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Sneed v. First Federal Bank of California's Home Finance LLC

June 26, 2007


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Larry Alan Burns United States District Judge


On April 20, 2007, Plaintiff filed her complaint, styled "Complaint to Action of Quiet Title/Lis Penden." [sic]. The caption identifies three broad theories of recovery. The first is violation of the Truth in Lending Act's Regulation Z and related statutes; the second is invasion of Title pursuant to various cited authorities, including Regulation Z. The third specifies no basis for recovery but merely mentions the International Protocol of the United Nations Convention on International Bills of Exchange and International Promissory Notes (the "U.N. Convention"), House Joint Resolution 192*fn1 (identified as "the United States insurance policy") and the "Emergency Bankruptcy of 1933" [sic], and Am.Jur.2d 81. Plaintiff also references RICO and mentions constructive fraud, and counterfeiting of securities. In fact, the dispute apparently concerns loans secured by six parcels of real property in California and Arizona.

On May 16, 2007, Defendant First Federal Bank of California ("First Federal") filed a motion to dismiss. On June 7, 2007, Defendant Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. ("Countrywide") filed its own motion to dismiss. No other Defendants have yet appeared in this action, nor have any other Defendants joined in First Federal's motion, which addresses Plaintiff's standing in connection with one of the properties. The Court therefore construes First Federal's motion as applying only to claims against it. Plaintiff attempted to file an opposition ten days late, just two court days before the scheduled hearing, which was rejected by discrepancy order.

I. Legal Standards

A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency of the complaint. Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). In ruling on a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court must assume the truth of all factual allegations and must construe them in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, drawing all reasonable inferences from the allegations in favor of the nonmoving party. Cahill v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 80 F.3d 336, 337--38 (9th Cir. 1996).

However, the Court does not accept unreasonable inferences or assume the truth of legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations. Ileto v. Glock Inc., 349 F.3d 1191, 1200 (9th Cir. 2003) (citing Western Mining Council v. Watt, 643 F.2d 618, 624 (9th Cir. 1981)). "While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1964--65 (2007) (citations, alterations, and internal quotation marks omitted).

Dismissal is warranted under Rule 12(b)(6) where the complaint lacks a cognizable legal theory. Robertson v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 749 F.2d 530, 534 (9th Cir. 1984); see Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 326 (1989) ("Rule 12(b)(6) authorizes a court to dismiss a claim on the basis of a dispositive issue of law.")

If a motion to dismiss is granted, the court may grant leave to amend. Leave should be granted unless "the pleading could not possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts" and if it appears "at all possible that the plaintiff can correct the defect." Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1131 (9th Cir. 2000).

Allegations asserted by parties proceeding pro se, "however inartfully pleaded," are held "to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 519--20 (1972). Thus, the Court liberally construes the pleadings of pro se litigants. Eldridge v. Block, 832 F.2d 1132, 1137 (9th Cir. 1987). Although the Court must construe the pleadings liberally, "[p]ro se litigants must follow the same rules of procedure that govern other litigants." King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987). The Court will not supply facts Plaintiff has not pled. See Ivey v. Board of Regents of the Univ. of Alaska, 673 F.2d 266, 268 (9th Cir. 1982).

II. Discussion

Defendant First Federal argues the complaint should be dismissed because Plaintiff has not pled facts showing either that she has standing to sue or why relief can be granted. First Federal contends Plaintiff does not own or reside in the real property located at 2402 Cullivan Street, in Inglewood, California.

First Federal offers a number of factual contentions it believes shows Plaintiff's Regulation Z theory must fail. It states: 1) its disclosure to Plaintiff was proper on its face; 2) Plaintiff has not alleged she provided written communication of her intent to rescind; 3) Plaintiff failed to offer restitution; and 4) the statute of limitations on rescission has expired. While the Court does not weigh evidence at this stage, Cahill, 80 F.3d at 337--38 (setting forth standard for Rule 12(b)(6) motion), the Court construes these contentions as pointing out the incompleteness of Plaintiff's factual allegations. First Federal's essential argument is that Plaintiff is committing fraud by obtaining loans secured by property then, after the property has been sold, attempting to rescind the loans and keep the money.

A. The Complaint

The complaint is largely unintelligible, consisting of unrecognizable citations and legal terminology. The citations and argument appear to duplicate the body of at least one other complaint recently filed in this district. See, e.g., Belle v. Chase Home Finance LLC, No. 06cv2454, 2007 WL 1518341, *1 (S.D.Cal., May 22, 2007) (describing in detail a substantially identical complaint). However, the core of the complaint in this case appears to be that Plaintiff is dissatisfied in various ways with the way the ...

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