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Reid v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC

United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division

August 11, 2017

ANGELE ROSE REID, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          GEORGE J. HAZEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Angele Rose Reid[1] ("Plaintiff or "Reid") brings this pro se action against Ocwcn Loan Servicing. LLC ("Defendant'') to quiet title on the real property located at 2305 Norlinda Avenue. Oxon Hill. Maryland 20745 ("the Property")[2] Now pending before the Court is Plaintiffs Emergency Stay Motion to Dismiss Foreclosure. ECF No. 4. and Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). LCF No. 12. A hearing is unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the following reasons. Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is granted, and Plaintiffs Emergency Stay Motion is thus denied as moot.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Court derives the following facts from Plaintiffs Complaint. ECF No. 2. public land records, and judicial records from the Circuit Court for Prince George's County and the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The Court may consult these documents without converting the Motion to Dismiss into one for Summary Judgment. See Sec'y of State For Defence v. Trimble Navigation Ltd., 484 F.3d 700. 705 (4th Cir. 2007) ("In reviewing the dismissal of a complaint under Rule 12(b)(6). we may properly take judicial notice of matters of public record."); Colonial Pern Ins. Co. v. Coil. 8871;.2d 1236. 1239 (4th Cir. 1989) (noting that "the most frequent use of judicial notice of ascertainable facts is in noticing the content of court records.") (internal citations omitted).

         On October 26. 2006. the Property was conveyed via Warranty Deed from Reid to Cheryl R. Johnson. See ECF No. 12-3 at 1.[3] To purchase the Property. Johnson obtained a purchase money loan ("the Loan") from New Century Mortgage Corporation for $403, 750.00 and executed a Deed of Trust ("the Deed of Trust"). See ECF No. 12-4 at 1-2. On June 29. 2015. the Deed of Trust was assigned to Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee for Securitized Asset Backed Receivables LLC Trust 2007-BR1. Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates. Series 2007-BR1 ("Deutsche Bank") at C/O Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC. See ECF No. 12-5 at 1. Substitute Trustees initiated foreclosure proceedings against Johnson in September 2015 following apparent default on the Loan. See WBGLMC v. Johnson, CAFF15-26303 (Cir. Ct. Prince George's Cly. Sept. 9, 2015) (the "Foreclosure Action"').[4]

         The Property has traced a tortured history throughout the Maryland courts. On June 16. 2011. Deutsche Bank filed suit against Reid and Johnson in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County. Deutsche Bunk National Trust v. Reid, CAF11-14694 (Cir. Ct. Prince George's Cty. June 22. 2011) (the "First Lawsuit")[5] Deutsche Bank sought, among other things, a declaratory judgment that Reid had "no claim or recessionary interest in the Property affecting Deutsche Bank's interest, " that "the Deed of Trust is a valid and enforceable interest/encumbrancc/lien against the Property." and that "Deutsche Bank (as secured party under the Deed of Trust) has superior, right, title, and interest." ECF No. 12-6 at 5. In response, Reid filed counterclaims against Deutsche Bank and cross-claims against Johnson, requesting declaratory relief and an injunction for quiet title. In her Cross and Counter Complaint. Reid specifically sought a declaration that she "is the absolute owner of the property." that "any deed recorded by defendant Cheryl R. Johnson as a result of the purported transfer of the property is void ab initio, " and that "[Reid] has complete, sole, and uninterrupted ownership and rights in the property .. ." ECF No. 12-7 at 23-24.

         In an Order issued July 23, 2012. docketed on July 30. 2012. the Circuit Court for Prince George's County ratified the October 26. 2006 conveyance of the Property from Reid to Johnson, held that the Deed of Trust is "a valid and enforceable lien" against the Property, and ordered Reid to vacate the Property within 15 days. ECF No. 12-8 at 1-2. Reid's counterclaims were dismissed with prejudice. Id. at 2. The Circuit Court denied Reid's requests for reconsideration, and Reid appealed the decision to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. See ECF No. 12-9 at 2. Reid presented several questions for review, including whether the Circuit Court erred by ratifying and confirming the conveyance, or by ordering Reid to vacate the Property. See Id. at 2-3. On June 4. 2014. the Court of Special Appeals issued a thirteen-page opinion, affirming the decision of the Circuit Court. See Id. at 3.

