United States District Court, D. Maryland
DOUGLAS K YI a/k/a/, DOUGLAS K. LEE, et al., Plaintiffs,
FIRST TENNESSEE BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, Defendant.
Xinis United States District Judge
seek declaratory relief to void an allegedly forged Deed of
Trust executed and filed with the land records in 2005. ECF
No. 1-1 ¶ 39. Pending before the Court is
Defendant's motions to dismiss the Complaint on standing
and limitations grounds. ECF No. 10. The motions are fully
briefed and no hearing is necessary. See Loc. R.
105.6. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS
Defendant's motion to dismiss.
K Yi and Jennie S Yi (collectively, “Plaintiffs”)
own, as tenants by the entirety, the real property located at
9433 Copenhaver Drive, Potomac, Maryland 20854 (the
“Property”). ECF No. 1-1 ¶ 8. In May 2005,
Ms. Yi applied to Defendant First Tennessee Bank National
Association (the “Bank”) for a Home Equity Line
of Credit (the “HELOC”) in the amount of $245,
500, with the assistance of Naomi Kim, a loan broker located
in Virginia. Id. ¶¶ 9, 14. On June 30,
2005, the Bank notified Ms. Yi “that the loan
application was approved” and that a credit card and
check book would be sent to Plaintiffs' home.
Id. ¶ 10.
aver that even though they secured a HELOC, unbeknownst to
them, a Deed of Trust “was closed and finalized”
on that same day which placed a lien against their Property
as security for the HELOC. Id. ¶¶ 11, 12.
Plaintiffs allege that they did not discover the existence of
the Deed of Trust until February 15, 2017, when Mr. Yi was
preparing to file an individual bankruptcy petition.
Id. ¶¶ 15, 22. The Deed of Trust was
purportedly signed by Plaintiffs, notarized by David P.
Campbell, and recorded among the land records for Montgomery
County on July 21, 2005 at Book 30349, Page 0064.
Id. ¶¶ 16, 24; ECF No. 10-7.
Ms. Yi applied for and received the HELOC in 2005, Plaintiffs
now contend that their signatures on the Deed of Trust were
forged and that the notary is false. ECF No. 1-1 ¶¶
15-18, 23. Plaintiffs specifically allege that the Bank,
David Campbell, and Naomi Kim “knowingly, willfully,
and intentionally forged and conspired to forge
Plaintiffs' signatures to deceive Plaintiffs in their
promotion to the” HELOC. Id. ¶ 27.
February 27, 2017, Mr. Yi filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy
petition in the United States District Court for the District
of Maryland. ECF No. 10-2 (Bankruptcy
Petition). In his schedule of assets, Mr. Yi included
“[a]lleged forgery of signatures on 2nd mortgage Deed
of Trust (30349/064) for 9433 Copenhaver Dr.” for $251,
771 under “[c]laims against third parties.” ECF
No. 10-4 at 2. Mr. Yi further listed his claims involving the
forged signatures as a “claimed exemption” to the
bankruptcy estate. Id. at 4. The Chapter 7 trustee
objected to this exemption, noting specifically that
“Debtor states the second trust on that residence is
disputed but has not provided documentation of the
dispute.” ECF No. 10-5 ¶ 5.
1, 2017, the Bankruptcy Court discharged Mr. Yi from
bankruptcy. ECF No. 10-6 at 3 (Bankruptcy Court Docket, ECF
filed suit against Defendant in the Circuit Court for
Montgomery County on August 1, 2018, based on the purported
forgery. See ECF No. 1-1. Plaintiffs seek a
declaratory judgment that the Deed of Trust is forged and
thus void. Id. ¶ 34-39. Plaintiffs further
allege a violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act
(“MCPA”), in that “Defendant's forgery
or acquiescence of Plaintiff[s]' signature was a
deceptive or unlawful practice prohibited” by the MCPA.
Id. ¶ 44. Defendant removed the action to this
Court on September 17, 2018 based on this Court's
diversity jurisdiction. See ECF No. 1 at 1-2.
now moves to dismiss the Complaint for lack of standing and
failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted.
See ECF No. 10. For the reasons stated below, the
Court finds that Mr. Yi lacks standing to bring this suit and
that, in any event, the claims as to both Plaintiffs are
barred by limitations.
Court reviews the question of standing as one that invokes
this Court's subject matter jurisdiction. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1); White Tail Park, Inc. v.
Stroube, 413 F.3d 451, 459 (4th Cir. 2005); Axel
Johnson, Inc. v. Carroll Carolina Oil Co., Inc., 145
F.3d 660, 661-62 (4th Cir. 1998) (affirming the district
court's dismissal of the complaint for lack of standing
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1)). Whether the Court retains subject
matter jurisdiction must be decided before reaching the
merits of the case. Jones v. Am. Postal Workers
Union, 192 F.3d 417, 422 (4th Cir. 1999).
motion to dismiss brought pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) tests the
sufficiency of the complaint. Presley v. City of
Charlottesville, 464 F.3d 480, 483 (4th Cir. 2006). The
Court accepts “the well-pled allegations of the
complaint as true, ” and construes all facts and
reasonable inferences most favorably to the plaintiff.
See Ibarra v. United States, 120 F.3d 472, 474 (4th
Cir. 1997). To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint's
factual allegations “must be enough to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all
the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful
in fact).” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations omitted). The Court may also
grant a 12(b)(6) motion on statute of ...