United States District Court, D. Maryland
J. MESSITTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Se Plaintiffs Albert Green, Jr., Ida Green, and Ephonia
Green have sued Carrie M. Ward, Joseph Delozier, and the law
firm that employs or employed them, BWW Law Group, LLC,
alleging a single violation of the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq.
(“FDCPA”), relating to a foreclosure proceeding
in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County initiated
against their residence at 4611 Palomino Crossing, Upper
Marlboro, Maryland (the
motions are pending before the Court. Defendants have filed a
Second Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 18. In opposition, Plaintiffs
have filed a Motion to Amend and to Respond to
Defendants' Opposition (ECF No. 16) and a Motion for
Summary Judgment (ECF No. 23). Plaintiffs have also filed
several motions requesting discovery. These include: a Motion
to Produce Discovery Materials (ECF No. 12) and a Motion for
Overruling Objections (ECF No. 17). In response, Defendants
filed a Motion to Stay Discovery (ECF No. 22) as well as a
Motion to Stay Determination of Summary Judgment (ECF No.
25). Also pending before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion
Requesting a Jury Trial. ECF No. 26.
reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS WITH
PREJUDICE the Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 18) and
DENIES Plaintiffs' request for leave to
amend the Complaint (ECF No. 16). All other motions are
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
September 12, 2011, Plaintiffs entered into a mortgage loan
agreement with Monarch Bank in connection with their purchase
of the Property. ECF No. 3-2 at 16-34. The loan
agreement included a Promissory Note which was subsequently
transferred to Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Id. On
December 2, 2013, Plaintiffs defaulted on their loan
repayment obligations. Id. at 55. As a result, on
September 30, 2014, BWW Law Group sent them a letter
concerning the debt. ECF No. 3-4. This letter contains a debt
collector warning and includes information about the lien,
current creditor, and loan balance. Id. Shortly
after the issuance of this letter, Carrie M. Ward, among
other individuals who are not named in the present suit, was
appointed as Substitute Trustee under the Deed of Trust. ECF
No. 3-2 at 43-44.
April 9, 2015, the Substitute Trustees filed an Order to
Docket Foreclosure against the Property in the Circuit Court
for Prince George's County. WBGLMC v. Green, No.
CAEF15-08484. The Property was sold at a foreclosure sale
and, on January 31, 2017, the state court entered an order
ratifying the sale. ECF No. 3-5.
March 6, 2017, Plaintiffs sent Defendants a request to
validate the debt. ECF No. 1 ¶ 9; ECF No. 1-2. On March
21, 2017, Plaintiffs contested the foreclosure sale by filing
a Motion to Overturn Foreclosure for Mortgage Fraud, which
the state court denied on April 14, 2017, construing the
motion to be exceptions to the sale. ECF No. 3-7. Plaintiffs
continued to file various motions challenging the foreclosure
sale, all but one of which the state court has denied.
See WBGLMC v. Green, No. CAEF15-08484.
an unsuccessful attempt to remove the state foreclosure
proceeding to this Court, Plaintiffs then filed a new
Complaint here, alleging a single violation of the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act on October 30, 2017. Specifically,
Plaintiffs allege that they first received the Notice to
Vacate on February 10, 2017, as a result of the foreclosure
proceeding. ECF No. 1 ¶ 8. In response, they sent a
letter requesting a validation of the debt, which Defendants
failed to respond to in violation of §1692g(a) and (b).
Id. ¶¶ 9-10. Instead, Plaintiffs received
a Motion for Judgment to Award Possession of the Property and
several other court documents. Id.
request an injunction, compensatory damages in the amount of
$4.5 million, and punitive damages in the amount of $10
million. Id. at 4.
have filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint as barred by
res judicata and in any event for failure to state a
claim. ECF No. 18. Plaintiffs oppose the Motion and, in
response, ask the Court grant summary judgment in their favor
or grant them leave to amend the Complaint. ECF Nos. 16, 23.
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 ...