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Daniel A. Williamson v. Recon Trust Company

March 8, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable B. Lynn Winmill Chief U. S. District Judge



The Court has before it a motion to remand filed by plaintiff Williamson, and a motion to dismiss filed by defendants. The Court heard oral argument on the motions on March 8, 2011. At the conclusion of that argument, the Court ruled from the bench, denying the motion to remand, and granting conditionally the motion to dismiss, directing that the case would be dismissed unless Williamson filed an amended complaint on or before April 11, 2011. The Court's reasoning is set forth below.


On November 28, 2005, Plaintiff Daniel Williamson refinanced property he owned, located at 419 Main Street in Kellogg, Idaho. Complaint, Dkt. 1-1, ¶¶ 1-6. Mr. Williamson signed a fixed rate note, secured by a deed of trust, for a loan from America's Wholesale Lender. Id. at ¶ 7. Fidelity National Title Insurance Company was listed as the trustee of the deed of trust at the time the promissory note was signed. Deed of Trust, Dkt. 1-1, Ex. B. In 2010, Williamson encountered financial troubles and fell behind in his payments. Id. at ¶ 9.

The defendants in this case are Recon Trust Company and BAC Home Loans Servicing. At some unknown time subsequent to Williamson signing the note and deed of trust, Recon Trust became the trustee of the deed of trust. Recon Trust sent Williamson a notice of default and notice of trustee's sale, to be conducted on December 13, 2010. Id. at ¶¶ 10-11.

On September 24, 2010, Williamson made what he alleges was a valid Qualified Written Request ("QWR)" pursuant to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 12 U.S.C. § 2605(e)(1), and the Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq. Id. at ¶ 12. In response, the defendants provided Williamson with a copy of the deed of trust, loan payment history, and payoff demand statement. Id. at ¶ 13.

Williamson filed a Complaint in Shoshone County court on November 1, 2010. The Complaint asserts three causes of action: (1) declaratory and injunctive relief, (2) quiet title, and (3) damages. The defendants removed the action to this Court on December 13, 2010. Notice of Removal, Dkt. 1. The defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint on December 27, 2010. Motion to Dismiss, Dkt. 6. Williamson moved to remand the matter to state court on January 12, 2011. Motion to Remand, Dkt. 8.


Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief," in order to "give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 1964 (2007). While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss "does not need detailed factual allegations," it must set forth "more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Id. at 555. To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. at 570. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Id. at 556. The plausibility standard is not akin to a "probability requirement," but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Id. Where a complaint pleads facts that are "merely consistent with" a defendant's liability, it "stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of 'entitlement to relief.'" Id. at 557.

In a more recent case, the Supreme Court identified two "working principles" that underlie Twombly. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009). First, the tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Id. "Rule 8 marks a notable and generous departure from the hyper-technical, code-pleading regime of a prior era, but it does not unlock the doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing more than conclusions." Id. at 1950.

Second, only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss. Id. "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will . . . be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id.

A dismissal without leave to amend is improper unless it is beyond doubt that the complaint "could not be saved by any amendment." Harris v. Amgen, Inc., 573 F.3d 728, 737 (9th Cir. 2009) (issued 2 months after Iqbal).*fn1 The Ninth Circuit has held that "in dismissals for failure to state a claim, a district court should grant leave to amend even if no request to amend the pleading was made, unless it determines that the pleading could not possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts." Cook, Perkiss and Liehe, Inc. v. Northern California Collection Service, Inc., 911 F.2d 242, 247 (9th Cir. 1990). The issue is not whether a plaintiff will prevail but whether ...

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