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PHH Mortgage v. Nickerson

Supreme Court of Idaho

August 1, 2018

PHH MORTGAGE, Plaintiff-Third Party Defendant-Counterdefendant-Respondent,
v.
CHARLES NICKERSON and DONNA NICKERSON, Defendants-Counterclaimants-Third Party Complainants-Appellants, and COLDWELL BANKER MORTGAGE, a d/b/a of PHH MORTGAGE, Third Party Defendant-Respondent, and JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, NA., Third Party Defendant.

          Appeal from the District Court of the Second Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Clearwater County. Honorable Gregory FitzMaurice, District Judge.

         The orders of the district court are affirmed.

          Charles and Donna Nickerson, Orofino, appellants pro se.

          Aldridge Pite, LLP, Boise, for respondents. Lewis N. Stoddard argued.

          PER CURIAM.

         This is the second appeal following a judicial foreclosure. Charles and Donna Nickerson initially appealed the district court's decision to grant summary judgment in favor of PHH Mortgage and J.P. Mortgage Chase Bank in a judicial foreclosure proceeding involving the Nickersons' approximately fifty acres of land in Clearwater County, Idaho (the "Property"). We affirmed the district court's summary judgment grant in PHH Mortgage v. Nickerson, 160 Idaho 388, 374 P.3d 551 (2016) ("Nickerson I") in April 2016. Following this Court's decision, the district court issued an order lifting the stay on its prior judgment, as well as an order of sale and decree of foreclosure. The district court also denied the Nickersons' post-appeal motions for sanctions, to quash execution and judgment, and to vacate or amend the order of sale and decree of foreclosure. The Nickersons now challenge several issues previously decided in Nickerson I as well as the district court's decisions on motions and orders subsequent to that decision. We affirm.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This Court in Nickerson I provided a detailed factual record of the events surrounding this case:

In October of 2002, Charles and Donna Nickerson (the Nickersons) purchased approximately 50 acres of land in Clearwater County, Idaho. The Nickersons executed a promissory note and a Deed of Trust in favor of Coldwell Banker Mortgage[, a subsidiary of PHH mortgage, ] in the principal sum of $285, 000. The district court determined that the original loan to the Nickersons was made by Coldwell Banker Mortgage and was originally serviced by Mortgage Service Center. In December of 2002, the note was assigned to Fannie Mae, and J.P. Morgan Chase acquired the note in November of 2007, at which point Chase Home Financial began servicing the loan. In February of 2010, Mortgage Service Center resumed responsibility for loan servicing, and in June of 2010, Chase assigned the note to PHH. As of December 1, 2013, the amount due on the note, including interest, was $340, 339.84.
On January 10, 2011, PHH filed a complaint against the Nickersons claiming that the Nickersons had defaulted on their loan and seeking to foreclose. On August 12, 2011, the Nickersons answered the complaint. On February 1, 2012, the Nickersons filed an amended answer, counterclaim, and third-party complaint against Chase. The Nickersons' answer, counterclaim, and third party complaint alleged, among other things: breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of note, breach of 12 U.S.C. § 2605, breach of the federal fair debt collection practices act, breach of the federal fair credit reporting act. In addition to these claims, the Nickersons also sought an award of punitive damages. On October 16, 2012, PHH and Chase each filed motions for summary judgment.
On November 16, 2012, the district court granted in part and denied in part PHH's motion for summary judgment and granted Chase's motion for summary judgment. In granting Chase's motion for summary judgment, the district court concluded, "Chase's motion for summary judgment should be granted as to all of the Nickersons' third party claims for failure to present any evidence to support the elements of those third party claims, and/or the claims are not proper because the cited statutes do not apply to the facts of this case."
In its partial denial of PHH's motion for summary judgment, the district court stated: "PHH's motion for summary judgment should be granted as to all of the Nickersons' counterclaims for failure to present any evidence to support the elements of those counterclaims, and/or the counterclaims are not proper because the cited statutes do not apply to the facts of this case. Summary judgment should also be granted as to the Nickersons' affirmative defense...." However, the district court determined there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the Nickersons were in default in 2010 when PHH acquired its interest in the Nickersons' loan.
On December 5, 2012, the Nickersons filed a motion to reconsider. The motion stated that supporting documentation would soon be filed; however, on February 5, 2013, the district court denied the motion because the Nickersons had not presented a supporting memorandum following the motion.
On February 25, 2013, the Nickersons' attorney moved to withdraw. On May 15, 2013, the district court granted the withdrawal motion, and on August 19, 2013, the Nickersons filed a notice of appearance pro se.
On November 12, 2013, PHH filed a second motion for summary judgment, again contending that the Nickersons were in default and that they had not presented evidence to the contrary. On December 17, 2013, the Nickersons filed their own motion for summary judgment, supported by the affidavit of Charles Nickerson. PHH moved to strike the affidavit, and the district court granted the motion in part. The district court set the hearing on the cross-motions for summary judgment for February 11, 2014. On February 5, 2014, the Nickersons filed an unsuccessful motion to continue the hearing.
On April 4, 2014, the district court issued its order and final judgment granting PHH's motion for summary judgment and denying the Nickersons' motion for summary judgment. The district court concluded that the Nickersons had not presented evidence to support their ...

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