COREY L. ROBERSON, Plaintiff,
GINNIE MAE REMIC TRUST 2010 H01, et al., Defendants.
PAUL W. GRIMM, District Judge.
This Memorandum Opinion addresses the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants Wells Fargo Home Mortgage ("Wells Fargo") and Ginnie Mae REMIC Trust 2010 H01 ("Ginnie Mae"), ECF No. 5, and supporting Memorandum, ECF No. 5-1; Plaintiff Corey L. Roberson's Response, ECF No. 8; and Defendants' Reply, ECF No. 9. A hearing is not necessary. See Loc. R. 105.6. Defendants' Motion to Dismiss SHALL BE GRANTED. However, for the reasons stated below, Plaintiff SHALL BE GRANTED twenty-one days leave to supplement his complaint. If Plaintiff fails to file a timely supplement, the case shall be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. If Plaintiff files a timely supplement, Defendants SHALL BE GRANTED twenty-one days to renew their Motion to Dismiss or to file a Second Motion to Dismiss.
On January 13, 2010, Roberson took out a mortgage on his Maryland property from Wells Fargo. See Compl. ¶¶ 1-2, ECF No. 1. Through a "Real Estate Securitization Compliance Audit, " Roberson discovered that the Promissory Note he executed to Wells Fargo for repayment of his mortgage (the "Note") had been securitized to several banks. Id. ¶¶ 1-3. Roberson brings this suit for fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and quiet title. Id. On June 18, 2013, Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint under Rule 12(b)(6), ECF No. 5. Plaintiff filed a timely response, ECF No. 8, and Defendants replied, ECF No. 9.
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for "the dismissal of a complaint if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Velencia v. Drezhlo, No. RDB-12-237, 2012 WL 6562764, at *4 (D. Md. Dec. 13, 2012). This Rule's purpose "is to test the sufficiency of a complaint and not to resolve contests surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the applicability of defenses." Id. (quoting Presley v. City of Charlottesville, 464 F.3d 480, 483 (4th Cir. 2006)). To that end, the Court bears in mind the requirements of Rule 8, Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) when considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). Specifically, a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, " Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), and must state "a plausible claim for relief, " as "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice, " Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79. See Velencia, 2012 WL 6562764, at *4 (discussing standard from Iqbal and Twombly ). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 663.
Plaintiff proceeds pro se, and therefore his complaint receives liberal construction. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). However, liberal construction does not absolve Plaintiff of the requirements of factual support in the Rules relevant to his filing. See Holsey v. Collins, 90 F.R.D. 122, 128 (D. Md. 1981) (citing Inmates v. Owens, 561 F.2d 560, 562-63 (4th Cir. 1977)). As stated by the Fourth Circuit,
It is neither unfair nor unreasonable to require a pleader to put his complaint in an intelligible, coherent, and manageable form, and his failure to do so may warrant dismissal. Corcoran v. Yorty, 347 F.2d 222, 223 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 382 U.S. 966 (1965); Holsey v. Collins, 90 F.R.D. 122, 128 (D. Md. 1981). District courts are not required to be mind readers, or to conjure questions not squarely presented to them. Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1088 (1986).
Harris v. Angliker, 955 F.2d 41, 1992 WL 21375, at *1 (4th Cir. Feb. 10, 1992).
"Matters outside of the pleadings are generally not considered in ruling on a Rule 12 motion." Williams v. Branker, 462 F.App'x 348, 352 (4th Cir. 2012). However, "when a defendant attaches a document to its motion to dismiss, a court may consider it in determining whether to dismiss the complaint [if] it was integral to and explicitly relied on in the complaint and [if] the plaintiffs do not challenge its authenticity.'" Am. Chiropractic Ass'n v. Trigon Healthcare, Inc., 367 F.3d 212, 234 (4th Cir. 2004) (quoting Phillips v. LCI Int'l Inc., 190 F.3d 609, 618 (4th Cir. 1999) (emendations in Am. Chiropractic )). Documents referenced and relied upon by a plaintiff can be considered without converting a motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment. See Sec'y of State for Defence v. Trimble Nav. Ltd., 484 F.3d 700, 705 (4th Cir. 2007); HQM, Ltd. v. Hatfield, 71 F.Supp.2d 500, 502 (D. Md. 1999).
A. Fraud (Count I)
Plaintiff sues Defendants for fraud under California Civ. Code §§ 1709, 1710, 1572. Compl. ¶¶ 13-19. All of Plaintiff's allegations stem from Defendants' assignment of the mortgage. The basis for Plaintiff's fraud claim is that Defendants fraudulently withheld their intention to assign the Note. See id. ¶¶ 15-17.
Plaintiff cites to California and Ninth Circuit law. See Compl.; Pl.'s Resp. Defendants argue the application of Maryland law. See Defs.' Mem. 7 n.3, ECF No. 5-1. As a federal court sitting in diversity, this Court "must apply the substantive law of [Maryland, as] the forum state including its choice of law rules." See Colgan Air, Inc. v. Raytheon Aircraft Co., 507 F.3d 270, 275 (4th Cir. 2007). The property that is the subject of the underlying transaction is located in Maryland and all documents appear to have been executed in Maryland. See Note 2, 5, Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss Ex. 4, ECF No. 5-6; Deed of Tr. 2-4, Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss Ex. 5, ECF No. 5-7. Additionally, the Deed contains a governing law clause applying the law of the State where the property is located. See ...