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Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. SFR Investments Pool 1 LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

February 28, 2017

DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, AS TRUSTEE FOR AMERIQUEST MORTGAGE SECURITIES INC., Plaintiff,
v.
SFR INVESTMENTS POOL 1 LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER

          JAMEM C. MAHAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Presently before the court is defendant SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC's (“SFR”) motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 13). Plaintiff Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as trustee for Ameriquest Mortgage Securities Inc., asset-backed pass-through certificates, series 2004-R8 (“Deutsche Bank”) filed a response (ECF No. 14), to which SFR replied (ECF No. 15).

         Also before the court is SFR's motion to certify a question of law to the Nevada Supreme Court. (ECF No. 16). Deutsche Bank filed a response (ECF No. 17), to which SFR replied (ECF No. 18).

         I. Facts

         This case involves a dispute over real property located at 9302 Orchid Pansy Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada 89148 (the “property”).

         On January 10, 2003, Alan Heck obtained a loan in the amount of $259, 000.00 from Ameriquest Mortgage Company to purchase the property, which was secured by a deed of trust recorded on July 9, 2004. (ECF No. 1). The deed of trust was assigned to Deutsche Bank via a corporate assignment of deed of trust recorded February 28, 2012. (ECF No. 1).

         On April 24, 2012, Asset Management Services (“AMS”) acting on behalf of The Villas Community Association (the “HOA”), recorded a notice of delinquent assessment lien. (ECF No. 1). On February 11, 2014, AMS recorded a notice of default and election to sell to satisfy the delinquent assessment lien. (ECF No. 1).

         On May 7, 2014, Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC requested a payoff for delinquent assessments from AMS on behalf of Deutsche Bank, to which AMS allegedly failed or refused to provide. (ECF No. 1). Deutsche Bank alleges that it was unable to tender the superpriority portion of the lien as a result. (ECF No. 1).

         On August 20, 2014, AMS recorded a notice of trustee's sale. (ECF No. 1). On September 12, 2014, SFR purchased the property at the foreclosure sale for $56, 000.00. (ECF No. 1). A foreclosure deed in favor of SFR was recorded on September 26, 2014. (ECF No. 1).

         On August 1, 2016, Deutsche Bank filed a complaint against SFR, alleging three cause of action: (1) quiet title/declaratory relief; (2) injunctive relief; and (3) unjust enrichment. (ECF No. 1).

         In the instant motion, SFR moves to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(7), arguing that Deutsche Bank failed to join an indispensable party, specifically, the HOA. (ECF No. 13).

         II. Legal Standard & Discussion

         Under Nevada law, “[a]n action may be brought by any person against another who claims an estate or interest in real property, adverse to the person bringing the action for the purpose of determining such adverse claim.” Nev. Rev. Stat. § 40.010. “A plea to quiet title does not require any particular elements, but each party must plead and prove his or her own claim to the property in question and a plaintiff's right to relief therefore depends on superiority of title.” Chapman v. Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust Co., 302 P.3d 1103, 1106 (Nev. 2013) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). Therefore, for plaintiff to succeed on its quiet title action, it needs to show that its claim to the property is superior to all others. See also Breliant v. Preferred Equities Corp., 918 P.2d 314, 318 (Nev. 1996) (“In a quiet title action, the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff to prove good title in himself.”).

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19(a), a party must be joined as a “required” party in two circumstances: (1) when “the court cannot accord complete relief among existing parties” in that party's absence, or (2) when the absent party “claims an interest relating to the subject of the action” and resolving the action in the person's absence may, as a practical matter, “impair or impede the person's ability to protect the interest, ” or may “leave an existing party ...


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