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Michael H. Young and Reanna K. Young v. World Savings Bank

December 13, 2011

MICHAEL H. YOUNG AND REANNA K. YOUNG,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
WORLD SAVINGS BANK, FSB, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Janis L. Sammartino United States District Judge

ORDER

(1) GRANTING MOOT DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STRIKE (ECF Nos. 17, 18) DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AND (2) DENYING AS

Presently before the Court are Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiffs Michael H. Young and Reanna K. Young's (collectively, "Plaintiffs") first amended complaint, (Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 17), and Defendants' motion to strike portions of Plaintiffs' first amended complaint, (Mot. to Strike, ECF No. 18). Also before the Court are Plaintiffs' response in opposition, (Resp. in Opp'n, ECF No. 20), and Defendants' reply in support, (Reply in Supp., ECF No. 22). The hearing set for the motion on December 8, 2011, was vacated, and the matter taken under submission on the papers. Having considered the parties' arguments and the law, the Court GRANTS Defendants' motion to dismiss and Defendants' motion to strike is therefore DENIED AS MOOT.

BACKGROUND

This Order incorporates by reference the background facts as set forth in this Court's August 1, 2011 Order. (Order 1--2, ECF No. 15) In short, Plaintiffs obtained a loan from World Savings Bank FSB, secured by a deed of trust. Subsequently, World Savings Bank FSB changed its name to Wachovia Mortgage, FSB, which later became known as Wachovia Mortgage, a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Eventually, Plaintiffs defaulted on their loan and foreclosure proceedings were initiated. (Id.)

Plaintiffs' first amended complaint ("FAC") asserts the following claims: (1) intentional fraud; (2) violation of California Civil Code section 2923.5; (3) declaratory relief; (4) wrongful foreclosure; (5) breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and (6) unfair competition. (FAC, ECF No. 16)

LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows a party to assert by motion the defense that the complaint "fail[s] to state a claim upon which relief can be granted," generally known as a motion to dismiss. The Court evaluates whether a complaint states a cognizable legal theory and sufficient facts in light of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), which requires a "short and plain statement of the claim" showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. Although Rule 8 "does not require 'detailed factual allegations,' . . . it [does] demand[] more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, - U.S.- , 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). In other words, "a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds' for his 'entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)). "Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders 'naked assertion[s]' devoid of 'further factual enhancement.'" Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).

"To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). A claim is facially plausible when the facts pleaded "allow[] the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). That is not to say that the claim must be probable, but there must be "more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. Facts "'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability" fall short of a plausible entitlement to relief. Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). Further, the Court need not accept as true "legal conclusions" contained in the complaint. Id. This review requires context-specific analysis involving the Court's "judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 1950. "[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged- but it has not 'show[n]'- 'that the pleader is entitled to relief.'" Id.

When a motion to dismiss is granted, "leave to amend should be granted 'unless the court determines that the allegation of other facts consistent with the challenged pleading could not possibly cure the deficiency.'" DeSoto v. Yellow Freight Sys., Inc., 957 F.2d 655, 658 (9th Cir. 1992) (quoting Schreiber Distrib. Co. v. Serv-Well Furniture Co., 806 F.2d 1393, 1401 (9th Cir. 1986)). In other words, the Court may deny leave to amend if amendment would be futile. See id.; Schreiber Distrib., 806 F.2d at 1401.

ANALYSIS

1. Defendants' Request for Judicial Notice

Defendants again request judicial notice for Exhibits A through I. (Req. for Judicial Notice ("RJN"), ECF No. 17-1) Generally, on a motion to dismiss, a court may consider only three things: (1) "allegations contained in the pleadings," (2) "exhibits attached to the complaint," and (3) "matters properly subject to judicial notice." Swartz v. KPMG LLP, 476 F.3d 756, 763 (9th Cir. 2007) (citation omitted). However, a court may also "consider a writing referenced in a complaint but not explicitly incorporated therein if the complaint relies on the document and its authenticity is unquestioned." Id. (citation omitted). Plaintiffs do not oppose Defendants' ...


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