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Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Saticoy Bay LLC Series 1236 Dusty Creek Street

United States District Court, D. Nevada

December 18, 2019

DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, Plaintiff
v.
SATICOY BAY LLC SERIES 1236 DUSTY CREEK STREET, et al., Defendants

         ORDER (1) GRANTING DEUTSCHE'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, (2) DENYING SATICOY'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, (3) DISMISSING DEUTSCHE'S CLAIMS AGAINST DURANGO TRAILS AS MOOT, AND (4) GRANTING IN PART SATICOY'S MOTION TO DISMISS [ECF NOS. 33, 40, 42]

          ANDREW P. GORDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (Deutsche) sues to determine whether its deed of trust encumbering property located at 1236 Dusty Creek Street in Las Vegas, Nevada was extinguished by a nonjudicial foreclosure sale conducted by a homeowners association (HOA), defendant Durango Trails Homeowners Association, Inc. (Durango Trails). Defendant Saticoy Bay LLC Series 1236 Dusty Creek Street (Saticoy) purchased the property at the foreclosure sale. Deutsche seeks a declaration that its deed of trust still encumbers the property and it asserts an unjust enrichment claim against Saticoy. Deutsche also asserts damages claims against Durango Trails and its foreclosure agent, defendant Homeowner Association Services, Inc. (HAS). Saticoy counterclaims and crossclaims to quiet title in itself.[1] Durango Trails cross-claims against HAS.

         Deutsche and cross-defendant Nationstar Mortgage, LLC move for summary judgment. SFR also moves for summary judgment. The parties are familiar with the facts so I do not repeat them here except where necessary. I grant Deutsche's motion for summary judgment and deny Saticoy's motion for summary judgment because HAS failed to mail the notice of sale to Deutsche, rendering the sale void as to the deed of trust. I dismiss as moot Deutsche's damages claims against Durango Trails. Finally, I grant in part Saticoy's motion to dismiss Deutche's unjust enrichment claim because Deutsche did not confer a benefit on Saticoy by virtue of Saticoy taking title to the property. However, Deutsche's unjust enrichment claim against Saticoy related to the payment of taxes, insurance, and other expenses remains pending because the voluntary payment doctrine is an affirmative defense that is not properly resolved at dismissal and no party moved for summary judgment on this claim.

         I. LEGAL STANDARDS

         In considering a motion to dismiss, “all well-pleaded allegations of material fact are taken as true and construed in a light most favorable to the non-moving party.” Wyler Summit P'ship v. Turner Broad. Sys., Inc., 135 F.3d 658, 661 (9th Cir. 1998). However, I do not assume the truth of legal conclusions merely because they are cast in the form of factual allegations. See Clegg v. Cult Awareness Network, 18 F.3d 752, 754-55 (9th Cir. 1994). A plaintiff must make sufficient factual allegations to establish a plausible entitlement to relief. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007). Such allegations must amount to “more than labels and conclusions, [or] a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Id. at 555.

         Summary judgment is appropriate if the movant shows “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a), (c). A fact is material if it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute is genuine if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id.

         The party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of informing the court of the basis for its motion and identifying those portions of the record that demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The burden then shifts to the non-moving party to set forth specific facts demonstrating there is a genuine issue of material fact for trial. Fairbank v. Wunderman Cato Johnson, 212 F.3d 528, 531 (9th Cir. 2000); Sonner v. Schwabe N. Am., Inc., 911 F.3d 989, 992 (9th Cir. 2018) (“To defeat summary judgment, the nonmoving party must produce evidence of a genuine dispute of material fact that could satisfy its burden at trial.”). I view the evidence and reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. James River Ins. Co. v. Hebert Schenk, P.C., 523 F.3d 915, 920 (9th Cir. 2008).

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. Declaratory Relief

         1. Statute of Limitations

         Saticoy argues that Deutsche's declaratory relief claim is untimely. I have previously ruled that the four-year catchall limitation period in Nevada Revised Statutes § 11.220 applies to claims under § 40.010 brought by a lienholder seeking to determine whether an HOA sale extinguished its deed of trust. See Bank of Am., N.A. v. Country Garden Owners Ass'n, No. 2:17-cv-01850-APG-CWH, 2018 WL 1336721, at *2 (D. Nev. Mar. 14, 2018). The HOA foreclosure sale took place on February 27, 2014. ECF No. 41-10. Deutsche filed its complaint on June 14, 2017. ECF No. 1. Deutche's declaratory relief claim thus is timely because the complaint was filed less than four years after the foreclosure sale. I therefore deny Saticoy's motions to dismiss and for summary judgment on the statute of limitation grounds.

         2. Adequate Remedy at Law

         Saticoy argues in its motion to dismiss that Deutsche cannot seek to equitably set aside the HOA foreclosure sale because Deutsche has an adequate remedy at law against HAS. Generally, a party cannot obtain an equitable remedy when it has an adequate remedy at law. Las Vegas Valley Water Dist. v. Curtis Park Manor Water Users Ass'n, 646 P.2d 549, 551 (Nev. 1982). However, Nevada Revised Statutes § 40.010, which allows for resolving disputes involving adverse interests in property, “essentially codified” Nevada's historical recognition “that courts retain the power to grant equitable relief from a defective foreclosure sale when appropriate . . . .” Shadow Wood HOA v. N.Y. Cmty. Bankcorp., 366 P.3d 1105, 1110 (Nev. 2016) (en banc). While the availability of other remedies (both before and ...


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