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U.S. Bank N.A. v. SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

July 5, 2018

U.S. BANK, N.A., Plaintiff(s),
v.
SFR INVESTMENTS POOL 1, LLC, Defendant(s).

          ORDER

         Presently before the court is plaintiff U.S. Bank, N.A.'s (“U.S. Bank”) motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 80). Defendant SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC (“SFR”) filed a response (ECF No. 84), to which U.S. Bank replied (ECF No. 91).

         Also before the court is SFR's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 81). U.S. Bank filed a response (ECF No. 82), to which SFR replied (ECF No. 90).

         I. Introduction

         This case involves a dispute over real property located at 2839 Bridleton Avenue, North Las Vegas, Nevada, 89081 (the “property”).

         On July 21, 2005, Vichearith Khuon (“borrower”) purchased the property. (ECF No. 80). On July 25, 2005, a deed of trust was recorded against the property securing an amount of $276, 150.00. Id. The deed of trust identified Universal American Mortgage Company, LLC as the lender, Stewart Title Company as the trustee, and MERS as the beneficiary. Id.

         On December 15, 2011, an assignment of deed of trust was recorded, whereby U.S. Bank was assigned all beneficial interest in the note and deed of trust. (ECF No. 80).

         On June 12, 2009, the borrower filed a voluntary petition for chapter 7 bankruptcy. (ECF No. 80). On September 28, 2009, a discharge of debtor was filed in the borrower's bankruptcy case. Id.

         On November 17, 2009, a notice of delinquent assessment lien was recorded against the property by Alessi & Koenig, LLC (“A&K”), as agent for Azure Manor/Rancho de Paz Homeowners Association (the “HOA”). (ECF No. 80). The notice stated an amount due of $1, 347.14. Id. On January 14, 2010, a notice of default and election to sell under homeowners association lien was recorded against the property by A&K on behalf of the HOA. Id. The notice stated an amount due of $2, 187.14. Id.

         On June 24, 2010, the final decree was filed in the borrower's bankruptcy case, which stated that the estate was fully administered, the trustee was discharged, and the chapter 7 case was closed. (ECF No. 80).

         On September 16, 2010, a notice of trustee's sale was recorded against the property by A&K on behalf of the HOA. (ECF No. 80). The notice stated an amount due of $3, 931, 44. Id.

         On November 5, 2010, U.S. Bank's predecessor-in-interest, BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP f/k/a Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (“BAC”), sent A&K a letter requesting a payoff amount for the superpriority portion of the HOA lien. (ECF No. 80-16). A&K's response on November 9, 2010, indicated a total amount owed of $4, 481.44. (ECF No. 80). The response did not specify the superpriority portion of the lien. Id. On December 2, 2010, BAC sent a letter to A&K that included a check for $495.00-the amount calculated to be nine months worth of HOA assessments. Id. A&K did not accept the check. Id.

         On August 14, 2012, a notice of trustee's sale was recorded against the property by A&K on behalf of the HOA. (ECF No. 80). The notice stated an amount due of $5, 651, 44. Id.

         On September 12, 2012, a foreclosure sale took place whereby SFR acquired the property for $7, 500.00. (ECF No. 80). A trustee's deed upon sale was recorded against the property in favor of SFR on September 24, 2012. Id.

         U.S. Bank alleges the fair market value of the property was $136, 000.00 at the time of the foreclosure sale. (ECF No. 80).

         On August 11, 2015, U.S. Bank filed its complaint in this action. (ECF No. 1). The complaint alleges the following claims: (1) quiet title/declaratory relief against SFR; and (2) permanent and preliminary injunction against SFR. Id.

         On February 28, 2018, the court granted MERS and SFR's stipulation to dismiss all crossclaims and counterclaims. (ECF No. 85).

         II. Legal Standard

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow summary judgment when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A principal purpose of summary judgment is “to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).

         For purposes of summary judgment, disputed factual issues should be construed in favor of the non-moving party. Lujan v. Nat'l Wildlife Fed., 497 U.S. 871, 888 (1990). However, to be entitled to a denial of summary judgment, the nonmoving party must “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Id.

         In determining summary judgment, a court applies a burden-shifting analysis. The moving party must first satisfy its initial burden. “When the party moving for summary judgment would bear the burden of proof at trial, it must come forward with evidence which would entitle it to a directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at trial. In such a case, the moving party has the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of fact on each issue material to its case.” C.A.R. Transp. Brokerage Co. v. Darden Rests., Inc., 213 F.3d 474, 480 (9th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted).

         By contrast, when the nonmoving party bears the burden of proving the claim or defense, the moving party can meet its burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence to negate an essential element of the non-moving party's case; or (2) by demonstrating that the nonmoving party failed to make a showing sufficient to establish an element essential to that party's case on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323-24. If the moving party fails to meet its initial burden, summary judgment must be denied and the court need not consider the nonmoving party's evidence. See Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 159- 60 (1970).

         If the moving party satisfies its initial burden, the burden then shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine issue of material fact exists. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). To establish the existence of a factual dispute, the opposing party need not establish a material issue of fact conclusively in its favor. It is sufficient that “the claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial.” T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 631 (9th Cir. 1987).

         In other words, the nonmoving party cannot avoid summary judgment by relying solely on conclusory allegations that are unsupported by factual data. See Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). Instead, the opposition must go beyond the assertions and allegations of the pleadings and set forth specific facts by producing competent evidence that shows a genuine issue for trial. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324.

         At summary judgment, a court's function is not to weigh the evidence and determine the truth, but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). The evidence of the nonmovant is “to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor.” Id. at 255. But if the evidence of the nonmoving party is merely colorable or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted. See Id. at 249-50.

         III. Discussion

         As an initial matter, claim (2) of U.S. Bank's complaint will be dismissed without prejudice as the court follows the well-settled rule that a claim for “injunctive relief” standing alone is not a cause of action. See, e.g., In re Wal-Mart Wage & Hour Emp't Practices Litig., 490 F.Supp.2d 1091, 1130 (D. Nev. 2007); Tillman v. Quality Loan Serv. Corp., No. 2:12-CV-346 JCM RJJ, 2012 WL 1279939, at *3 (D. Nev. Apr. 13, 2012) (finding that “injunctive relief is a remedy, not an independent cause of action”); Jensen v. Quality ...


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