation. The dismissal of ROF TRUST from the
prior case is a final judgment. Additionally, the issues
raised in this case-whether ROF TRUST had authority to
foreclose, and whether the effort to foreclose on the
security was time barred-were the same issues raised and
adjudicated in the prior case. Thus, re-litigation of those
issues is also barred under the doctrine of issue preclusion.
Motions to Dismiss are GRANTED. Hankins'
claims are DISMISSED, with prejudice and
without leave to amend.