United States District Court, D. Maryland
MARK G. BRADLEY, et al., Plaintiffs,
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Defendant.
Xinis United States District Judge
and Marlene D. Bradley (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”), filed a “Motion to Quiet and
Void Invalid and Fraudulent Contract and Title” (the
“Complaint”) against Defendant Ocwen Loan
Servicing, LLC (“Ocwen”). Currently pending
before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) (ECF No. 9) and
Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel (ECF No. 12). The relevant
issues have been fully briefed and the court now rules
pursuant to Local Rule 105.6 because no hearing is necessary.
For the reasons set forth below, the Court will GRANT
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Plaintiff's Motion
to Compel will be DENIED as MOOT.
year ago, on March 10, 2015, Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit
against Ocwen in the Circuit Court for Prince George's
County, Maryland, which Ocwen removed to this Court entitled
Bradley v. Ocwen, Case No. 8:15-cv-01369-PWG (the
“Prior Action”). The following facts are taken
from the present Complaint and supplemented from record of
the Prior Action and exhibits from the
are the owners of real property located at 37 Laughton
Street, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20774 (the “Subject
Property”). See Prior Action, ECF No. 2 at 1.
On December 27, 2006, Plaintiffs acquired a $380, 700.00 loan
from American Brokers Conduit (“American
Brokers”) to refinance the Subject Property, the terms
of which are reflected in an adjustable rate note (the
“Note”) executing a Refinance Deed of Trust to
use the Subject Property as collateral (the “Deed of
Trust”). See ECF No. 9-1; Prior Action, ECF
No. 2 at 1. The Deed of Trust, recorded among the land
records of Prince George's County at Liber 27107, Folio
001, identified the Lender as American Brokers and the
Trustee as Andrew Valentine. Mortgage Electronic Registration
Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) is named as beneficiary of
the Deed of Trust “solely as a nominee for Lender and
Lender's successors and assigns.” ECF No. 9-1. By
Corporate Assignment of Deed of Trust dated February 20,
2015, MERS assigned its interest in the Deed of Trust to
Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Indenture Trustee
for American Home Mortgage Investment Trust 2007-1
(“Deutsche Bank, as Trustee”), its successors and
assigns (the “Assignment Deed”). The Assignment
Deed is recorded in the land records of Prince George's
County at Book 36877, Page 166. ECF No. 9-2.
present Complaint alleges that (1) Ocwen “violated 15
U.S.C. 1692e (13) by representing to have original
documentations with signatures;” (2) “without a
contract, the complaining party has no standing in
court”; (3) “Banks must produce the original
contract;” and (4) “no legal proceeding has
subject matter jurisdiction until the original, signed,
promissory note is produced.” ECF No. 2 at 1-2, 5-7.
March 16, 2016, the Prior Action was dismissed with prejudice
upon Ocwen's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Plaintiffs
did not appeal that judgment. Instead, Plaintiffs filed the
instant lawsuit in state court, which Ocwen again timely
removed to this Court (the “Second Action”). ECF
24, 2016, Ocwen filed the present Motion to Dismiss and
Incorporated Memorandum Law asserting the doctrine of res
judicata. ECF No. 9. The next day, Plaintiffs were provided
with a Roseboro notice via letter, which advised
them of the pendency of the motion to dismiss and their
entitlement to respond within seventeen days. ECF Nos. 10 and
11; see Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309, 310
(4th Cir. 1975) (holding that pro se
plaintiffs should be advised of their right to file
responsive material to a motion for summary judgment). The
letter also warned Plaintiff that failure to respond in
opposition could result in the dismissal of their case
without further notice. To date, Plaintiffs have not filed
any opposition to the motion to dismiss, and the time for
them to do expired on June 10, 2016. Local Rule 105.2(a).
Instead, on June 10, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to
Compel the production of certain documents. ECF No. 12.
Accordingly, Defendants' motion is unopposed.
Standard of Review
purpose of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) is to test
the sufficiency of the complaint. Presley v. City of
Charlottesville, 464 F.3d 480, 483 (4th Cir. 2006)
(citation and internal quotation marks omitted). A complaint
need only satisfy the standard of Rule 8(a), which requires a
“short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). “Rule 8(a)(2) still requires a ‘showing,
' rather than a blanket assertion, of entitlement to
relief.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 n.3 (2007). That showing must consist of more than
“a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action” or “naked assertion[s] devoid of further
factual enhancement.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citations omitted).
stage, all well-pleaded allegations in a complaint must be
considered as true, Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S.
266, 268 (1994), and all factual allegations must be
construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
See Harrison v. Westinghouse Savannah River Co., 176
F.3d 776, 783 (4th Cir. 1999) (citing Mylan Labs., Inc.
v. Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993)). In
evaluating the complaint, unsupported legal allegations need
not be accepted. Revene v. Charles Cnty.
Comm'rs, 882 F.2d 870, 873 (4th Cir. 1989). Legal
conclusions couched as factual allegations are insufficient,
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, as are conclusory factual
allegations devoid of any reference to actual events,
United Black Firefighters v. Hirst, 604 F.2d 844,
847 (4th Cir. 1979). Ultimately, a complaint must
“‘permit the court to infer more than the mere
possibility of misconduct' based upon ‘its judicial
experience and common sense.'” Coleman v. Md.
Court of Appeals, 626 F.3d 187, 190 (4th Cir. 2010)
(quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679).
the allegations of the complaint give rise to an affirmative
defense, the defense may be raised under Rule 12(b)(6), but
only if it clearly appears on the face of the
complaint” and the documents proper for consideration
therewith. Richmond, Frederiskburg & Potomac R.R. Co.
v. Forst, 4 F.3d 244, 250 (4th Cir. 1993). In reviewing
the motion to dismiss, the court may consider allegations in
the complaint, matters of public record, and documents
attached to the motion to dismiss that are integral to the
complaint and authentic. Philips v. Pitt Cnty. Mem'l
Hosp., 572 F.3d 176, 180 (4th Cir. 2009). Here, the
Note, the Deed of Trust, and the Assignment are referenced in
the complaint and are integral, as they provide the basis for
the parties' rights to the Subject Property. Accordingly,
these documents may be considered without converting the
motion into one for summary judgment. In addition, facts and
documents subject to judicial notice may be considered by a
court, without converting the motion under Rule 12(d).
Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd.,
551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007); Katyle v. Penn Nat'l
Gaming, Inc., 637 F.3d 462, 466 (4th Cir. 2011). Here,
the Court may take judicial notice of the prior litigation
between the parties in ...