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Bank of America, N.A. v. Log Cabin Ponderosa Homeowners Association

United States District Court, D. Nevada

April 18, 2017

BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., Plaintiffs,


         Presently before the court is counterclaimant TRP Fund V, LLC's (“TRP”) motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 54). Defendant Log Cabin Ponderosa Homeowners Association (the “HOA”) (ECF No. 60) and plaintiff/counterdefendant Bank of America, N.A., successor by merger to BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP f/k/a Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, LP (“BANA”) (ECF No. 65) filed responses, to which TRP replied (ECF No. 68).

         Also before the court is BANA's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 57). The HOA (ECF No. 61) and TRP (ECF No. 66) filed responses, to which BANA replied (ECF No. 67).

         I. Facts

         This case involves a dispute over real property located at 10342 Hanky Panky Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89131 (the “property”). On July 21, 2009, Christopher and Jennifer Glover obtained a loan from DHI Mortgage Company, Ltd in the amount of $406, 978.00 to purchase the property, which was secured by a deed of trust recorded on July 24, 2009. (ECF No. 1 at 4).

         The deed of trust was assigned to BANA via an assignment of deed of trust recorded on March 6, 2012. (ECF No. 1 at 4).

         On August 29, 2013, defendant Nevada Association Services, Inc. (“NAS”), acting on behalf of the HOA, recorded a notice of delinquent assessment lien, stating an amount due of $1, 757.62. (ECF No. 1 at 4). On October 11, 2013, NAS recorded a notice of default and election to sell to satisfy the delinquent assessment lien, stating an amount due of $2, 689.28. (ECF No. 1 at 4).

         On November 13, 2013, BANA requested a ledger from the HOA/NAS identifying the superpriority amount allegedly owed to the HOA. (ECF No. 1 at 5). NAS provided a ledger dated March 1, 2014, identifying the total amount allegedly owed. (ECF No. 1 at 5). BANA calculated the superpriority amount to be $522.00 and tendered that amount to NAS on March 13, 2014, which NAS allegedly refused. (ECF No. 1 at 6).

         On July 25, 2014, NAS recorded a notice of trustee's sale, stating an amount due of $3, 863.46. (ECF No. 1 at 5). On August 22, 2014, defendant MRT Assets, LLC (“MRT”) purchased the property at the foreclosure sale for $62, 000.00. (ECF No. 1 at 6). A trustee's deed upon sale in favor of MRT was recorded on August 25, 2014. (ECF No. 1 at 6).

         Thereafter, MRT conveyed its interest in the property to TRP via a quitclaim deed recorded February 23, 2015. (ECF No. 1 at 6). Thus, TRP is the current record owner of the property.

         On February 25, 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 NAS and the HOA; (3) wrongful foreclosure against NAS and the HOA; and (4) injunctive relief against TRP. (ECF No. 1). On March 2, 2016, TRP filed an answer, counterclaim and third-party complaint to quiet title. (ECF No. 6).

         In the instant motions, TRP and BANA move for summary judgment. (ECF Nos. 54, 57). The court will address each as it sees fit.

         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

         As an initial matter, the court dismisses, without prejudice, counts (2) through (4) of BANA's complaint. Counts (2) and (3) are dismissed without prejudice for failure to mediate pursuant to NRS 38.330. See, e.g., Nev. Rev. Stat. § 38.330(1); McKnight Family, L.L.P. v. Adept Mgmt., 310 P.3d 555 (Nev. 2013). Count (4) is dismissed without prejudice because the court follows the well-settled rule in that a claim for “injunctive relief” standing alone is not a cause of action. See, e.g., In re Wal-Mart Wage & Hour Emp't Practices Litig., 490 F.Supp.2d 1091, 1130 (D. Nev. 2007); Tillman v. Quality Loan Serv. Corp., No. 2:12-CV-346 JCM RJJ, 2012 WL 1279939, at *3 (D. Nev. Apr. 13, 2012) (finding that “injunctive relief is a remedy, not an independent cause of action”); Jensen v. Quality Loan Serv. Corp., 702 F.Supp.2d 1183, 1201 (E.D. Cal. 2010) (“A request for injunctive relief by itself does not state a cause of action.”)

         A. Motions for Summary Judgment[1]

         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.”).

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