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Eblovi v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

October 16, 2013

DAVID C EBLOVI, Plaintiff,
v.
DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY ET AL., Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING MOTIONS TO DISMISS

CHARLES R. BREYER, District Judge.

Plaintiffs David and Monica Eblovi filed this action for claims alleging violations of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), California's Unfair Competition Law, California Code of Civil Procedure, and Unlawful eviction. Defendant Deutsche Bank National Trust Company ("DBNTC") argues that the FAC should be dismissed as to it because Plaintiffs' claims (1) are barred by res judicata; (2) lack standing; (3) fail to state a claim for the violation of RICO; (4) fail to state a claim for violation of UCL; (5) fail to state a claim for Civil Code violation; and (6) fail to state a claim for unlawful eviction. Because there is a finding of claim preclusion, this Court need not reach the other issues raised by Defendant DBNTC. Additionally, Defendant MTC Financial Inc. ("MTC") later filed a motion to dismiss to which Plaintiffs failed to file a timely response.

This Court finds that as to DBNTC and MTC, Plaintiffs' claims are barred by res judicata.

I. BACKGROUND

In April 2013, Plaintiffs David and Monica Eblovi filed a single-count complaint in this Court (No. 13-1596) (hereinafter Eblovi I) alleging that Defendant DBNTC violated the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 (PTFA), Pub. L. No. 111-22, ยงยง 701-704, 123 Stat. 1660, 1632, 1660-62. See Compl. (Eblovi I, dkt. 1). The Eblovis alleged that they were tenants under a valid residential lease agreement entitling them to occupy the residence at

Defendant DBNTC initiated unlawful detainer proceedings to evict the Eblovis. Id. at 7. The Eblovis unsuccessfully litigated their eviction in state court, resulting in a summary judgment in favor of DBNTC. Id. at 7-8. However, before dismissal of the state court action, Plaintiffs filed a complaint against DBNTC in the United States District Court for the Northern Discrict of California.

On May 29, 2013, this Court entered an order dismissing Eblovi I with prejudice for failure to prosecute pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) and entered judgment against Plaintiffs. See Judgment (Eblovi I, dkt. 13) at 1.

On May 21, 2013, eight days before this Court dismissed the Eblovi I action, Plaintiffs filed a new action (No. 13-2314) (hereinafter Eblovi II) claiming that Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, RBS Acceptance Inc., RBS Financial Products Inc., Nationwide Title Clearing Inc., Central Mortgage Company, and MTC Financial Inc., were in violation of the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 ("PTFA"), Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), California's Unfair Competition Law, CA Code of Civil Procedure, and Unlawful Eviction. Second Compl. (dkt. 1) at 2. The PTFA claim was later deleted from the first amended complaint. FAC (dkt. 17)

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure tests the legal sufficiency of the claims alleged in a complaint. Ileto v. Glock, Inc. , 349 F.3d 1191, 1199-1200 (9th Cir. 2003). "Detailed factual allegations" are not required, but the Rule does call for sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570 (2007)).

III. DISCUSSION

A. Res Judicata

"Claim preclusion refers to the preclusive effect of a judgment in foreclosing relitigation of claims that were raised or should have been raised in earlier litigation. Frank v. United Airlines , 216 F.3d 845, 850 (9th Cir. 2000); see also Owens v. Kaiser Found. Health Plan, Inc. , 244 F.3d 708, 713 (9th Cir. 2001) ("Res judicata, also known as claim preclusion, bars litigation in a subsequent action of any claims that were raised or could have been raised in the prior action."). "For claim preclusion to apply, there must be (1) an identity of claims in the two actions; ...


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