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Alessi & Koenig, LLC v. Dolan

United States District Court, D. Nevada

February 27, 2017

ALESSI & KOENIG, LLC, Plaintiff,
ALFRED T DOLAN, JR., et al., Defendants.



         Presently before the court is defendant Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and counter-claimant Federal Housing Finance Agency's (“FHFA”) motion for summary judgment.[1] (ECF No. 38). Counter-defendant Saticoy Bay LLC Series 10250 Sun Dusk Ln (“Saticoy”) filed a response (ECF No. 40), and movants filed a reply (ECF No. 41).

         I. Introduction

         On February 9, 2015, Alessi & Koenig, LLC submitted a complaint in interpleader in Nevada state court, and Fannie Mae removed that case to this court on April 29, 2015.[2] (ECF Nos. 1, 1-1). The case involves the September 3, 2014, foreclosure of the real property at 10250 Sun Disk Lane, Las Vegas, Nevada. (ECF No. 1-1).

         On July 20, 2015, this court granted a stipulation allowing FHFA to intervene as conservator of Fannie Mae. (ECF No. 17). On July 22, 2015, FHFA answered the complaint and asserted two counterclaims against Saticoy and Sunset Mesa Community Association (the “HOA”). (ECF No. 18).

         First, FHFA requests declaratory judgment against Saticoy and the HOA that Fannie Mae's interest in the deed of trust is not extinguished because FHFA “has succeeded by law to all of Fannie Mae's ‘rights, title, powers, and privileges.'” (ECF No. 18 at 8) (quoting 12 U.S.C. § 4617(b)(2)(A)(i)). Therefore, it alleges, the property at issue cannot be subject to foreclosure in light of 12 U.S.C. § 4617(j)(3)'s preemption of state law. (Id.); see 12 U.S.C. § 4502 (defining “Agency” in that chapter as “[FHFA]”). Second, FHFA moves to quiet tile as to the underlying property under that same authority. (ECF No. 18). Fannie Mae and FHFA's instant motion mirrors these arguments. (ECF No. 38).

         II. Legal Standard

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow summary judgment when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A principal purpose of summary judgment is “to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims . . . .” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).

         For purposes of summary judgment, disputed factual issues should be construed in favor of the non-moving party. Lujan v. Nat'l Wildlife Fed., 497 U.S. 871, 888 (1990). However, to be entitled to a denial of summary judgment, the non-moving party must “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Id.

         In determining summary judgment, the court applies a burden-shifting analysis. “When the party moving for summary judgment would bear the burden of proof at trial, it must come forward with evidence which would entitle it to a directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at trial.” C.A.R. Transp. Brokerage Co. v. Darden Rests., Inc., 213 F.3d 474, 480 (9th Cir. 2000). Moreover, “[i]n such a case, the moving party has the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of fact on each issue material to its case.” Id.

         By contrast, when the non-moving party bears the burden of proving the claim or defense, the moving party can meet its burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence to negate an essential element of the non-moving party's case; or (2) by demonstrating that the non-moving party failed to make a showing sufficient to establish an element essential to that party's case on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323-24. If the moving party fails to meet its initial burden, summary judgment must be denied and the court need not consider the non-moving party's evidence. See Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 159-60 (1970).

         If the moving party satisfies its initial burden, the burden then shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine issue of material fact exists. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). To establish the existence of a factual dispute, the opposing party need not establish a material issue of fact conclusively in its favor. It is sufficient that “the claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial.” T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987).

         III. Discussion

         In its motion for summary judgment, FHFA argues that § 4617(j)(3) of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (“HERA”) preempts Nevada law and bars the foreclosure of the relevant property without the consent of the conservator: FHFA. (ECF No. 38). Thus, Fannie Mae and FHFA argue that they are entitled to summary judgment ...

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