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CitiMortgage, Inc. v. MDGGG Trust

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 10, 2017

MDGGG TRUST, Defendants.


         Presently before the court is defendant MDGGG Trust's motion to dismiss plaintiff CitiMortgage, Inc.'s claims against it, as asserted in plaintiffs second amended complaint. (ECF No. 58). Plaintiff filed a response (ECF No. 71), and no reply was submitted.

         I. Introduction

         This litigation involves the circumstances regarding the May 28, 2014, foreclosure sale of the real property at 9680 Blue Calico Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada. (ECF Nos. 55, 71). The instant defendant is the purchaser of the property at that foreclosure sale. (ECF No. 55). As to this defendant, the second amended complaint asserts the following claims: (1) declaratory relief; (2) wrongful foreclosure; and (3) unjust enrichment.

         II. Legal Standard

         The court may dismiss a plaintiffs complaint for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A properly pled complaint must provide "[a] short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Although rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, it does require more than labels and conclusions. Bell Ail. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Furthermore, a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not suffice. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677 (2009) (citation omitted). Rule 8 does not unlock the doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing more than conclusions. Id. at 678-79.

         To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Id. When a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability, and shows only a mere possibility of entitlement, the complaint does not meet the requirements to show plausibility of entitlement to relief. Id.

         In Iqbal, the Supreme Court clarified the two-step approach district courts are to apply when considering a motion to dismiss. Id. First, the court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint. However, this requirement is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Id. Second, only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss. Id. at 678. Where the complaint does not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has "alleged - but not shown - that the pleader is entitled to relief." Id. at 679. When the allegations in a complaint have not crossed the line from conceivable to plausible, plaintiffs claim must be dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.

         The Ninth Circuit addressed post-Iqbal pleading standards in Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). The Starr court held:

First, to be entitled to the presumption of truth, allegations in a complaint or counterclaim may not simply recite the elements of a cause of action, but must contain sufficient allegations of underlying facts to give fair notice and to enable the opposing party to defend itself effectively. Second, the factual allegations that are taken as true must plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief, such that it is not unfair to require the opposing party to be subjected to the expense of discovery and continued litigation.


         III. Discussion

         a. Unjust enrichment

         As an initial matter, plaintiff cannot make a claim of unjust enrichment under its alleged facts against this defendant. "Unjust enrichment is the 'unjust retention of a benefit to the loss of another, or the retention of money or property of another against the fundamental principles of justice or equity and good conscience.'" Galvan v. J.C.H. Enters., Inc., 2011 WL 4501083, No. 2:ll-cv-00307-RLH-GWF, at *3 (D. Nev. Sept. 27, 2011) (quoting Asphalt Prods. Corp. v. All Star Ready Mix, 898 P.2d 699, 701 (Nev. 1995)). To state a valid claim for unjust enrichment, a plaintiff must allege three elements: (1) plaintiff conferred a benefit on defendant; (2) defendant appreciated such benefit; and (3) defendant accepted and retained the benefit. Id. (citing Topaz Mutual Co. v. Marsh, 839 P.2d 606, 613 (Nev. 1992)).

         Regarding this defendant, plaintiffs allegations under this claim are merely that "MDGGG has accepted and retained the benefit of CMI's payment of the property taxes assessed to the Subject Property as well as the efforts to maintain and preserve the Subject Property." (ECF No. 55 at 12). Plaintiff gives no indication of the pecuniary amount, applicable tax periods, the authority delineating these obligations, a description of what these "efforts" entail, or any other facts that would elevate this allegation above ...

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