United States District Court, D. Nevada
REPORT OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
A. LEEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the court for screening of Plaintiff Ann
Gates Middleton's Amended Complaint (ECF No.
which is referred to the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(B) and LR IB 1-4 of the Local Rules of
Middleton is proceeding in this action pro se and
in forma pauperis (“IFP”). She commenced
this action on September 30, 2015, by filing an IFP
Application (ECF No. 1) and proposed complaint. She
subsequently filed a Motion to Expedite Ruling on Fee Waiver
Request (ECF No. 2). The court denied her request explaining
that civil cases are processed in the order in which they are
filed in the absence of a true emergency. See Order
(ECF No. 3). The order indicated that an order would issue
granting or denying IFP status when the court screened the
proposed complaint and determined whether it stated a
review of the complaint, the court determined that it failed
to state an actionable claim under the Truth in Lending Act
(“TILA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1601-1667f. The
court therefore issued an Order (ECF No. 4) instructing
Middleton to file an amended complaint by February 23, 2017,
if she believed she could correct the noted defects in her
pleading. Ms. Middleton filed Objections (ECF No. 6) to the
undersigned's Order. Although Ms. Middleton disagreed
with the finding that her complaint failed to state a claim,
she stated she would file an amended complaint by the
deadline. Ms. Middleton did not file an amended complaint by
the February 23, 2017 deadline.
March 31, 2017, the court issued an Order to Show Cause (ECF
No. 7) why sanctions should not be imposed for her failure to
file an amended complaint and her failure to comply with the
Order (ECF No. 4). The order provided that filing the amended
complaint on or before April 28, 2017, would satisfy the
court that sanctions were not warranted. Ms. Middleton filed
her Amended Complaint (ECF No. 8) on April 28,
Screening the Amended Complaint
to § 1915(e), federal courts must screen all IFP
complaints and amended complaint prior to a responsive
pleading. Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1129 (9th
Cir. 2000) (en banc) (§ 1915(e) applies to “all in
forma pauperis complaints”). If the court determines
that the complaint states a valid claim for relief, the court
will direct the Clerk of the Court to issue summons to the
defendant(s) and the plaintiff must then serve the summons
and complaint within 90 days. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
4(m). If the court determines that the complaint fails to
state an actionable claim, the complaint is dismissed and the
plaintiff is ordinarily given leave to amend with directions
as to curing the pleading deficiencies, unless it is clear
from the face of the complaint that the deficiencies cannot
be cured by amendment. Cato v. United States, 70
F.3d 1103, 1106 (9th Cir. 1995). Allegations in a pro
se complaint are held to less stringent standards than
formal pleading drafted by lawyers. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Hebbe v.
Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342 n.7 (9th Cir. 2010). However,
pro se litigants “should not be treated more
favorably than parties with attorneys of record, ”
Jacobsen v. Filler, 790 F.2d 1362, 1364 (9th Cir.
1986); rather, they must follow the same rules of procedure
that govern other litigants. Ghazali v. Moran, 46
F.3d 52, 54 (9th Cir. 1995).
Ms. Middleton's Amended Allegations and Claims for
action involves a mortgage note and deed of trust for the
real property of 7754 Pink Ginger Street, Las Vegas, Nevada
(the “Property”). See Am. Compl. (ECF
No. 8) at 4. The Amended Complaint names as defendants
Guaranteed Rate, Inc. (“GRI”); Wells Fargo Bank,
N.A. (“Wells Fargo”); Mortgage Electronics
Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”); Government
National Mortgage Association; Old Republic Title Company of
Nevada (“Old Republic”); Office of Debbie Conway,
Clark County Recorder (“Recorder's Office”);
Assistant Clark County Recorder Eugene Mendiola (“Mr.
Mendiola”); and Does 1-25.
Middleton alleges that the events giving rise to this case
began after she closed escrow on the Property in March 2012.
She alleges that GRI withheld information from her and only
partially disclosed facts. Had she been in possession of this
information, she would not have entered into the agreement.
She claims she has tried to validate the alleged debt on her
Property with Wells Fargo and GRI but claims she received
on a report she received from Old Republic, Ms. Middleton
alleges that several transfers of the mortgage occurred for
two months after the closing. Although she believed that GRI
was the actual lender, the report indicated that GRI was the
interim servicer and Ally Bank was the interim lender. In
April 2012, Wells Fargo replaced GRI as the servicer and
investor; thus, GRI was paid off. She alleges this
extinguished her indebtedness and discharged the security
interest on the deed of trust. At the time, the Clark County
Recorder had no record of the deed of trust transferring to a
third-party, which disputes defendants' later claim that
the promissory note and/or the deed of trust was later
assigned. Middleton alleges that the numerous transfers on
the MERS report violate the statute of frauds and constitute
deceptive trade practices. From October 2014 through February
2017, she exchanged various correspondence with defendants
requesting an accounting, stating her belief that the account
balance is zero, and asserting that defendants have engaged
in massive fraud and clouded her title. See Am. Compl. (ECF
No. 8), Exhibits C, D, F, H, J.
November 2016 and March 2017, Ms. Middleton attempted to file
a “Rescission of Signature” and affidavits with
the Recorder's Office. See id., Exhibit L.
However, Mr. Mendiola denied the requests to record the
document. See id., Exhibit K. Middleton alleges that
Mr. Mendiola made improper legal determinations about the
documents as there was nothing wrong with the documents'
formatting. The Recorder's Office ...