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Bank of America, N.A. v. Nevada Trails II Community Association, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 11, 2017

BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., Plaintiff(s),
v.
NEVADA TRAILS II COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION, et al., Defendant(s).

          ORDER

         Presently before this court is defendant/counter-claimant Daisy Trust's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 32). Plaintiff/counter-defendant Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”) filed a response (ECF No. 38), to which Daisy Trust replied (ECF No. 44).

         Also before this court is defendant Nevada Trails II Community Association, Inc.'s (the “HOA”) motion to dismiss or in the alternative motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 34). BANA filed a response (ECF No. 36), to which the HOA replied (ECF No. 42).

         Also before the court is BANA's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 35). Daisy Trust filed a response (ECF No. 37), to which BANA replied (ECF No. 43).

         I. Facts

         This case involves a dispute over real property located at 7623 Cascade Ridge Court, Las Vegas, Nevada 89113 (the “property”).[1] (ECF No. 1 at 2). On July 29, 2008, Sung Chang obtained a loan in the amount of $267, 600.00 from BANA to purchase the property, which was secured by a deed of trust recorded on July 30, 2008. (ECF No. 1 at 3-4).

         On September 1, 2009, defendant Alessi & Koenig, LLC (“A&K”), acting on behalf of the HOA, recorded a notice of delinquent assessment lien, stating an amount due of $632.00. (ECF No.1 at 4). On December 7, 2009, A&K recorded a notice of default and election to sell to satisfy the delinquent assessment lien, stating an amount due of $1, 630.00. (ECF No. 1 at 4).

         On January 15, 2010, BANA requested a ledger from A&K to identify the superpriority amount allegedly owed to the HOA. (ECF No. 35-4 at 6-7). A&K did not identify the super-priority portion of the lien but reasserted a total amount due of $2, 624.00. (ECF No. 35-4 at 11- 14). BANA calculated the superpriority amount to be $387.00 and tendered that amount to A&K on April 30, 2010, which A&K allegedly refused. (ECF No. 35-4. at 16-18).

         On August 9, 2010, A&K recorded a notice of trustee's sale, stating an amount due of $2, 763.00. (ECF No. 1 at 4). On November 18, 2011, A&K recorded a second notice of trustee's sale, stating an amount due of $4, 173.00. (ECF No. 1 at 4). On August 2, 2012, A&K recorded a third notice of trustee's sale, stating an amount due of $4, 398.00. (ECF No. 1 at 5).

         On September 5, 2012, Daisy Trust purchased the property at the foreclosure sale for $6, 300.00. (ECF No. 1 at 6). A foreclosure deed in favor of Daisy Trust was recorded on September 11, 2012. (ECF No. 1 at 6).

         On April 18, 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; and (4) injunctive relief against Daisy Trust. (ECF No. 1).

         On May 10, 2016, Daisy Trust filed a counterclaim against BANA seeking quiet title and declaratory relief. (ECF No. 11)

         On May 5, 2017, Daisy Trust filed a motion for summary judgment regarding the two claims in its counterclaim. (ECF No. 32).

         Also, on May 5, 2017, the HOA filed a motion to dismiss or in the alternative motion for summary judgment regarding all claims filed against it and argues that BANA failed to bring its claims within the “applicable three year statute of limitations.” (ECF No. 34 at 2).

         Lastly, on May 5, 2017, BANA filed a motion for summary judgment regarding the four causes of action in its complaint. (ECF No. 35).

         The court will address each as it sees fit.

         II. Legal Standards

         A. Motion to Dismiss

         The court may dismiss a plaintiff's 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 Atl. 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. Id. 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, plaintiff's 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.

Id.

         B. Motion for Summary Judgment

         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, BANA's claim for injunctive relief against Daisy Trust, claim (4), is dismissed without prejudice because the court follows the well-settled rule 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. ...


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