United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
J. HAZEL, United States District Judge
September 22. 2017. the Court granted Defendant Caliber Home
Loans. Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss, closing Plaintiffs
Lazina and Ria King's ("Plaintiffs" or
"the Kings") action which arose out of the
foreclosure and subsequent sale of Plaintiffs'
home by Caliber. ECF No. 26. Plaintiffs have since filed a
Motion to Reconsider the Granting of the Defendants"
Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 28. which Defendant has opposed.
ECF No. 30. No hearing is necessary. See Loc. R.
105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the following reasons.
Defendants' Motion to Reconsider is denied.
Court thoroughly addressed the factual and procedural
background of this case in its September Memorandum Opinion.
ECF No. 26 at 2-5. The Kings became delinquent on their
mortgage in 2013. and in 2014 the mortgage was transferred to
Caliber. ECF No. 21 at 4-5. In April 2014. the Kings
requested that Caliber assist them with loan modification,
and faxed a list of documents to Caliber on April 9. 2014.
ECF No. 1 at 3. Over the following months, the Kings would
send Caliber documentation to start the loan modification
process. ECF No. 1 at 3. When the Kings called to inquire
about the status of the modification, they were informed that
Caliber had closed the Kings" file because of a
purported cease and desist order listed on the Kings'
account, preventing Caliber from contacting the Kings: the
file was later reopened. ECF No. 1 at 3-4. The Kings did not
receive a decision on their loan modification, and their
house was sold at auction on September 19. 2014.
Kings subsequently sent multiple letters and filed an
emergency motion to the Circuit Court requesting a hearing to
halt the foreclosure proceedings on their property, as
Caliber had allegedly '"dual tracked" them;
that is. had been moving forward with the foreclosure
proceedings at the same time they were requesting information
from the Kings for a loan modification package. ECF No. 17-4
at 2. The Circuit Court denied these letters and motions.
See ECF No. 14-4 at 5. The Kings appealed their
matter to the Court of Special Appeals, again arguing that
Caliber had dual tracked them. ECF No. 4-4 at 13. On February
9. 2016. the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland dismissed
the Kings' appeal, without reaching the merits of the
complaint, concluding that the Kings' notice of appeal
was not filed "within thirty days of the order ratifying
the foreclosure sale." ECF No. 17-8 at 4-5. The Kings
also filed a "Motion to Appeal the Denial of the Stay of
the Execution of Eviction" with the Maryland Court of
Appeals, raising the same arguments they raise here. ECF No.
4-4 at 1. On November 23. 2015. the Court of Appeals of
Maryland denied the Kings" requests. ECF No. 17-7 at 2.
Kings filed their Complaint in this case in the Federal
District Court for the District of Columbia
("D.D.C") on November 25. 2015. ECF No. 1. Caliber
filed a Motion to Dismiss in that case, arguing that f 1) the
Complaint was barred by resjudieata and the
Rooker-Feldmun doctrine. (2) venue was improper, and
(3) the Complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief
could be granted. ECF No. 4. On September 28. 2016. the
D.D.C. ruled that venue was improper and ordered the case
transferred to this Court. ECF No. 10. The D.D.C. did not
reach the remaining merits of Caliber's Motion to
Dismiss, id. at 11. which Caliber subsequently
re-raised before this Court as a renewed Motion to Dismiss.
ECF No. 17-1. In its September 22. 2017 Order and Memorandum
Opinion, the Court granted Caliber's Motion to Dismiss,
reasoning that the Kings" claims were barred by res
judicata, as the claims "arise out of the same
transaction as the [state] foreclosure proceedings, and state
the same allegations." ECF No. 26 at 10. On September
27. 2017. the Kings filed the now-pending Motion to
Reconsider the Granting of the Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss, ECF No. 28. which Caliber opposed. ECF No. 30.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion for reconsideration filed within 28 days of the
underlying order is governed by Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 59(e). Courts have recognized three limited grounds
for granting a motion for reconsideration pursuant to Rule
59(e): (1) to accommodate an intervening change in
controlling law; (2) to account for new evidence: or (3) to
correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice.
See United States ex rel. Becker v. Westinghouse Savannah
River Co., 305 F.3d 284. 290 (4th Cir. 2002)
(citing Pacific Ins. Co. v. Am. Naf'l Fire Ins.
Co., 148 F.3d 396. 403 (4th Cir. 1998)).
cert, denied. 538 U.S. 1012 (2003). A Rule 59(c)
motion "may not be used to re-litigate old matters, or
to raise arguments or present evidence that could have been
raised prior to the entry of judgment." Pacific Ins.
Co., 148 F.3d at 403 (quoting 11 Wright, et al.
