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U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Emerald Ridge Landscape Maintenance Association

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 29, 2017

U.S. BANK, N.A., SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE TO WACHOVIA BANK, N.A., AS TRUSTEE FOR THE CERTIFICATE HOLDERS OF BANC OF AMERICA FUNDING CORPORATION, MORTGAGE PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2004-C, Plaintiff,
v.
EMERALD RIDGE LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE ASSOCIATION; SFR INVESTMENTS POOL I, LLC; DOE INDIVIDUALS I-X, inclusive, and ROE CORPORATIONS I-X, inclusive, Defendants. SFR INVESTMENTS POOL 1, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company, Counter-Claimant,
v.
U.S. BANK, N.A., SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE TO WACHOVIA BANK, N.A., AS TRUSTEE FOR THE CERTIFICATE HOLDERS OF BANC OF AMERICA FUNDING CORPORATION, MORTGAGE PASS-THROUGH, SERIES 2004-C, a national association; ERNIE J. ALCARAZ, an individual, Counter-Defendants/Cross-Defendants.

          ORDER (COUNTER-CL.'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT - ECF NO. 61; COUNTER-CL.'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT - ECF NO. 62; COUNTER-CL.'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION - ECF NO. 66; DEF.'S JOINDER IN COUNTER-CL.'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION - ECF NO. 69).

          MIRANDA M. DU UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. SUMMARY

         Before the Court are SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC's (“SFR”) Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (ECF No. 61), Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 62), and Motion for Reconsideration (ECF No. 66). The Court has reviewed U.S. Bank, N.A.'s (“U.S. Bank”) responses to SFR's motions (ECF Nos. 68, 70, 71). The Court has also reviewed Emerald Ridge Landscape Maintenance Association's (“HOA”) response to SFR's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 73) and joinder to SFR's Motion for Reconsideration (ECF No. 69). Additionally, the Court has reviewed all of SFR's replies (ECF Nos. 72, 74, 75).

         For the reasons discussed below, the Court denies SFR's motions. U.S. Bank asks the Court to reaffirm its prior ruling to dispose of the case in favor of U.S. Bank. (ECF No. 71 at 10.) The Court agrees that U.S. Bank is entitled to equitable relief.

         II. BACKGROUND

         The relevant facts in this case are, for the most part, undisputed. Ernie Alcaraz (“Borrower”) obtained a loan (“the Loan”) secured by a first deed of trust (“First DOT”) on his property (“the Property”). (ECF No. 1 at 3.) The First DOT was subsequently assigned to U.S. Bank. (Id.) The Borrower defaulted on the Loan, and U.S. Bank began the process of foreclosure and intends to foreclose under the First DOT. (Id. at 3-4.) In the meantime, Borrower failed to pay the HOA's fees due to it. (Id. at 4.) On February 4, 2011, the HOA recorded a notice of delinquent assessment, followed by a notice of default and election to sale, and a notice of trustee's sale. (Id.) The various notices state the amount due to the HOA, including fees, interests and costs, but not the amount of the purported superpriority lien. (Id. at 4-5.) On March 25, 2011, Bank of America, N.A. (“Servicer”), the servicer of the Loan, attempted to obtain the superpriority lien amount and tendered what it calculated to be the superpriority lien amount to the HOA, who refused Servicer's tender. (Id. at 5-6.)

         The HOA foreclosed on the Property on August 21, 2014. (Id. at 6.) SFR purchased the Property for $30, 000. (Id.)

         III. SFR'S MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

         The Court addresses both SFR's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (ECF No. 61) and SFR's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 62) simultaneously. The Court does not consider either motion with respect to Cross-Defendant Alcaraz because the Clerk of Court has entered a default judgment against him. (ECF No. 67.)

         A. Legal Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits “show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). An issue is genuine “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party, ” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986), and a dispute is material if it could affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Id.

         Summary judgment is not appropriate when “reasonable minds could differ as to the import of the evidence.” See Id. at 250-51. “The amount of evidence necessary to raise a genuine issue of material fact is [that which is] enough ‘to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial.'” Aydin Corp. v. Loral Corp., 718 F.2d 897, 902 (9th Cir. 1983) (quoting First Nat'l Bank of Ariz. v. Cities Serv. Co., 391 U.S. 253, 288-89 (1968)). Decisions granting or denying summary judgment are made in light of the purpose of summary judgment: “to avoid unnecessary trials when there is no dispute as to the facts before the court.” Nw. Motorcycle Ass'n v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 18 F.3d 1468, 1471 (9th Cir. 1994).

         The moving party bears the burden of showing that there are no genuine issues of material fact. Zoslaw v. MCA Distrib. Corp., 693 F.2d 870, 883 (9th Cir. 1982). Once the moving party satisfies the requirements of Rule 56, the burden shifts to the party resisting the motion to “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256. In evaluating a summary judgment motion, a court views all facts and draws all inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. In re Slatkin, 525 F.3d 805, 810 (9th Cir. 2008). If a party relies on an affidavit or declaration to support or oppose a motion, it “must be made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant or declarant is competent to testify on the matters stated.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(4). The nonmoving party “may not rely on denials in the pleadings but must produce specific evidence, through affidavits or admissible discovery material, to show that the dispute exists, ” Bhan v. NME Hosps., Inc., 929 F.2d 1404, 1409 (9th Cir. 1991), and “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Orr v. Bank of Am., 285 F.3d 764, 783 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986)). “The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position will be insufficient . . . .” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.

         B. ...


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