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Meppelink v. Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

December 30, 2019

AYNA AMANDA MEPPELINK, Plaintiff,
v.
WILMINGTON SAVINGS FUND SOCIETY FSB, d/b/a CHRISTIANA TRUST, a trustee for PRETIUM MORTGAGE CREDIT MANAGEMENT; SELENE FINANCE LP; and QUALITY LOAN SERVICE CORP OF WASHINGTON, Defendants.

          ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS, FOR FREE ACCESS TO PACER, FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL AND FOR JURY DEMAND

          ROBERT J. BRYAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on the Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (“IFP”), for Free Access to PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records], for Appointment of Counsel, and for Jury Demand. Dkt. 38. The Court has considered the pleadings filed regarding the motion and the remaining file.

         Originally filed in Kitsap County, Washington, Superior Court, this case arises from a dispute over a mortgage and deed of trust on property commonly known as 11700 Carriage Place SE, Olalla, Washington. Dkt. 1-3. For the reasons provided, the Plaintiff's various motions should be denied.

         I. FACTS

         This case was filed on May 15, 2017 and asserted only state law claims for quiet title and for violations of Washington's Consumer Protection Act. RCW 19.86, et. seq. Meppelink v. Wilmington Savings Fund Society, SSB, et. al., Kitsap County, Washington Superior Court case number 17-2-00839-9; filed in this case at Dkt. 13-1, at 1 and 6-17. No. mention of a trial by jury is made in the original complaint. Id.

         In a May 17, 2019 Order granting the Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint, the Plaintiff was ordered to “file the amended complaint with the court by June 15, 2019.” Dkt. 14, at 24. On June 11, 2019, the Plaintiff filed an “Amended Complaint Re: Claims for Wrongful Foreclosure Violation of Regulation X of [the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”)] (12 U.S.C. § 2601, et. seq.) Declaratory Relief and Damages” in the Kitsap County, Washington Superior Court. Dkt. 13-3, at 91-204. The Plaintiff did not make a jury demand in the Amended Complaint. Id.

         The case was removed to this Court on July 17, 2019. Dkt. 1.

         On August 8, 2019, Wilmington Saving Fund Society, FSB, d/b/a Christiana Trust, trustee for Pretium Mortgage Acquisition Trust (“Wilmington”) and Selene Finance LP (“Selene”) filed an answer and asserted counterclaims against the Plaintiff. Dkts. 8 and 9. On September 2, 2019, the Plaintiff filed an answer to Wilmington and Selene's counterclaim. Dkt. 16.

         On October 31, 2019, the Joint Status Report was filed. Dkt. 36. In this pleading, the Plaintiff “requests a jury trial, because she believes that the issues are based on matters of fact and law.” Dkt. 36, at 5. This is the first time the Plaintiff mentions a jury trial.

         The Plaintiff now moves (1) to proceed IFP in order to gain free access to PACER and to receive a waiver of jury fees, (2) for appointment of counsel, and (3) for a trial by jury. Dkt. 38. Wilmington and Selene oppose the motion. Dkt. 40. The Plaintiff filed a reply (Dkt. 41) and the motion is ripe for decision.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. MOTION TO PROCEED IFP TO GAIN FREE ACCESS TO PACER

         Section 1915(a) provides that: “[a]ny court of the United States may authorize the commencement . . . of any suit . . . without prepayment of fees or security therefor, by a person who submits an affidavit that includes a statement of all assets” showing that “the person is unable to pay such fees or give security therefor.” The district court may permit indigent litigants to proceed in forma pauperis upon completion of a proper affidavit of indigency. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (a). However, the court has broad discretion in denying an application to proceed in forma pauperis. Weller v. Dickson, 314 F.2d 598 (9th Cir. 1963), cert. denied 375 U.S. 845 (1963).

         On September 30, 2019, the Plaintiff filed a Declaration and Application to Proceed IFP and Written Consent for Payment of Costs. Dkt. 31. This case was removed and the filing fee was paid by the removing Defendants. Dkt. 1. The Plaintiff's application was ...


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