The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Andrew J. Guilford
Proceedings: [IN CHAMBERS] ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS
Defendant Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. ("Defendant") has filed a Motion to Dismiss ("Motion"). The Court finds this matter appropriate for decision without oral argument, and the hearing on the Motion currently scheduled for June 15, 2009, is VACATED. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78. Because the Court finds that this action is barred by res judicata, Defendant's Motion is GRANTED without leave to amend.
To support its Motion, Defendant requests that the Court take judicial notice of seven documents: (1) a Deed of Trust, recorded on December 6, 2005, in the Official Records of Los Angeles County, California; (2) an assignment of the Deed of Trust, recorded on September 27, 2007, in the Official Records of Los Angeles County, California; (3) a Proof of Claim filed in Plaintiff's Chapter 11 bankruptcy case; (4) a printout from the U.S. Party/Case Index showing all actions commenced by Plaintiff El Veasta Lampley ("Plaintiff") in any United States Bankruptcy Court since December 28, 2006; (5) a United States Bankruptcy Court docket for Plaintiff's October 2, 2008 adversary proceeding; (6) a United States Bankruptcy Court docket for Plaintiff's November 18, 2008 adversary proceeding; and (7) a United States Bankruptcy Court docket for Plaintiff's February 25, 2009 adversary proceeding.
Under Federal Rule of Evidence 201, "[a] judicially noticed fact must be one not subject to reasonable dispute in that it is either (1) generally known within the territorial jurisdiction of the trial court or (2) capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned." Fed. R. Evid. 201. Facts subject to judicial notice may be considered on a motion to dismiss. Mullis v. United States Bankruptcy Ct., 828 F.2d 1385, 1388 (9th Cir. 1987). The Court finds that the documents Defendant provides meet the requirements of Rule 201, and Defendant's request for judicial notice is GRANTED as to those seven documents.
In 2005, Plaintiff obtained a loan from New Century Mortgage to finance the purchase of property in Lancaster, California. (Request for Judicial Notice ("RJN") Ex. 1.) The beneficial interest in that loan was subsequently transferred to Defendant as Trustee. (RJN Ex. 2.) Plaintiff alleges that when negotiating the loan, she was steered toward an adjustable-rate loan because she is African-American and female, despite the fact that she qualified for a more favorable fixed-rate loan. Plaintiff also alleges that an account executive at New Century Mortgage falsely promised her that she would be able to refinance the loan after two years. (Compl. 16:5-7.) In 2006, Plaintiff fell behind on her loan payments.
Plaintiff filed a voluntary bankruptcy petition on December 28, 2006, and another on August 8, 2007. (RJN Ex. 4.) On January 31, 2008, Plaintiff filed a third bankruptcy petition. (Id.) On October 2, 2008, Plaintiff filed an adversary action against Defendant alleging violations of the Truth in Lending Act and the Competitive Equality Banking Act. (RJN Ex. 5.) On October 14, 2008, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint in that action. (Id.) The bankruptcy court granted Defendant's motion to dismiss the First Amended Complaint, finding that Plaintiff failed to state a claim for which relief could be granted. (Id.) On January 20, 2009, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint in that action, asserting violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act ("ECOA"), the Fair Housing Act ("FHA"), and the Civil Rights Act of 1866 ("CRA"). On March 26, 2009, the bankruptcy court granted Defendant's motion to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint with prejudice.
While her first adversary proceeding was pending, Plaintiff filed a second adversary proceeding against Defendant on November 18, 2008. (RJN Ex. 6.) On January 20, 2009, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint in that action, again alleging violations of the ECOA, FHA, and CRA. On January 22, 2009, the bankruptcy court granted Defendant's motion to dismiss the First Amended Complaint with prejudice.
Plaintiff then filed a third adversary proceeding against Defendant. (RJN Ex. 7.) The complaint was identical to the one filed in the previous suits, alleging violations of the ECOA, FHA, and CRA. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on March 20, 2009. That case has been transferred from the bankruptcy court to this Court, and the motion to dismiss is pending.
On March 26, 2009, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit, which appears to bring claims against Defendant for violations of the ECOA, FHA, CRA, and the Home Owner Equity Protection Act ("HOEPA"). Defendant argues, among other things, that this case is barred by res judicata.
This litigation history evidences that Plaintiff at least has an itchy trigger finger in commencing judicial proceedings in different ...