The opinion of the court was delivered by: U. S. District Judge Honorable Edward J. Lodge
On August 29, 2011, United States Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush issued a Report and Recommendation in this matter. Dkt. 24. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the parties had fourteen days in which to file written objections to the Report and Recommendation. On September 13, 2011, Plaintiff Daniel Meyer ("Meyer") filed his Objections to the Report and Recommendation. Dkt. 25. On September 27, 2011, Defendants Bank of America, N.A., Federal National Mortgage Association, and Recontrust Company NA filed a Response to Plaintiff's Objections. Dkt. 28. The matter is now ripe for the Court's review.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C), this Court "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings and recommendations made by the magistrate judge." Moreover, this Court "shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report which objection is made." Id. In United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir. 2003), the court interpreted the requirements of 28 U.S.C. 636(b)(1)(C):
The statute [28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C)] makes it clear that the district judge must review the magistrate judge's findings and recommendations de novo if objection is made, but not otherwise. As the Peretz Court instructed, "to the extent de novo review is required to satisfy Article III concerns, it need not be exercised unless requested by the parties." Peretz, 501 U.S. at 939 (internal citation omitted). Neither the Constitution nor the statute requires a district judge to review, de novo, findings and recommendations that the parties themselves accept as correct. See Ciapponi, 77 F.3d at 1251 ("Absent an objection or request for review by the defendant, the district court was not required to engage in any more formal review of the plea proceeding."); see also Peretz, 501 U.S. at 937-39 (clarifying that de novo review not required for Article III purposes unless requested by the parties) . . . .
See also Wang v. Masaitis, 416 F.3d 993, 1000 & n.13 (9th Cir. 2005). In this case, Plaintiff objects to Judge Bush's recommendation to dismiss the case. Simply put, Judge Bush determined the relief requested by Plaintiff is not proper when the cause of action is a quiet title action.
The Court adopts the factual background and standard of law for a motion to dismiss set forth in the Report and Recommendation, Dkt. 24, pp. 1-4. However, the Court will restate the facts to add context to the review of the objections.
Plaintiff Daniel C. Meyer ("Meyer") seeks to "quiet title" to property located at 2809 W. Gavin Street in Boise, Idaho ("the Property"), of which Meyer is "the owner of record". Compl., ¶ 4 (Dkt. 1). In November of 2005, Meyer executed a promissory note (the "Note") and Deed of Trust in Bank of America's favor to obtain a $187,000 loan (the "Loan") to purchase the Property. Mot. Dismiss, Ex. 2 (Dkt. 8-2). The Deed of Trust lists Bank of America as both the lender and the beneficiary. (Dkt. 8-2). First American Title Company was the original Trustee, and Meyer is the Trustor under the Deed of Trust. Id.
Meyer apparently stopped making payments on the Loan in February of 2010. See Dkt. 1-4 (Notice of Default). On August 13, 2010, Bank of America appointed a successor trustee, ReconTrust. See Compl., Ex. B (Dkt. 1-2). The appointment was recorded with Ada County on August 16, 2010. Also on August 16, 2010, ReconTrust, as "Trustee," filed with the Ada County Recorder a Notice of Default on the Property. See Compl., Ex. A (Dkt. 1-1). That Notice lists Bank of America as the "Beneficiary" under a "Deed of Trust." Id. Meyer received a Notice of Default, executed by ReconTrust, along with additional correspondence about the default. Compl., pp. 5-6 (Dkt. 1).
Meyer alleges that he learned, in December 2010, that Fannie Mae owns the Loan on the Property, not Bank of America. Compl., ¶ 20 & Ex. C (Dkt. 1-3). Defendants acknowledge that, at some time between November 2005 and August of 2010, Fannie Mae became "the investor and owner of the loan by assignment," Defs.' Mem., p. 2 (Dkt. 8-1), but do not address whether Fannie Mae also holds the Note. It is this transfer of Loan ownership that underlies Meyer's request for relief in this case.
Meyer alleges that Bank of America does not have any valid interest in the Deed of Trust (without owning the corresponding Loan) and, therefore, does not have any authority to appoint a successor trustee or to carry out a non-judicial foreclosure sale. Compl., ¶ 18 (Dkt. 1). Meyer also points to other "irregularities" that he believes cast "doubt on the legitimacy and legal effectiveness of the pre-foreclosure documents." Id. at ¶ 30. Meyer filed this case to "determine the interests of" Bank of America, ReconTrust, and Fannie Mae in the Property. He also requests that Defendants be required to produce the original signed promissory note.
Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), arguing that Meyer has failed to state a claim for relief.
The Court reviewed the Report and Recommendation and the record in this matter and finds the Report and Recommendation to be well-founded in the law and that the law is properly applied to the facts of this particular case. In his objection, Meyer expresses disagreement with the numerous cases cited by Judge Bush, but fails to offer other cases on point to support his position. Meyer does argue a decision by this Court in another case, Armacost v. HSBC Bank USA, civil case no. 10-274-S-EJL should be applied to the facts of this case. The Court respectfully disagrees with Plaintiff.
In Armacost, the plaintiff filed an action challenging the foreclosure on his home pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"). Specifically, plaintiff argued pursuant to §1692f(6) of the FDCPA the defendant as a debt collector cannot use any "unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt." 15 U.S.C. § 1692f. Section 1692f(6)(a) prohibits a debt collector from "[t]aking or threatening to take any non-judicial action to effect dispossession or disablement of property if . . . there is no present right to possession of the property claimed as collateral through an enforceable security interest. . . "
The court acknowledged a split in authority on whether the FDCPA could apply to a non-judicial foreclosure, but determined the § 1692(f) claim regarding whether the party seeking the foreclosure to had a "right to initiate" the non-judicial foreclosure proceeding survived the standard of plausibility for a motion to dismiss. 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." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the ...