Federal Practice and Procedure §2810.1, at 127-28 (2d
ed. 1995)). See also Sanders v. Prince George's
Public School System. No. RWT 08-cv-501. 2011 WL
4443441. at * 1 (D. Md. Sept. 21. 2011) (a motion for
reconsideration is "not the proper place to relitigate a
case after the court has ruled against a party, as mere
disagreement with a court's rulings will not support
granting such a request"). "In general,
'reconsideration of a judgment after its entry is an
extraordinary remedy which should be used
sparingly."" Id. (quoting Wright, et
al., supra, § 2810.1. at 124).
Court has noted that "[n]either Rule 59(e). nor Local
Rule 105.10 (providing the deadline for a motion for
reconsideration), contains a standard for the application of
Rule 59(e) and the Fourth Circuit has not identified such a
standard." Bey v. Shapiro Broun & Alt. LLP,
997 F.Supp.2d 310. 320 (D. Md.). aff'd, 584
Fed.Appx. 135 (4th Cir. 2014). Thus, this Court has
previously looked to the "widely cited case" of
Above the Bell. Inc. v. Bahamian Roofing. Inc., 99
F.R.D. 99 (E.D.Va.1983). for its reasoning that a
"motion to reconsider would be appropriate where, for
example, the Court has patently misunderstood a party, or has
made a decision outside the adversarial issues presented to
the Court by the parties, or has made an error not of
reasoning but of apprehension." Bey, 997
F.Supp. 2d. At 320.
their Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs" Motion to
Reconsider, the Kings argue that their case is not barred by
res judicata, and that the Court erroneously relied
on case law that predates "the Consumer Financial
Protection Board 2013 enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street
Reform and Consumer Protection Act." FCF No. 28-1 at
The Kings additionally raise many of the same arguments that
they made in response to Caliber" s Motion to Dismiss,
arguing that they had not suffered all of their damages at
the foreclosure proceeding, and that certain claims were not
ripe at that time. ECF No. 28-1. The Court expressly rejected
these arguments in its September Opinion. See ECF
No. 26 at 10. The Kings further argue that McMillian v.
Bierman, Geesing, Ward & Wood LLC, No. WMN-11-2048.
2012 WL 425823 (D. Md. Feb. 8. 2012). cited by Caliber in its
Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 17-1 at 10. and by the Court in
its Opinion. ECF No. 26 at 8-10. is inapplicable because it
was decided before "the Consumer Financial Protection
Board 2013 enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and
Consumer Protection Act." ECF No. 28-1 at 4. The
Kings" position is that "the case law used to
decide this motion to dismiss is out Dated: best."
Id. at 6. The Kings finally argue that
"preclusion is inappropriate where, as he[re]. the
underlying judgment was fraudulently procured."
opposition. Caliber argues that "Plaintiffs fail to
offer any case law or argument to show that this holding was
clear error." and that res judicata is
appropriate here because "Plaintiffs claim was fully
adjudicated and rejected in the foreclosure case.'"
ECF No. 30 at 3. Additionally. Caliber argues that
McMillan is not "outdated" precedent, as
asserted by Plaintiffs, because "the issue in both this
case and McMillan is whether res judicata
is a bar to a subsequent action where the claims asserted
therein were raised or could have been raised in a prior
foreclosure." Id. at 4.
have not articulated any intervening change in law or new
evidence. Instead, they largely raise the same arguments
raised previously (that their claims were not ripe during the
foreclosure proceedings), and assert the new argument that
McMillan is "outdated" because it was
decided prior to Dodd-Frank. To the extent that Plaintiffs
raise the same arguments, regarding ripeness, the Court
reiterates that a motion for reconsideration is "not the
proper place to relitigate a case after the court has ruled
against a party, as mere disagreement With a court's
rulings will not support granting such a request."
Sanders. 2011 WE 4443441. at * 1. Regarding
Plaintiffs" point about McMillan, the fact that
it was decided prior to the enactment of Dodd-Frank is
irrelevant. The Court did not cite McMillan in its
September Order for any proposition regarding the underlying
law of Plaintiffs' claims: rather, the Court relied on
McMillan as a similar case involving res
jutlicata where "there was a final decision by a
state court regarding the [plaintiffs'] foreclosure and
subsequent eviction, the parties were the same or in privity,
and the claims being brought [arose] out of the same
transaction." FXT No. 26 at 10. The fact that the
CFPB's dual-tracking rules had not been issued at the
time of McMillan does not change the Court's
analysis. As in McMillan-albeit involving a
different underlying claim-here too. the claims brought arise
out of the same transaction as the foreclosure proceedings,
and state the same allegations. Plaintiffs have not shown
that the Court made a clear error of law in its September
Order, that there are new facts that should be considered, or
that the Court patently misunderstood the Plaintiffs'
argument. As such, the Court denies Plaintiffs" Motion