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Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

August 3, 2017

SFR INVESTMENTS POOL 1, LLC, et al., Defendants.


         Presently before the court is defendant Teton Ranch (Highlands Maintenance Corporation) Homeowners Association's (the “HOA”) motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 10). Both plaintiff Deutsche Bank National Trust Company as Trustee for MS 2005-9AR (“plaintiff”) and co-defendant SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC (“SFR”) have responded. (ECF Nos. 18, 21).

         SFR's limited response concurred with the HOA's motion to dismiss and argues “that any dismissal on that basis should result in a global dismissal of all claims made by [p]laintiff as against all [d]efendants, along with an [o]rder declaring that SFR is the rightful owner of title to the Property.” (ECF No. 21 at 2). SFR argues that, should the court not dismiss the complaint as to all defendants, dismissing the HOA would be inappropriate. (Id.).

         The HOA replied to plaintiff's response, but has not replied to SFR. (ECF No. 23).

         I. Introduction

         This case involves a dispute over real property located at 509 Copper View St., Henderson, Nevada 89052 (the “property”). Anthony Depasquale acquired a $460, 000 loan, which was secured by a deed of trust on the property that was recorded on August 17, 2005. (ECF No. 5 at 3). Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) was the beneficiary solely as nominee for the lender, and it assigned its interest as the beneficiary to plaintiff on July 27, 2010. (Id.).

         The HOA recorded a notice of delinquent assessment lien on February 3, 2009. (Id. at 4). On July 10, 2009, the HOA recorded a notice of default and election to sell. (Id.). Finally, on March 11, 2014, the HOA recorded a notice of foreclosure sale, which took place on April 3, 2014. (Id.). SFR purchased the property for $24, 000 at the foreclosure sale, and the foreclosure deed was recorded by the HOA on April 21, 2014. (Id.).

         Plaintiff brings suit alleging three claims: (1) declaratory relief against SFR; (2) quiet title against all defendants; and (3) unjust enrichment against SFR. (Id.). The HOA argues that the complaint must be dismissed for failure to mediate; the quiet title claim fails because plaintiff never had title to the property; and the doctrine of laches warrants dismissal.[1] (ECF No. 10).

         II. Legal Standard

         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. 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.


         III. Discussion

         A. ...

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