United States District Court, D. Maryland
J. MESSITTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Se Plaintiff Daryl Green has sued Mark D. Meyer, John A.
Ansell, III, Kenneth Savitz, Caroline Fields, Jennifer
Rochino, and the law firm that employs or employed them,
Rosenberg & Associates (collectively the “Rosenberg
Defendants”), as well as Wilmington Savings Fund
Society, FSB, as Trustee for Primestar-H Fund I Trust
(“Wilmington”), Statebridge Company, LLC
(“Statebridge”), PROF-2014-S2 Legal Title Trust
II, by U.S. Bank National Association as Legal Title Trustee
(“U.S. Bank”), and Fay Servicing, LLC (“Fay
Servicing”). He alleges violations of several consumer
protection statutes under both federal and state law relating
to a foreclosure proceeding in the Circuit Court for Prince
George's County initiated against his residence at 15416
Cedar Drive, located in Accokeek, Maryland (the
motions are pending before the Court. Each Defendant has
filed a Motion to Dismiss the case. ECF Nos. 16, 20, 24, 46.
In opposition, Green has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment
and Request for Oral Argument. ECF No. 35. Defendants Fay
Servicing and U.S. Bank have filed a Motion to Strike
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 38.
Defendants Statebridge and Wilmington have filed a Motion to
Strike Plaintiff's Affidavit. ECF No. 56.
reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS all
the pending Motions to Dismiss, ECF Nos. 16, 20, 24, 46.
Green's Motion for Summary Judgment and Request for Oral
Argument is DENIED. ECF No. 35. All other
motions are MOOT.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Rosenberg Defendants as Substitute Trustees brought a
foreclosure proceeding against the Property in the Circuit
Court for Prince George's County in June 2015. Nearly two
years after the initiation of the foreclosure action, on
March 17, 2017, Green filed the present suit in federal
court. ECF No. 1. He alleges that he owns the Property in fee
simple and is in possession of a mortgage note “marked
canceled.” Id. ¶ 58. He further claims
that the notes Defendants assert they possess are
“fraudulent” because they are not the notes he
signed and, in fact, are different from the canceled note in
his possession. Id. ¶ 61. In effect, he says,
Defendants are attempting to “steal his home” by
means of a fraudulent foreclosure proceeding. Id.
Green spends numerous paragraphs of the lengthy Complaint
discussing Defendants' business practices generally, his
Complaint is largely devoid of details that shed light on the
relationship of each Defendant to Green's underlying
loan, leaving the Court struggling to determine the timeline
of events and relationship of the parties. However, based on
the numerous attachments submitted in subsequent filings by
both Green and the Defendants, it appears that Wilmington is
the current owner of the mortgage note, having been assigned
it by U.S. Bank following several previous transfers. ECF No.
35-1 at 6, 17-22. Defendants Fay Servicing and Statebridge
appear each to have been the loan servicers at different
points in time. Id.
alleges seven causes of action against all Defendants. These
include: 1) violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act
(“FTC Act”) and the Consumer Financial Protection
Act (“CFPA”); 2) violations of the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”); 3) violations
of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”); 4)
violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
(“RESPA”); 5) violations of the Maryland Consumer
Debt Collection Act (“MCDCA”) and the Maryland
Collection Agency Licensing Act (“MCALA”); 6)
intentional infliction of emotional distress; 7) violations
of the civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization
requests an injunction barring Defendants from further
violating the statutes; an injunction prohibiting Defendants
from doing business in the State of Maryland; an injunction
preventing the underlying foreclosure action from moving
forward; and damages in the amount of $10 million plus costs.
ECF No. 1 ¶ 203.
after filing his Complaint, on March 28, 2017, Green filed an
Emergency Motion to Stay the Foreclosure Sale (ECF No. 4),
which the Court denied. The Court has previously denied
Green's Motion to Appoint Counsel in this case. ECF No.
April 25, 2017, Green filed a copy of the purported
“canceled note” with an affidavit attesting to
its authenticity. ECF No. 12. The note attached to the
affidavit, entitled “Balloon Note, ” is in the
amount of $159, 000.00 and is signed only by Green.
Id. The last page of the note appears to be stamped
“Cancelled” without any indication of when or by
whom. Id. Green's affidavit does not volunteer
any of these missing details. Id.
have all filed motions asking the Court to dismiss the
Complaint for failure to state a claim. See ECF Nos.
16, 20, 24, 46. Green opposes the motions and, in response,
asks the Court grant summary judgment in his favor. ECF No.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) prescribes “liberal
pleading standards, ” requiring only that a plaintiff
submit a “short and plain statement of the claim
showing that [he] is entitled to relief.” Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007) (citing
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). However, “[a] plaintiff does not
satisfy Rule 8 when the complaint ‘lump[s] all the
defendants together and fail[s] to distinguish their conduct
because such allegations fail to give adequate notice to the
defendants as to what they did wrong.'” Classen
Immunotherapies, Inc. v. Biogen IDEC, 381 F.Supp.2d 452,
455 (D. Md. 2005) (quoting Appalachian Enterprises, Inc.
v. Epayment Solutions Ltd., 2004 WL 2813121, at *6
claims for fraud must meet the heightened pleading standard
of Rule 9(b), which requires a party to “state with
particularity the circumstances constituting fraud or
mistake. Malice, intent, knowledge, and other conditions of a
person's mind may be alleged generally.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 9(b). Thus, a plaintiff alleging claims that
sound in fraud must, at a minimum, describe the “the
time, place, and contents of the false representations, as
well as the identity of the person making the
misrepresentation and what he obtained thereby.”
Weidman v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 776 F.3d 214, 219 (4th
Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks omitted).
survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), a plaintiff must plead facts sufficient
to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
554, 570 (2007). But this standard requires “more than
a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009). Although a court will accept factual allegations
as true, “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do
not suffice.” Id. Indeed, the court need not
accept legal conclusions couched as factual allegations or
“unwarranted inferences, unreasonable conclusions, or
arguments.” E. Shore Markets, Inc. v. J.D.
Associates Ltd. P'ship, 213 F.3d 175, 180 (4th Cir.
2000). In the end, the Complaint must contain factual
allegations sufficient to apprise a defendant of “what
the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (internal
quotations and citations omitted).
federal courts are obliged to liberally construe a pro
se litigant's claims in applying the above analysis,
this requirement “does not transform the court into an
advocate.” United States v. Wilson, 699 F.3d
789, 797 (4th Cir. 2012) (internal quotations and citations
omitted). The Fourth Circuit has noted that “[w]hile
pro se complaints may ‘represent the work of
an untutored hand requiring special judicial solicitude,
' a district court is not required to recognize
‘obscure or extravagant claims defying the most
concerted efforts to unravel them.'” Weller v.
Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir.
1990) (quoting Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d
1274, 1277 (4th Cir. 1985)). Accordingly, although the facts
alleged in a plaintiff's complaint must be taken as true,
bare conclusory statements “are not entitled to the
assumption of truth.” Aziz v. Alcolac,
Inc., 658 F.3d 388, 391 (4th Cir. 2011) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679)) (internal quotation marks
Defendants make similar arguments in their pending Motions to
Dismiss,  the Court will consider those motions
collectively as they pertain to each of Green's claims
before turning to the other pending motions.