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Santana Cline v. CBSK

United States District Court, C.D. California

March 5, 2015

Santana Cline,


JOSEPHINE L. STATON, District Judge.


Before the Court are: a Request for Default Judgment filed by Plaintiff Santana Cline (MDJ, Doc. 40); a Motion to Clarify and Reconsider, also filed by Cline (MCR, Doc. 48); and a Motion to Dismiss filed by Intervenor-Defendant HSBC Bank USA, NA (MTD, Doc. 50.) The Court finds these matters appropriate for decision without oral argument. The hearings set for March 6, 2015, at 2:30 p.m. are therefore VACATED. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS HSBC's Motion to Dismiss and DISMISSES this action on the basis of res judicata. Plaintiff's Request for Default Judgment and Motion to Clarify and Reconsider are therefore DENIED AS MOOT.


On November 1, 2013, Plaintiff Santana Cline, an Ohio resident, filed her initial Complaint in this action against Defendant CBSK Financial Group, a defunct California corporation. (Compl., Doc. 1, ¶¶ 1, 9.) Her Complaint alleges that on April 5, 2006, she obtained a mortgage loan from CBSK secured by her Ohio home. (Id. ¶¶ 5-8.) Shortly thereafter, on April 30, 2006, the State of Ohio revoked CBSK's mortgage license and the State of California did the same on October 30, 2007. (Id. ¶¶ 8-9.) The Complaint alleges that CBSK therefore "cannot collect on the underlying note due to the suspension and dissolution in both Ohio and California, " and that "[a]ny transfer or attempts to collect the debt by CBSK or any alleged successor would be void...." (Id. ¶¶ 12-14.)

On January 23, 2014, Cline requested entry of default against CBSK. (Doc. 10.) The Clerk of this Court declined this request, as Cline had not submitted any proof of service as to CBSK. (Doc. 12.)

On March 11, 2014, Cline filed the operative First Amended Complaint. (FAC, Doc. 22.) In addition to CBSK, the FAC also names as Defendants HSBC, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., Merscorp Holdings, Inc., Ocwen Loan Servicing, and Dinn, Hochman, Potter LLC, and asserts claims for: conspiracy; unjust enrichment; violation of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., civil conspiracy to commit fraud, common law fraud, "harassment/abuse, " "false or misleading representations, " "unfair practices, " declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, "intentional misrepresentation of material facts, " and "negligent misrepresentation of material facts."[1] (FAC at 64-77.) The FAC repeats the initial Complaint's allegations as to the invalidity of any assignment of the mortgage by CBSK. It also alleges, inter alia: that after CBSK went defunct, Ocwen improperly used MERS to assign the mortgage to HSBC in April 2007; that a Dinn, Hochman, Potter attorney prepared false assignment documents for his clients; that CBSK was not a member of MERS, thereby voiding any attempted assignment of the mortgage; and that as a result, CBSK remains the true holder of the note. (FAC ¶¶ 21, 26, 28.) The Prayer for Relief asks only that the Court declare the following:

(a) the debt(s) payable to CBSK are not collectable.
(b) CBSK was out of business in 2005 and could not institute any collection efforts and any attempts would therefore be deemed void.
(c) any attempts to transfer the debt after their dissolution would be made in violation of California Law governing the Financial Code.

(FAC at 77.)

On May 20, 2014, the Court granted Cline leave to effect service on CBSK through the California Secretary of State, which Cline later did. (Docs. 29, 32.)

On June 2, 2014, HSBC, MERS, Merscorp, Ocwen, and Dinn, Hochman, Potter moved to dismiss the FAC. (Mot., Doc. 30.) They argued that because this lawsuit constitutes Cline's ninth lawsuit challenging HSBC's standing to foreclose, this action is barred under the doctrine of res judicata. (Mot. at 2-4.) They also argued that dismissal of this action for numerous other reasons: that this suit is essentially a "de facto" appeal of a state court judgment and is therefore barred under the Rooker-Feldman Doctrine (Mot. at 8-9); that this Court is the improper venue to determine ownership of real property in Ohio (Mot. at 5-6); that the statute of limitations has run on Cline's claims (Mot. at 9-10); and, finally, that the FAC fails to state any claims on which relief may be granted. (Mot. at 10-15.)

On June 20, 2014, Cline dismissed these Defendants from the case without prejudice. (Docs. 33, 34.)

This left CBSK as the only Defendant in this action. On November 4, 2014, Cline requested the Clerk enter default against CBSK, which the Clerk did on November 7, 2014. (Docs. 36, 37.)

On November 11, 2014, Cline filed a pleading in support of her Motion to Vacate Sheriff Sale in the Court of Common Pleas in ...

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