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Johnson v. Bank of America, N.A.

United States District Court, D. Idaho

March 26, 2014

CURTIS W. JOHNSON and CAROL Z. JOHNSON, husband and wife, Plaintiffs,
v.
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., et. al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER

DEE BENSON, Judge.

On November 16, 2011, Plaintiffs Curtis and Carol Johnson ("Plaintiffs") filed their Third Amended Complaint asserting fourteen causes of action against Defendants Bank of America, N.A, for itself and as successor by merger to BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., Capital One, N.A. and GreenPoint Mortgage Funding, Inc. (collectively "Defendants") (doc. 60). Plaintiffs' claims generally stem from a November 2, 2005, loan ("Loan") acquired from GreenPoint Mortgage Funding in the amount of $1, 963, 500.00 (doc. 60), and a January 7, 2010, Loan Modification Agreement entered into between Plaintiffs and BAC Home Loans Servicing. Id.

I. Background

On September 30, 2013, this Court dismissed eleven of Plaintiffs' causes of action leaving only three claims remaining: (1) Truth In Lending Act Violations (Count 10); (2) Breach of Contract (Count 11); and (3) Violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Count 13) (Doc. 99).[1] The Court further directed the parties to file their respective motions for summary judgment within forty-five days of the Court's decision.

Thereafter, on December 9, 2013, Defendants filed a "Motion for Summary Judgment" as to Plaintiffs' three remaining causes of action (doc. 108). Plaintiffs responded by filing a "Motion For Order Compelling Discovery Responses" asserting that without "reasonable" discovery responses they were unable to move forward with summary judgment (doc. 111, pg. 2); see also, Affidavit of Benjamin Worst (doc.111-1). Defendants opposed Plaintiffs' discovery request, characterizing the motion as "nothing more than delay and harassment tactics" (doc. 113, p. 9).

On February 10, 2014, the Court issued an Order denying the "Motion For Order Compelling Discovery Responses" without prejudice and granting Plaintiffs leave to re-file (doc. 118). The Court instructed that any re-filed motion should specifically address the basis for each of Plaintiffs' discovery requests and explain why Defendants' responses to the requests are inadequate.

II. Plaintiff's Motion For Order Compelling Discovery Responses

On February 18, 2014, Plaintiffs filed their currently pending "Motion For Order Compelling Discovery Responses And Motion For Attorney Fees" seeking an Order of the Court compelling: (1) Defendant Bank of America to answer Plaintiffs' Second Discovery Request Interrogatories 1 through 7, 9 through 21 and Requests for Production 1 through 30; (2) Defendant Greenpoint Mortgage Funding, Inc. to answer Plaintiffs' Third Discovery Request Interrogatories 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, 25 and Request for Production 16-36; (3) Defendant Capital One, to answer Plaintiffs' Third Discovery Request Interrogatories 18, 19, 21, 23, 24 and 25 and Requests For Production 16-36; and (4) reasonable fees and costs incurred (doc. 125). Absent this information, Plaintiffs assert that they are unable determine what material facts remain in dispute and cannot properly file or oppose a motion for summary judgment. Defendants counter that the Plaintiffs' discovery requests have no bearing on the remaining causes of action and all relevant information is currently in the Plaintiffs' possession (doc. 126).

III. Analysis

Despite the Court's instruction, Plaintiffs' second discovery motion fails to specifically address each discovery request or to clearly identify why Defendants' responses are inadequate. Instead, the motion loosely connects some of its discovery requests with general questions posed in a section of the memorandum entitled "Specific Information Needed" (doc. 125). Because it is not the role of the Court to construct arguments regarding each of Plaintiffs' individual discovery requests, the Court generally analyzes Plaintiffs' motion in the context of the three remaining causes of action.

The Court is mindful that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b) permits discovery into "any matter, not privileged that is relevant to the claim or defense of any party" Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b). Relevant information is defined as information that is "reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Id. While the definition of relevance is broad, "district courts are given wide discretion to apply the discovery rules in a way that will achieve the policy of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; namely to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action.'" Searcy v. Thomas, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152917 *7-8 (D. Idaho, Oct. 23, 2012) (citing, Fed.R.Civ.P. 1)).

Count 10: Truth In Lending Act Violations ("TILA")

In support of their TILA claim Plaintiffs assert: (1) although BAC Home Loans ervicing identifies itself as the "Lender" in the modification, it is not clear who the lender actually is (doc. 60, ¶210); (2) the loan modification documents do not state the last date on which Plaintiffs could rescind the loan agreement without penalty (doc. 60, ¶212); (3) in conjunction with the modification, BAC Home Loans Servicing failed to disclose the amount financed, the annual percentage rate, the finance charge, and an itemization of the amount financed (doc. 60, ¶214); (4) on December 31, 2012, and June 1, 2011, the monthly payment under the loan failed to adjust down (doc. 60, ¶¶215-217); (5) Defendants failed to ...


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