         On July 12. 2012. Reid filed suit against New Century Mortgage Corporation a/k/a Deutsche Bank. Johnson, and others in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. Reid v. New Century Mortg. Corp., No. 8:12-CV-02083-AW. 2012 WL 6562887. at *1 (D. Md. Dec. 13. 2012) (the "Second Lawsuit")[6] Plaintiff Reid again requested declaratory relief and an injunction for quiet title on the Property. ECF No. 12-10 at 18-21. Specifically. Plaintiff sought a declaration that "plaintiff enjoy undisturbed ownership of the property." that "am deed recorded by Cheryl Johnson as a result of the purported transfer of the property is void ab initio." and that "plaintiff has complete, sole and uninterrupted ownership and rights" in the Property. Id. at 18-19. Defendants moved to dismiss. The Court dismissed the claims against Deutsche Bank on principles of res judicata. finding that "the [the First Lawsuit] involved the same parties." and Plaintiff's claims before it were "essentially equivalent." ECF No. 12-11 at 5. In its opinion, the Court also noted that allowing Plaintiff to litigate her claims against Deutsche Bank would "unduly interfere with the state court's resolution of what is. at bottom, a quiet title action." Id. at 6. The Court closed the case with prejudice. Id. at 9.

         On March 15. 2016. Reid initiated yet another action against New Century Mortgage Corporation a/k/a Deutsche Bank and Ocwen Loan Servicing in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County. Reid v. New Century Mortg. Corp., CAF16-07557 (Cir. Ct. Prince George's Cty. March 15. 2016) (the "Third Lawsuit").[7] Plaintiff again petitioned the court to quiet title on the Property. In that complaint. Plaintiff made allegations nearly identical to the statements in her Complaint sub judice, including that Defendants are "not Holder/holder in Due Course of the "authentic original unaltered Promissory Note'" and "Plaintiff specifically challenges the debt instrument that give[s] rise to any lien instrument." Compare ECF No. 12-12 at 1-5. with ECF No. 2 at 1-2. On May 4. 2016. the Circuit Court for Prince George's County granted Ocwen's and Deutsche Bank's Motion to Dismiss, and dismissed Plaintiffs Complaint with prejudice. ECF No. 12-13.

         Plaintiff has now filed the current action with this Court to quiet title against Ocwen Loan Servicing. See ECF No. 2. Plaintiff once again claims that Defendants arc ""not Holder/holder in Due Course of the "authentic original unaltered Promissory Note.'" and ''Plaintiff specifically challenges the debt instrument that give[s] rise to any lien instrument." Id. at 2. Plaintiff also makes vague and conclusory allegations that "there is not a meeting of the minds as to the contract agreement." that "this is fraud by misrepresentation of a material fact." and proclaims that "the contract is to be deemed void." Id. at 3. Defendant Ocwen has moved to dismiss. ECF No. 12. Plaintiff filed an Opposition. ECF No. 18. Having reviewed the submissions, the aggregate of prior court records, and relevant authorities, the Court now grants Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Defendants may "test the adequacy of a complaint by way of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6)." Pretich v. Med Res., Inc., 813 F.Supp.2d 654. 660 (D. Md. 2011) (citing German v. Fox, 267 F.App'x 231, 233 (4th Cir. 2008)). Motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim do "not resolve contests surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the applicability of defenses." Pretich, 813 F.Supp.2d at 660 (citing Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231. 243 (4th Cir. 1999). The court should not grant a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim for relief unless "it is clear that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proved consistent with the allegations." GE Inv. Private Placement Partners II v. Parker, 247 F.3d 543. 548 (4th Cir. 2001) (citing H.J. Inc. v. Northwestern Bell Tel Co., 492 U.S. 229. 249-50) (1989)). To overcome a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a complaint must allege enough facts to state a plausible claim for relief. Bell Atl Corp. v. Tvombly, 550 U.S. 544. 570 (2007); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662. 678 (2009). A claim is plausible 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 678.

         In evaluating the sufficiency of the Plaintiffs claims, the Court accepts factual allegations in the complaint as true and construes the factual allegations in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff. See Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266. 268 (1994): Lambeth v. Bd of Comm'rs of Davidson Cry., 407 F.3d 266. 268 (4th Cir. 2005). However, the complaint must contain more than "legal conclusions, elements of a cause of action, and bare assertions devoid of further factual enhancement." Nemet Chevrolet. Ltd v. Consumer affairs.com. Inc., 591 F.3d 250. 255 (4th Cir. 2009). Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a) further provides that "[a] pleading that states a claim for relief must contain a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Although "no technical forms of pleading are required, a complaint must 'give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiffs claim is and the ground upon which it rests.'" Engle v. United States, 736 F.Supp. 670. 671 (D. Md. 1989). qff'd, 902 F.2d 28 (4th Cir. 1990) (citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41. 48 (1957)). The Court is not obligated to accept unsupported legal allegations. Revene v. Charles County Commissioners, 882 F.2d 870. 873 (4th Cir. 1989). legal conclusions couched as factual allegations. Papasan v. Attain, 478 U.S. 265. 286 (1986). or conclusory factual allegations devoid of any reference to actual events. United Black Firefighters v. Hirst, 604 F.2d 844. 847 (4th Cir. 1979).

         III. ...


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