United States District Court, D. Nevada
a case with a long, tortured procedural history that has
resulted in case-ending sanctions in favor of defendants for
plaintiffs' failures to comply with the local rules of
practice and the explicit orders of the court.
before the court is an August 1, 2017 motion for default
judgment (ECF No. 165) by defendants Bank of New York Mellon
(BNYM), First America Trustee Servicing Solutions (First
America), L.L.C., and Residential Credit Solutions, Inc.
(Residential Credit). The motion seeks to enforce a prior
order of the court entering default in favor of defendants.
On August 8, 2017, pro se plaintiff Guetatchew
Fikrou responded. (ECF No. 168). On August 15, 2017,
defendants replied. (ECF No. 169).
before the court is Fikrou's August 7, 2017 motion for
district judge to reconsider its order dismissing the
complaint (ECF 163) and the clerk's entry of default (ECF
No. 164). (ECF No. 167). Defendants responded (ECF No. 170),
to which Fikrou replied (ECF No. 173).
case involves a dispute over real property located at 2138
Montana Pine Drive, Henderson, Nevada 89052 (the
March 20, 2007, Shannon Moore obtained a loan from
Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. Mortgage in the amount of $556,
000.00 to purchase the property, which was secured by a deed
of trust recorded on April 26, 2007.
deed was assigned to BNYM via an assignment of deed of trust
recorded on November 9, 2010. An assignment of deed of trust
was recorded on March 7, 2014, clarifying the assignment to
September 11, 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 $4,
062.92. (ECF No. 49 at 51). On October 28, 2013, NAS recorded
a notice of default and election to sell to satisfy the
delinquent assessment lien, stating an amount due of $4,
988.64. (ECF No. 49 at 53).
March 17, 2014, NAS recorded a notice of trustee's sale,
stating an amount due of $5, 867.36. (ECF No. 49 at 57). BNYM
did not bid or pay the noticed amount. On April 11, 2014,
Abet Justice, LLC purchased the property at the foreclosure
sale for $42, 100.00. A trustee's deed upon sale in favor
of Abet was recorded on April 14, 2014. (ECF No. 49 at 59).
Fikrou asserts that he is the owner of Abet Justice. (ECF No.
11, 2014, Fikrou and Abet Justice filed the underlying
complaint against defendants, alleging two causes of action:
(1) quiet title and (2) declaratory relief. (ECF No. 1). On
February 9, 2015, defendants filed an answer. (ECF No. 33).
On April 29, 2015, defendants filed an amended answer and
counterclaim, alleging six causes of action: (1) quiet
title/declaratory judgment; (2) preliminary and permanent
injunction against Fikrou; (3) wrongful foreclosure against
NAS and the HOA; (4) negligence against the HOA and NAS; (5)
negligence per se against the HOA and NAS; and (6)
breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing against
the HOA. (ECF No. 49).
March 23, 2016, the court dismissed BNYM's counterclaims
(2) through (6). (ECF No. 104). BNYM's only counterclaim
remaining, then, was its quiet title claim against Abet
Justice. (See ECF No. 49).
April 11, 2016, Abet Justice's and Fikrou's counsel
moved to withdraw as attorney. (ECF No. 105). On April 29,
2016, this court granted the motion. (ECF No. 110). In that
order, the court ordered that “Abet Justice L.L.C. must
retain new counsel if it intends to continue to litigate this
matter. Plaintiff Abet Justice L.L.C. shall have until
5/30/16, to advise the Court if it will retain new
counsel.” Id. Abet Justice did not comply.
24, 2016, the court entered an order to show cause stating
Plaintiff Abet Justice, L.L.C. shall show cause, in writing,
no later than July 1, 2016, why sanctions
should not be imposed for the failure to comply with this
Court's prior order. Failure to timely respond to this
Order to Show Cause shall result in the imposition of
(ECF No. 117).
Justice never complied with the court's orders.
Accordingly, on July 20, 2016, Magistrate Judge Foley
recommended that plaintiff Abet Justice's claims be
dismissed with prejudice based on plaintiff's failure to
comply with the court's order to obtain successor
counsel. (ECF No. 121). Fikrou timely objected, arguing that
the failure to comply was excusable neglect. (ECF No. 123).
September 8, 2016, Fikrou filed a document entitled
“Plaintiff Guetatchew Fikrou's substitution of
representation.” (ECF No. 130). In this document,
Fikrou notified the court that Abet Justice conveyed whatever
interest it had in the subject property of this litigation to
Fikrou by way of quitclaim deed, and attached a copy of the
deed to Fikrou's filing. Id. The deed has been
recorded by the Clark County recorder. See Id. at 4.
September 26, 2017, this court adopted Magistrate Judge
Foley's R&R in its entirety and dismissed all of Abet
Justice's claims with prejudice. (ECF No. 132). At this
point, Abet Justice was terminated as a plaintiff but
remained in the action as a counterdefendant to BYNM's
first counterclaim. (ECF 49 at 8-18). However, as Abet
Justice quitclaimed to Fikrou any and all interest it had in
the property subject to BYNM's quiet title claim, Fikrou
thereby substituted himself as the successor and real party
in interest subject to counterdefendant to BNYM's quiet
title claim. (See ECF No. 130). Abet Justice had no
remaining interest in this action.
April 27, 2017, Magistrate Judge Foley ordered the parties to
file a joint pretrial order “which fully complies with
the requirements of LR 16-3 and LR 16-4 no later than
5/5/17.” (ECF No. 146).
2, 2017, this court ordered Fikrou to show cause why this
action should not be dismissed for lack of standing. (ECF No.
147). Fikrou responded, informing the court that Abet signed
a quitclaim deed to Fikrou, conveying its interest in the
subject property to Fikrou, giving him standing, and that
Abet has since been dissolved as an entity in the state of
Nevada. (ECF No. 152). Fikrou argued that he is “well
aware now that his entity ABET cannot be represented by a
‘Pro se Representation.' . . . That is why Fikrou
has transferred ownership of the property to him around
August 30, ...