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Bank of America, N.A. v. Sunrise Ridge Master Homeowners Association

United States District Court, D. Nevada

May 5, 2017

BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., Plaintiff,
v.
SUNRISE RIDGE MASTER HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          JAMES C. MAHAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Presently before the court is Meadow Foxtail Drive Trust, Saticoy Bay, LLC, Series 3984 Meadow Foxtail Drive (“Saticoy”), and Paradise Harbor Place Trust's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 35). Plaintiff Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”) filed a response (ECF No. 38), and these defendants filed a reply (ECF No. 45).

         Also before the court is BANA's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 36). Defendant Sunrise Ridge Master Homeowners Association (the “HOA”) filed a response (ECF No. 40), as did the other defendants (ECF No. 41). BANA filed a reply. (ECF No. 46).

         Also before the court is the HOA's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 37). BANA filed a response (ECF No. 39), and the HOA filed a reply (ECF No. 44).

         I. Introduction

         This action involves the foreclosure and sale of the real property at 3984 Meadow Foxtail Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff confirms that the HOA recorded a notice of delinquent assessment lien on August 31, 2010. (Id.). Next, plaintiff indicates that the HOA recorded a notice of default and election to sell on November 9, 2010. (Id.). Finally, the HOA recorded a notice of trustee's sale on June 21, 2011. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges that the amount owned on each of these notices did not specify the superpriority lien amount owed. (Id.).

         Plaintiff contends that it offered to tender the super-priority lien amount to the HOA, based upon its own calculations, and that the HOA rejected the $378.00 offered amount. (Id.). The relevant tender letter indicated that the offer amount was “non-negotiable” and that “any endorsement of [the] cashier's check . . . will be strictly construed as an unconditional acceptance on your part of the facts stated herein and express agreement that . . . financial obligations towards the HOA . . . have now been ‘paid in full.'” (ECF No. 1-1 at 5).

         Plaintiff's complaint alleges four claims: (1) quiet title/declaratory judgment against all defendants; (2) breach of NRS 116.1113 against the HOA and Nevada Association Services (“NAS”); (3) wrongful foreclosure against the HOA and NAS; and (4) injunctive relief against Saticoy. (ECF No. 1).

         Specifically, plaintiff supports its quiet title/declaratory judgment claim by arguing that NRS Chapter 116 violates BANA's procedural due process right, the recorded notices vaguely described the super-priority amount owed on the HOA lien, tender for the HOA lien was improperly rejected, and by challenging the foreclosure sale buyers' bona fide purchaser statuses. (Id.).

         On March 17, 2016, Saticoy filed a counterclaim to quiet title in the property and to request declaratory relief. (ECF No. 8). Both the HOA and the other defendants' respective motions for summary judgment seek a finding that the sale extinguished plaintiff's interest in the property. (ECF Nos. 35, 37).

         On March 10, 2017, this court dismissed plaintiff's second and third claims while also barring plaintiff's request for attorneys' fees as special damages. (ECF No. 51). Therefore, only the opposing claims for quiet title and plaintiff's claim for injunctive relief remain in this case. See (ECF Nos. 1, 51).

         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).

         The Ninth Circuit has held that information contained in an inadmissible form may still be considered for summary judgment if the information itself would be admissible at trial. Fraser v. Goodale, 342 F.3d 1032, 1036 (9th Cir. 2003) (citing Block v. City of Los Angeles, 253 F.3d 410, 418-19 (9th Cir. 2001) (“To survive summary judgment, a party does not necessarily have to produce evidence in a form that would be admissible at trial, as long as the party satisfies the requirements of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 56.”)).

         III. Discussion

         As an initial matter, the court dismisses, without prejudice, claim four 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.”). This court proceeds, considering the motions for summary judgment as they relate to quiet title.

         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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