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Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Hoa

United States District Court, D. Nevada

January 23, 2018

WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., AS TRUSTEE FOR THE HOLDERS OF THE SARM 2005-14 TRUST FUND, Plaintiff,
v.
TIDES I HOA AKA THE SANCTUARY OWNERS ASSOCIATION; NEVADA ASSOCIATION SERVICES, INC.; DOE INDIVIDUALS I-X, inclusive, and ROE CORPORATIONS I-X, inclusive, Defendants.

          ORDER

          MIRANDA M. DU UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. SUMMARY

         This case concerns a homeowner association's (“HOA”) foreclosure of property within its development pursuant to Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 116. Pending before the Court is Tides I Homeowners Association's (“Tides” or “the HOA”) Renewed Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment (“Motion”). (ECF No. 45.) The Court has reviewed Plaintiff Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.'s (“Wells Fargo”) response (ECF No. 47), Tides' reply (ECF No. 48), and the accompanying exhibits.

         For the reasons discussed below, the Court grants in part and denies in part the Motion.

         II. BACKGROUND

         In 2005, Gregorio Magno and Corazon Magno (“Borrowers”) purchased real property (“Property”) located within the HOA. (ECF No. 24 at ¶ 13.) The Borrowers obtained a mortgage loan on the Property secured by a deed of trust (“DOT”), which was assigned to Wells Fargo in May 2012. (Id. at ¶ 14.) The Borrowers subsequently failed to pay HOA assessments, and the HOA eventually foreclosed on the Property pursuant to NRS § 116.3116 on or about August 3, 2012. (Id. at ¶ 28.)

         Wells Fargo initiated this action against Tides on June 24, 2015, asserting claims of quiet title/declaratory relief, breach of NRS § 116.1113, and injunctive relief. (ECF No. 1.) Tides moved to dismiss the complaint on August 17, 2015. (ECF No. 11.) This Court granted Tides' motion on March 31, 2016, but permitted Wells Fargo to file an amended complaint to correct deficiencies with its quiet title claim, specifically so that Wells Fargo could allege the existence of fraud, unfairness, or oppression as it relates to the contention that the HOA's foreclosure sale was commercially unreasonable. (ECF No. 23 at 9.) The Court did not give Wells Fargo leave to amend its claim for violation of NRS § 116.1113. (Id. at 10.) Wells Fargo filed its First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) on April 15, 2016, against Tides and Nevada Association Services (“NAS”). (ECF No. 24.) The FAC includes three claims for relief: declaratory relief/quiet title against all Defendants; breach of NRS § 116.1113 against Tides and NAS; and injunctive relief against the HOA.

         Tides now moves to dismiss the FAC or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. (ECF No. 45.)

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         A. Dismissal Under Rule 12(b)(6)

         Under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint may be dismissed for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A properly pleaded 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); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). The Rule 8 notice pleading standard requires Plaintiff to “give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). While Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, it demands more than “labels and conclusions” or a “formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “Factual allegations must be enough to rise above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Thus, 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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal quotation marks omitted).

         In Iqbal, the Supreme Court clarified the two-step approach district courts are to apply when considering motions to dismiss. First, a district court must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint; however, legal conclusions are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Id. at 678. Mere recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported only by conclusory statements, do not suffice. Id. Second, a district court must consider whether the factual allegations in the complaint allege a plausible claim for relief. Id. at 679. A claim is facially plausible when the plaintiff's complaint alleges facts that allow a court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct. 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 it has not show[n] ― that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Id. at 679 (internal quotation marks omitted). When the claims in a complaint have not crossed the line from conceivable to plausible, the complaint must be dismissed. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. Moreover, a complaint must contain either direct or inferential allegations concerning “all the material elements necessary to sustain recovery under some viable legal theory.” Id. at 562 (quoting Car Carriers, Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 745 F.2d 1101, 1106 (7th Cir. 1989)).

         B. Summary Judgment

         “The purpose of summary judgment is 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) (internal citation omitted). Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show “there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986). An issue is “genuine” if there is a sufficient evidentiary basis on which a reasonable fact-finder could find for the nonmoving party and a dispute is “material” if it could affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986). Where reasonable minds could differ on the material facts at issue, however, summary judgment is not appropriate. See id. at 250-51. “The amount of evidence necessary to raise a genuine issue of material fact 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 v. Cities Serv. Co., 391 U.S. 253, 288-89 (1968)). In evaluating a summary judgment motion, a court views all facts and draws all inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Kaiser Cement Corp. v. Fishbach & Moore, Inc., 793 F.2d 1100, 1103 (9th Cir. 1986).

         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). “In order to carry its burden of production, the moving party must either produce evidence negating an essential element of the nonmoving party's claim or defense or show that the nonmoving party does not have enough evidence of an essential element to carry its ultimate burden of persuasion at trial.” Nissan Fire & Marine Ins. Co., Ltd v. Fritz Cos., Inc., 210 F.3d 1099, 1102 (9th Cir. 2000) (internal citation omitted). Once the moving party satisfies Rule 56's requirements, 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. 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., NT & SA, 285 F.3d 764, 783 (9th Cir. 2002) (internal citations omitted). “The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position will be insufficient.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.

         IV. DISCUSSION

         Tides raises ten arguments, three pertaining to Wells Fargo's quiet title/declaratory relief claim, three pertaining to its claim for violation of NRS § 116.1113, one pertaining to its claim for injunctive relief, and two that the Court considers procedural. The Court first addresses the procedural arguments before turning to those pertaining to the FAC's stated claims for relief.

         A. Procedural Arguments

         Tides makes two arguments that the Court considers to be procedural: (1) the Borrowers are necessary parties to this action; and (2) this Court should disregard the “expert report” provided by Wells Fargo.[1] (ECF No. 45 at 14, 21-24.) The Court finds that the Borrowers are not necessary ...


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