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Bank of New York Mellon v. Paradise Court Homeowners Assn.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 18, 2019

THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, Plaintiff,
v.
PARADISE COURT HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION; NEVADA ASSOCIATION SERVICES, INC.; and SFR INVESTMENTS POOL 1, LLC, Defendants. SFR INVESTMENTS POOL 1, LLC, Counter/Cross Claimant,
v.
THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, Counter/Cross Defendants.

          ORDER

          Gloria M. Navarro, District United States District Judge.

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff Bank of New York Mellon’s (“BNYM’s”) Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment, (ECF No. 112). Defendant Paradise Court Homeowners Association (“HOA”) and SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC (“SFR”) filed Responses, (ECF Nos. 116, 117), to which BNYM filed a Reply, (ECF No. 118). For the reasons discussed below, BNYM’s Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment is DENIED.[1]

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case involves claims arising out of a non-judicial foreclosure on real property located at 1150 Grass Pond Place #2, Henderson, Nevada 89015 (the “Property”). (Compl. ¶ 6, ECF No. 1). BNYM was assigned the Deed of Trust (“DOT”) for that Property on October 18, 2011. (See Assignment of DOT, Ex. B to BNYM’s MSJ, ECF No. 89-2).

         The foreclosure sale at the center of this case occurred on September 21, 2012, due to outstanding assessments on the Property that were owed to HOA, which gave HOA a superpriority lien pursuant to Chapter 116 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. (See Notice of Delinquent Assessment Lien, Ex. C to BNYM’s MSJ, ECF No. 89-2). SFR purchased the Property at that foreclosure sale.

         BNYM filed its Complaint on February 25, 2016, asserting several causes of action against Nevada Association Services, Inc. (“NAS”), SFR, and HOA for their roles in the Property’s foreclosure and sale: (1) quiet title with a requested remedy of declaratory judgment; (2) breach of Nevada Revised Statute (“NRS”) 116.1113; (3) wrongful foreclosure; (4) injunctive relief. (Id. ¶¶ 24-65). On June 17, 2016, SFR filed a counterclaim against BNYM and crossclaims against various parties involved in the foreclosure sale for quiet title, slander of title, and injunctive relief. (Answer at 8-16, ECF No. 42).

         Each party later filed their own motion for summary judgment, (ECF Nos. 85, 89, 90), which the Court ruled on in its September 27, 2019 Order, (ECF No. 108). In that Order, the Court denied BNYM’s motion as to all of its claims, and granted summary judgment in favor of SFR and HOA. (See Order 12:1-10, ECF No. 108). Specifically, the Court did not find that the letter of inquiry sent to NAS by BNYM’s loan servicer, Bank of America, N.A., (“BANA”) was a valid tender of the owed assessments prior to the foreclosure sale. (Id. 8:14-16) (“Because BNYM only declared its willingness to pay and did not present actual payment, there was no tender of the super-priority amount that prevented HOA from extinguishing BNYM’s deed of trust through foreclosure.”). The Court also did not find equitable grounds that would warrant setting aside the foreclosure sale. (Id. 9:1-11:2). The Court accordingly concluded that the foreclosure sale was valid, and that BNYM’s DOT had been extinguished. (Id. 8:14–16, 10:17–19, 10:25–11:2, 11:17–19).

         In BNYM’s instant Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment, BNYM requests the Court to reconsider its ruling with respect to its claims against HOA for wrongful foreclosure and breach of NRS 116.1113. (See Mot. Alter or Amend 5:18–7:1). Additionally, BNYM urges reconsideration of the Court’s conclusion that the letter of inquiry could not have constituted a valid tender. (Id. 5:10–11:4); (see also Mot. Leave to File Suppl. Authority, ECF No. 119) (citing the Nevada Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bank of Am., N.A. v. Thomas Jessup, LLC Series VII, 435 P.3d 1217 (Nev. 2019)).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Under Rule 59(e), district courts have considerable discretion when considering a motion to amend a judgment. Turner v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe. R.R. Co., 338 F.3d 1058, 1063 (9th Cir. 2003). There are four grounds upon which a Rule 59(e) motion may be granted: 1) the motion is necessary to correct manifest errors of law or fact upon which judgment is based; 2) the moving party presents newly discovered evidence or previously unavailable evidence; 3) the motion is necessary to prevent manifest injustice; or 4) there is an intervening change in controlling law. Id. Motions under this Rule “should not be granted, absent highly unusual circumstances.” 389 Orange St. Partners v. Arnold, 179 F.3d 656, 665 (9th Cir. 1995). A motion to amend judgment is not a vehicle permitting an unsuccessful party to reiterate arguments previously presented. Taylor v. Knapp, 871 F.2d 803, 805 (9th Cir. 1989). Further, a “Rule 59(e) motion may not be used to raise arguments or present evidence for the first time when they could reasonably have been raised earlier in the litigation.” Kona Enters., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000).

         III. DISCUSSION

         BNYM moves for the Court to reconsider its grant of summary judgment on BNYM’s claims against HOA for wrongful foreclosure and breach of NRS 116.1113. (Mot. Alter or Amend 5:4–9). BNYM also moves for reconsideration of the ruling that BANA’s letter attempting to pay off HOA’s superpriority lien was insufficient to constitute valid tender. (Id.). The Court’s below discussion begins with BNYM’s arguments concerning tender, and then addresses BNYM’s claims for wrongful foreclosure and breach of NRS 116.1113 against HOA.

         A. Tender

         The Court reiterates its prior ruling and concludes that the letter offering to pay the yet-to-be determined superpriority amount, without more, is insufficient to constitute valid tender. (See Order 8:7–23, ECF No. 108). The Nevada Supreme Court’s decision in Bank of Am., N.A. v. ...


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