United States District Court, C.D. California
John Nance, et al.
Cal-Western Reconveyance Corporation
Attorneys for Plaintiffs: Not Present.
Attorneys for Defendants: Not Present.
Honorable JOHN A. KRONSTADT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CIVIL MINUTES -- GENERAL
Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS) ORDER RE DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS (Dkt. 7) JS-6
John Nance (" Plaintiff") filed this action on July 28, 2014 in Los Angeles Superior Court. He named the following defendants: Cal-Western Reconveyance Corporation (" Cal-Western"), Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (" Wells Fargo"), and Worlds Savings Bank, FSB (" World Savings Bank"). Dkt. 1. Plaintiff, who is self-represented, advanced the following causes of action: (i) wrongful foreclosure; (ii) injunctive relief; (iii) fraud by concealment; (iv) fraud through inducement; (v) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (vi) slander of title; (vii) quiet title; (viii) recission; and (ix) declaratory relief. Compl., Dkt. 1., Ex. A.
Wells Fargo removed the action on October 14, 2014, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b) and § 1332. Dkt. 1. Wells Fargo acknowledges that Cal-Western is a non-diverse, California party whose presence could defeat diversity jurisdiction. However, Wells Fargo argues that, because Cal-Western has been fraudulently joined and is a nominal party, its citizenship should not be considered for purposes of determining diversity. Wells Fargo brought a motion to dismiss the complaint (the " Motion"). Dkt. 7. Plaintiff failed to file a timely opposition to the Motion. After this was brought to Plaintiff's attention, Plaintiff filed an " Answer" on December 29, 2014, requesting additional time to respond to the Motion in order to retain counsel. Dkt. 14. Plaintiff has not responded further to the Motion.
On December 23, 2014, an Order to Show Cause re Subject Matter Jurisdiction was issued because the Notice of Removal did not provide the basis for the claim that Cal-Western is a citizen of California. Dkt. 13. By that order Wells Fargo was directed to file additional evidence as to the citizenship of Cal-Western as well as any further, related argument in support of its claims as to Cal-Western in connection with the determination of diversity jurisdiction. On December 31, 2014, Wells Fargo filed evidence to support the position that Cal-Western was a citizen of California. No further arguments were advanced as to the fraudulent joinder of Cal-Western or its status as a nominal defendant. Dkt. 15. On January 6, 2015, the Court took the matter under submission without a hearing pursuant to Local Rule 7-15. Dkt. 18.
For the reasons stated in this Order, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this action. Accordingly, the Motion is MOOT and the action is remanded to the Los Angeles Superior Court.
II. Factual Background
On January 8, 2007, Plaintiff signed a promissory note with Worlds Savings Bank in the amount of $346, 500 (the " Note") and granted a security interest in the form of a Deed of Trust with respect to the associated real property (the " Property"). Compl. ¶ 13. The Complaint alleges that Wells Fargo unlawfully substituted Cal-Western as the trustee under the Deed of Trust in violation of Cal. Civ. Code § 2924 (a)(6). Compl. ¶ ¶ 21-22. The Complaint alleges conflicting dates for when this occurred. See id. Thus, it alleges that, on February 2, 2014, Cal-Western " conspired" with the other defendants unlawfully to publish the Notice of Trustee's Sale, knowing that it was not the holder of the Note. Id. ¶ 23. It is then alleged that, on March 31, 2014, Cal-Western " attempted and purported to sell the Property" to Wells Fargo, and then executed and delivered a trustee's deed upon sale to Wells Fargo as the " allegedly successful bidder at the sale." Id. ¶ 24. The Complaint alleges that Cal-Western and Wells Fargo" executed or caused to be executed forged or fraudulent real estate documents pertaining to Plaintiff's real property thereafter caused the unlawful non-judicial foreclosure of Plaintiff's home proximately resulting in Plaintiff's harm." Id. ¶ 25.
The Complaint next alleges that " even if the Note had been transferred to [Cal-Western] and [Wells Fargo]; the transaction is still void as the Deed of Trust was not properly or legally transferred." Id. ¶ 26. Further it alleges that " as of the date of the filing of his original Complaint, the Deed of Trust had not been legally assigned to any other party or entity." Id. ¶ 27. In addition, it is alleged that " no documents or records can be produced that demonstrate that prior to and during the closing date the Note was duly endorsed, transferred, and delivered to [Cal-Western] and [Wells Fargo], including all intervening transfers." Id. ¶ 28. Thus, Plaintiff claims that the defendants " lack standing to foreclose on Plaintiff's real property." Id. ¶ 33. The Complaint also alleges that the foreclosure was wrongful because Wells Fargo and Cal-Western failed to comply with Cal. Civ. Code § 2923.5, as well as other state and federal laws. See, e.g., id. ¶ ¶ 44-57. The Complaint alleges that " [n]one of the Defendants assessed Plaintiff's financial situation correctly or in good faith prior to filing the Notices of Default against the ...