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Bank of America, N.A. v. Mesa Verde Homeowners Association, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

February 28, 2017

BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., Plaintiff,
v.
MESA VERDE HOMEOWNER'S ASSOCIATION, INC., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          JAMES C. MAHAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Presently before the court is SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC's (“SFR”) motion to certify question of law to the Nevada Supreme Court. (ECF No. 63). Plaintiff Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”) filed a response (ECF No. 67), to which SFR replied (ECF No. 68).

         I. Facts

         This case involves a dispute over real property located at 4129 Thomas Patrick Avenue, North Las Vegas, Nevada (the “property”).

         On May 27, 2008, George and Juanita Bennett obtained a loan from CTX Mortgage Company, LLC in the amount of $215, 761.00, which was secured by a deed of trust recorded on May 29, 2008. (ECF No. 1). The Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) insured the deed of trust. (ECF No. 1). The deed of trust was assigned to BANA. (ECF No. 1).

         On March 9, 2010, Alessi & Koenig, LLC (“A&K”), acting on behalf of the Mesa Verde homeowners' association (the “HOA”), recorded a notice of delinquent assessment lien, stating an amount due of $920.00. (ECF No. 1). On August 5, 2010, A&K recorded a notice of default and election to sell to satisfy the delinquent assessment lien, stating an amount due of $5, 380.00. (ECF No. 1).

         On October 13, 2011, A&K recorded another notice of delinquent assessment lien, stating an amount due of $3, 545.00 and scheduling the sale for November 16, 2011. (ECF No. 1). On August 2, 2012, A&K recorded a second notice of trustee's sale, scheduling the foreclosure sale for September 5, 2012, and stating an amount due of $3, 545.00. (ECF No. 1). On June 3, 2013, A&K recorded a third notice of trustee's sale, scheduling the sale for July 3, 2013 and stating an amount due of $7, 686.26. (ECF No. 1).

         On August 7, 2013, SFR Investment Pool 1, LLC (“SFR”) purchased the property for $20, 000.00. (ECF No. 1). The trustee's deed upon sale was recorded August 13, 2013. (ECF No. 1).

         In the underlying complaint, BANA alleges four claims of relief: (1) quiet title/declaratory judgment against all defendants; (2) breach of NRS 116.1113 against A&K and the HOA; (3) wrongful foreclosure against A&K and the HOA; and (4) injunctive relief against SFR. (ECF No. 1). The court dismissed claims (2) through (4) on October 11, 2016. (ECF No. 52).

         In the instant motion, SFR moves to certify a question of law to the Nevada Supreme Court. (ECF No. 63).

         II. Legal Standard

         The Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure provide that the Supreme Court of Nevada has the power to answer “questions of [state] law . . . which may be determinative of the cause then pending in the certifying court and as to which it appears to the certifying court there is no controlling precedent in the decisions of the Supreme Court of [Nevada].” Nev. R. App. P. 5(a).

         The Nevada Supreme Court “may answer questions of law certified [] by a federal court when (1) [the] answers to the certified questions may be determinative of part of the federal case, (2) there is no clearly controlling Nevada precedent, and (3) the answers to the certified questions will help settle important questions of law. See, e.g., Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Tr. of Const. Indus., 208 P.3d 884, 888 (Nev. 2009).

         Where the question does not impact the merits of a claim pending before the certifying court, the question should not be certified to the Supreme Court. See Nev. R. App. P. 5(a) (requiring that certified question be “determinative”); see also Volvo Cars of N. Am., Inc. v. Ricci, 137 P.2d 1161, 1164 (Nev. 2006) (declining to answer certified questions where “answers to the questions posed [] would not ‘be determinative' of any part of the case”). “The certification procedure is reserved for state law questions that present significant issues, including those ...


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