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Bank of America, N.A. v. Arlington West Twilight Homeowners Association

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 22, 2017

BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., Plaintiff(s),


         Presently before the court is plaintiff Bank of America, N.A.'s (“BANA”) motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 36). Defendant Arlington West Twilight Homeowners Association (the “HOA”) and defendant/crossclaimant Thomas Jessup, LLC, Series IV (“Jessup IV”) filed responses (ECF Nos. 40, 38), to which BANA replied (ECF Nos. 43, 41).

         Also before the court is the HOA's motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 37), in which defendant Thomas Jessup, LLC (“Jessup”) joined (ECF No. 39). BANA filed a response (ECF No. 42), to which the HOA relied (ECF No. 44).

         I. Facts

         This case involves a dispute over real property located at 9179 Smugglers Beach Court, Las Vegas, Nevada 89178 (the “property”).

         On March 26, 2008, Roy and Michelle Kinard (the “Kinards”) purchased the property by way of a loan from DHI Mortgage Company, LTD. in the amount of $294, 956.00, which was secured by a deed of trust recorded on March 31, 2008. (ECF No. 1 at 4). Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) insured the note and deed of trust. (ECF No. 1 at 4). Later, the deed of trust was assigned to BANA via an assignment of deed of trust. (ECF No. 1 at 4).

         On October 21, 2010, Alessi & Koenig, LLC (“A&K”), acting on behalf of the HOA, recorded a notice of delinquent assessment lien, stating an amount due of $850.00. (ECF No. 1 at 4). On January 31, 2011, A&K recorded a notice of default and election to sell to satisfy the delinquent assessment lien, stating an amount due of $1, 807.00. (ECF No. 1 at 4-5).

         On May 10, 2011, BANA remitted payment to the HOA to satisfy to superpriority amount owed to the HOA. (ECF No. 1 at 5).

         On August 14, 2012, A&K recorded a notice of trustee's sale, stating an amount due of $3, 256.00 and scheduling the sale for September 12, 2012. (ECF No. 1 at 5). Defendant Thomas Jessup, LLC (“Jessup”) purchased the property at the foreclosure sale for $7, 350.00. (ECF No. 1 at 6). A trustee's deed upon sale in favor of Jessup was recorded on October 2, 2012. (ECF No. 1 at 6).

         Jessup IV acquired the property from Jessup via a quit claim deed recorded on May 31, 2013. (ECF No. 1 at 6).

         On March 24, 2016, BANA filed the underlying complaint, alleging four causes of action: (1) quiet title/declaratory judgment against all defendants; (2) breach of NRS 116.1113 against the HOA and A&K; (3) wrongful foreclosure against the HOA and A&K[1]; and (4) injunctive relief against Jessup IV. (ECF No. 1). On April 15, 2016, Jessup IV filed an answer and cross/counterclaims, alleging two causes of action: (1) quiet title against all parties; and (2) declaratory relief against BANA. (ECF No. 11). The court dismissed the wrongful foreclosure and breach of NRS 116.1113 claims. (ECF No. 45).

         In the instant motions, BANA and the HOA both move for summary judgment seeking to quiet title in their favor. (ECF Nos. 36, 37).[2]

         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 a 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 nonmoving party must “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Id.

         In determining summary judgment, a court applies a burden-shifting analysis. The moving party must first satisfy its initial burden. “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. In 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.” C.A.R. Transp. Brokerage Co. v. Darden Rests., Inc., 213 F.3d 474, 480 (9th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted).

         By contrast, when the nonmoving 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 nonmoving 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 nonmoving 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, 631 (9th Cir. 1987).

         In other words, the nonmoving party cannot avoid summary judgment by relying solely on conclusory allegations that are unsupported by factual data. See Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). Instead, the opposition must go beyond the assertions and allegations of the pleadings and set forth specific facts by producing competent evidence that shows a genuine issue for trial. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324.

         At summary judgment, a court's function is not to weigh the evidence and determine the truth, but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). The evidence of the nonmovant is “to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor.” Id. at 255. But if the evidence of the nonmoving party is merely colorable or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted. See Id. at 249-50.

         III. Discussion[3]

         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 ...

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