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Day v. American Home Mortgage Servicing

June 2, 2010

CHARLES DAY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC., AMERICAN BROKERS CONDUIT AND DOES 1-50, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garland E. Burrell, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC.'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND DENYING ITS MOTION FOR A MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT*fn1

Defendant American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. ("Defendant") moves for dismissal of Plaintiff's First-Amended Complaint (incorrectly titled as "Second-Amended Complaint") with prejudice under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) ("Rule 12(b)(6)"), arguing that Plaintiff has failed to allege sufficient facts to state viable claims. In the alternative, Defendant moves for a more definite statement under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e) ("Rule 12(e)"). For the reasons stated below, Defendant's dismissal motion is granted in part and denied in part, and Defendant's Rule 12(e) motion is denied.

I. LEGAL STANDARD

A. Standard for a Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6)

A Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal motion tests the legal sufficiency of the claims alleged in the complaint. Novarro v. Black, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). A pleading must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief...." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). The complaint must "give the defendant fair notice of what the [plaintiff's] claim is and the grounds upon which relief rests...." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).

Dismissal of a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) is appropriate only where the complaint either 1) lacks a cognizable legal theory, or 2) lacks factual allegations sufficient to support a cognizable legal theory. Balistreri v. Pacific Police Dept., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1988). To avoid dismissal, the plaintiff must allege "only enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 547.

In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the material allegations of the complaint are accepted as true and all reasonable inferences are drawn in favor of the plaintiff. See al-Kidd v. Ashcroft, 580 F.3d 949, 956 (9th Cir. 2009). However, neither conclusory statements nor legal conclusions are entitled to a presumption of truth. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949-50 (2009); Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

If a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is granted, the "district court should grant leave to amend even if no request to amend the pleadings is made, unless it determines that the pleading could not possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts." Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000)(quoting Doe v. U.S., 58 F.3d 484, 497 (9th Cir. 1995)).

B. Standard for a Motion for a More Definite Statement

"[A] party may move for a more definite statement of a pleading [under Rule 12(e) when the pleading]... is so vague or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a response." A Rule 12(e) motion should not be granted unless the challenged pleading is so indefinite that the responding party cannot determine the nature of the claim(s) asserted. See Famolare, Inc. v. Edison Bros. Stores, Inc., 525 F.Supp. 940, 949 (E.D.Cal. 1981).

II. REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE

Defendant's motion includes a request that the Court take judicial notice of a grant deed and a deed of trust, both recorded on September 2, 2005 in the Yolo County Recorder's Office. However, since defendant has not shown how these documents are relevant to its motion, the request is denied.

III. DISCUSSION

Defendant filed a previous dismissal motion of Plaintiff's original complaint, which was granted with leave to amend. Plaintiff subsequently filed his First-Amended Complaint ("FAC") in which he alleges four state law claims: violation of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act ("Rosenthal Act"), breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair ...


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