United States District Court, D. Maryland
XINIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court in this property loan action is the Motion
to Dismiss filed by Defendants Bank of America, N.A., and
Brian Moynihan. (ECF No. 7.) The matter is fully briefed, and
no hearing is necessary. See D. Md. Loc. R. 105.6.
Upon consideration of the parties' arguments, the Court
GRANTS Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.
the fourth case Plaintiff Betty Johnson
(“Johnson”) has initiated against Defendant Bank
of America, N.A. (“BANA”) arising from the same
loan and the same property. ECF No. 7-1 at 1. The facts and
circumstances surrounding that loan and property need not be
repeated here, as they were fully set out by United States
District Judge Peter J. Messitte in Johnson v. Bank of
America, N.A., No. 12-3808, 2013 WL 3989104, at *1 (D.
Md. Aug. 1, 2013).
present case began on October 12, 2017, when Johnson filed
suit against BANA and BANA CEO Brian Moynihan (collectively,
“Defendants”), which reads in full:
“I Betty J. Johnson am filing this Complaint against
Bank of America N/A for overcharging my loan; which was a
[sic] equity line of credit. The payments were 531.23 a month
on a $7, 500.00 loan. I am attaching the receipts of these
transactions. The interest rate was high for me because iam
[sic] a black women [sic] and iam [sic] elderly. To resolve
this matter of the overcharged payments, the chief judge of
the Orphans Court for Prince Georges County issued a subpoena
in the estate of Clarence E. Johnson to Bank of America Brian
Moynihan CEO, to show cause account, on December 10, 2015 at
9:30. I Betty J. Johnson appeared at the hearing with my four
adult children. We waited for two hours after the scheduled
hearing time. Know [sic] one from Bank of America appeared to
testify. For these reason I Betty J. Johnson am filing in
Civil Court a $126, 000, 000, 000.00 lawsuit for pain
ECF No. 1 at 1-3.
has filed three prior lawsuits related to this loan. On
September 29, 2009, Johnson filed her first suit against BANA
in the United States District Court for the District of
Columbia, naming BANA's then-CEO Kenneth Lewis and
BANA's foreclosure attorney Allen Feigelson as
defendants. ECF No. 7-1 at 3; ECF No. 7-8. The case was
dismissed on December 22, 2009. See ECF No. 7-8 at
March 22, 2010, Johnson filed her second suit, this time in
Prince George's County Circuit Court, naming BANA,
Feigelson, and BANA employee Michael Robles as defendants.
ECF No. 7-1 at 4, ECF No. 7-9. The case, following removal to
this Court and subsequent remand, was dismissed with
prejudice. See ECF No. 7-9 at 3-4.
on December 28, 2012, Johnson filed her third lawsuit against
BANA, this time before Judge Messitte, naming BANA and BANA
employees Lashaun Holland and April Connolly as defendants.
ECF No. 7-1 at 5-6, ECF No. 7-14. The case was dismissed with
prejudice on both res judicata and statute of limitations
grounds. Johnson, 2013 WL 3989104, at *2, *3;
see ECF No. 7-1 at 6.
in this case were issued on February 1, 2018. See
ECF No. 6. On February 26, 2018, Defendants filed their
timely motion to dismiss, arguing that Johnson's claims
are barred under the doctrine of res judicata; the Complaint
failed to state a claim sufficient to satisfy Rules 8(a) and
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; and that
the claims fall outside the applicable statutes of
limitations. See ECF No. 7-1 at 1. For the reasons
stated below, the Court grants Defendants' motion.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court construes the
Complaint liberally to ensure that potentially meritorious
claims survive challenge. See Hughes v. Rowe, 449
U.S. 5, 9 (1980). That said, the Court cannot ignore a pro se
plaintiff's clear failure to allege facts setting forth a
cognizable claim. See Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990) (“The
‘special judicial solicitude' with which a district
court should view such pro se complaints does not transform
the court into an advocate. Only those questions which are
squarely presented to a court may properly be
addressed.”). A court, when reviewing pro se
complaints, must not abdicate its “legitimate advisory
role” to become an “advocate seeking out the
strongest arguments and most successful strategies for a
party.” Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d
1274, 1278 (1985).
reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a court must determine whether the
Complaint includes facts sufficient to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face. Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009). A plaintiff must
plead facts to support each element of the claim to satisfy
the standard. See McCleary-Evans v. Maryland Dep't of
Transp., State Highway Admin., 780 F.3d 582, 585 (4th
Cir. 2015). In so assessing, the Court takes as true all
well-pleaded factual allegations and makes all reasonable
inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Philips v. Pitt
Cty. Mem. Hosp., 572 F.3d 176, 180 (4th Cir. ...