United States District Court, D. Nevada
before the court is plaintiff Bank of New York Mellon's
(“BNYM”) motion to alter or amend judgment. (ECF
No. 27). Defendant SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC
(“SFR”) filed a response (ECF No. 28), to which
BNYM replied (ECF No. 29).
Facts & Background
complaint alleged that the HOA foreclosure sale did not
extinguish its deed of trust on the property. (ECF No. 1).
However, BNYM failed to name Shadow Crossing Homeowners'
Association (the “HOA”) as a defendant to the
action. Id. On May 22, 2017, SFR filed a motion to
dismiss BNYM's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(7) for failure to join the HOA, a
necessary party, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
19(a)(1). (ECF No. 15). On November 8, 2017, the court
granted SFR's motion and dismissed BNYM's complaint
without prejudice. (ECF No. 25). On November 9, 2017, the
clerk of the court entered judgment in favor of SFR. (ECF No.
instant motion, BNYM moves the court to alter or amend the
entry of judgment in favor of SFR resulting from the
court's dismissal of BNYM's complaint. (ECF No. 27).
. . . . . .
59(e) “permits a district court to reconsider and amend
a previous order[;]” however, “the rule offers an
extraordinary remedy, to be used sparingly in the interests
of finality and conservation of judicial resources.”
Carroll v. Nakatani, 342 F.3d 934, 945 (9th Cir.
2003) (internal quotations omitted). “A motion to alter
or amend a judgment must be filed no later than 28 days after
the entry of the judgment.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e).
specific grounds for a motion to amend or alter are not
listed in the rule, the district court enjoys considerable
discretion in granting or denying the motion.”
McDowell v. Calderon, 197 F.3d 1253, 1255 n. 1 (9th
Cir.1999) (en banc) (per curiam).
Generally, there are four grounds upon which a Rule 59(e)
motion may be granted: (1) to correct manifest errors or law
or fact; (2) to present newly discovered or previously
unavailable evidence; (3) to prevent manifest injustice; or
(4) if amendment of the judgment is justified by an
intervening change in controlling law. Allstate Ins. Co.
v. Herron, 634 F.3d 1101, 1111 (9th Cir. 2011)
(citing McDowell, 197 F.3d at 1255 n. 1).
requests that the court either (1) reconsider its order
granting SFR's motion to dismiss and amend the subsequent
judgment, or (2) grant BNYM leave to amend its complaint to
join the HOA as a party. (ECF No. 27). BNYM contends that
such action by the court is necessary so as “to avoid
manifest injustice.” Id.
does not challenge the court's finding that the HOA is a
necessary party to the litigation. (ECF No. 27). Instead,
BYNM argues that dismissal of the complaint was improper on
such a basis. Id. BNYM argues that the court's
determination that the HOA is a necessary party obligates the
court to order the HOA be joined as a defendant to this
action pursuant to Rule 19(a), and not to dismiss the
further contends that the order and judgment dismissing its
complaint “will cause BNYM undue prejudice because BNYM
will be effectively estopped from pursuing any adequate
remedy on its claims.” (ECF No. 27). While BNYM filed
its complaint in advance of the five-year statute of
limitations governing quiet title actions, BNYM argues that
“because the [order granting SFR's motion to
dismiss without prejudice] was issued after the
statute of limitations ran, it effectively  rendered a
dismissal with prejudice.” Id.
initial matter, the court will not reconsider its order
dismissing BNYM's complaint as it relates to BNYM's
claim for declaratory relief. “[A] ‘claim'
for declaratory relief is not a substantive cause of action
at all; it is merely a prayer for a remedy.” Pettit
v. Fed. Nat'l Mortg. Ass'n, no.
2:11-cv-00149-JAD-PAL, 2014 WL 584876 (D. Nev. Feb. 11,
2014); see Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. SFR Invs. Pool 1,
LLC, no. 2:15-cv-02257-JCM-CWH, 2017 WL 1902158, at *4
(D. Nev. May 9, 2017) (citing Stock West, Inc. v.
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, 873
F.2d 1221, 1225 (9th Cir. 1989)); see also Centex Homes
v. Everest Nat'l Ins. Co., no.
2:16-cv-01275-GMN-CWH, 2017 WL 4349017 (D. Nev. Sept. 29,
2017) (“[T]he Court will interpret Plaintiff's
claim for declaratory relief as a request for a remedy rather
than a separate cause of action . . . .”). BNYM
requests a remedy of declaratory relief, and as this is not a
substantive cause of action, the court will not reconsider
its order granting SFR's motion to dismiss as to this
claim. See Wells Fargo, 2017 WL 1902158, at *4.
BNYM seeks to place blame on the court for dismissing its
complaint just beyond the expiration of the statute of
limitations period, BNYM's current predicament is
fundamentally due to its own failure to initially name the
HOA as a defendant in this action. Further, BNYM had five (5)
months between the filing of SFR's motion to dismiss and
the expiration of the statute of limitations in which to
request leave from the court to amend its complaint to add
the HOA as a defendant. Despite BNYM's knowledge that
dismissal based on Rule 19 grounds was possible, BNYM failed
to file such a motion.
the court recognizes that joinder, and not dismissal, was
appropriate in this case. Pursuant to Rule 19(a), once
determining the necessary status of an absent party, the next
step “is for the court to determine whether it is
feasible to order that the absentee be joined.”
Thunder Properties, Inc. v. Wood, no.
3:14-cv-00068-RCJ-WGC, 2015 WL 1926768, at *2 (D. Nev. April
28, 2015) (citing E.E.O.C. v. Peabody Western Coal
Co., 400 F.3d 774, 779 (9th Cir. 2005)). Joinder is not
feasible “when venue is improper, when the absentee is
not subject to personal ...