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CMJ Properties, LLC v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Supreme Court of Idaho

November 29, 2017

CMJ PROPERTIES, LLC, an Idaho limited liability company, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., a national banking association, Defendant-Respondent, and DOES 1-10, Defendants.

         2017 Opinion No. 119

         Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Richard D. Greenwood, District Judge.

         The district court's judgment is affirmed.

          Angstman, Johnson & Associates, Boise, for appellant. Matthew T. Christensen argued.

          Parsons Behle & Latimer, Idaho Falls, for respondent. Jon A. Stenquist argued.

          BRODY, JUSTICE.

         This is a quiet title action. A landowner brought suit against a lender to extinguish a deed of trust that was recorded against the landowner's property. The landowner claimed that the lender's time to foreclose the deed of trust had expired. The district court denied a motion to enter default judgment in favor of the landowner, finding, among other things, that the statute of limitations to foreclose the deed of trust had not run. The district court entered a judgment dismissing the landowner's suit. We affirm the district court's judgment.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Cory Jakobson and others ("Jakobson") owned the property at issue when a deed of trust was granted to Washington Mutual Bank ("WMB"). The deed of trust secured a line of credit. A day after the deed of trust was granted to WMB, Jakobson transferred the property to CMJ Properties, LLC ("CMJ"), via quitclaim deed. The deed of trust was later assigned to JP Morgan Chase Bank ("Chase") as successor in interest.

         Jakobson stopped making payments on the credit line in May 2010 and filed bankruptcy about five months later. On April 6, 2011, Chase terminated the credit line and subsequently filed a motion for relief from stay to foreclose the deed of trust. The bankruptcy court granted the motion for relief from stay, but Chase has not initiated foreclosure proceedings.

         On June 17, 2016, CMJ filed a complaint against Chase to quiet title to the property. CMJ alleged the deed of trust was no longer enforceable because the time for foreclosure had run. On July 27, 2016, CMJ filed a motion for entry of default and default judgment because Chase failed to appear. The district court entered default, but denied the motion for entry of default judgment, finding that Chase's time to initiate foreclosure proceedings had not run. The district court entered a judgment dismissing CMJ's claim. CMJ appeals the district court's judgment.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         "This Court exercises free review over the district court's conclusions of law to determine whether the court correctly stated the applicable law and whether the legal conclusions are sustained by the facts found." PacifiCorp v. Idaho State Tax Comm'n, 153 Idaho 759, 767, 291 P.3d 442, 450 (2012).

The meaning and effect of a statute is a question of law over which this Court exercises free review. Where the language of the statute is clear and unambiguous, legislative history and other extrinsic evidence should not be consulted for the purpose of altering the clearly expressed intent of the legislature. The words must be given their ...

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