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JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Las Vegas Development Group, LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 9, 2017

JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., et al., Plaintiffs,


         Presently before the court is plaintiffs JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), and Federal Housing Finance Authority's (“FHFA”) motion for summary judgment.[1] (ECF No. 21). Defendant Las Vegas Development Group, LLC (“LVDG”) filed a response (ECF No. 25), and plaintiffs filed a reply (ECF No. 26).

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiffs filed their complaint on September 3, 2015. (ECF No. 1). That document describes the August 23, 2010, foreclosure sale wherein Giavanna Homeowners Association (the “HOA”) purchased the real estate at 3628 Lakeside Villas Avenue, North Las Vegas, Nevada. (Id.). On March 31, 2011, the HOA conveyed its interest via quitclaim deed to defendant. (Id.).

         Plaintiffs seek declaratory relief for their quiet title claim against LVDG, arguing that FHFA, which has become Freddie Mac's conservator, has not consented to the HOA foreclosure sale's extinguishment of its secured interest in the property, as required by federal law. (Id.).

         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

         FHFA insists that § 4617(j)(3) of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (“HERA”) preempts state law and bars the foreclosure of the underlying property without FHFA's consent. (ECF No. 21); see also 12 U.S.C. § 4617(j)(3). Thus, plaintiffs believe that they are entitled to summary judgment because the HOA's foreclosure sale could not disrupt Freddie Mac's property interest. (ECF No. 21).

         Under Nevada Revised Statute (“NRS”) 116.3116, a homeowner's association (“HOA”) has a lien on a property for assessments levied against that property and such liens are prior to all other liens and encumbrances, subject to exceptions. Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.3116(1)-(2). In SFR Investments Pool 1, the Nevada Supreme Court found that a HOA's foreclosure ...

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