United States District Court, S.D. California
RUSSELL C. MANSON, Plaintiff,
GUARANTY BANK, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT GUARANTY BANK'S MOTION
TO DISMISS [DOC. NO. 3]
MICHAEL M. ANELLO, United States District Judge
Russell C. Manson brings suit against Defendant Guaranty Bank
alleging violation of California's Unfair Competition Law
(“UCL”), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§
17200-17210, and negligence. Defendant moves to dismiss
Plaintiff's complaint in its entirety pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Doc. No. 3.
Plaintiff filed an opposition, to which Defendant replied.
See Doc. Nos. 4, 5. The Court took the motion under
submission on the papers and without oral argument pursuant
to Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1). See Doc. No. 6. For
the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Defendant's
motion to dismiss.
action arises out of events related to the non-judicial
foreclosure and sale of Plaintiff's home, located at
13070 Texana Street, San Diego, California, 92129 (“the
property”). In 2005, Plaintiff entered into a written
loan agreement and obtained a home equity line of credit
(“HELOC”) loan in the amount of $95, 000, secured
by the property through a Deed of Trust, recorded on October
28, 2005. Plaintiff suffered a significant financial setback
due to the economy. As such, Plaintiff contacted Defendant to
inquire about a loan modification. Defendant promised that if
Plaintiff submitted a complete application for a loan
modification, it would not initiate foreclosure proceedings
while Plaintiff's loan modification application was in
review. Plaintiff submitted a complete loan modification
application as instructed. Defendant did not provide any
written acknowledgement of the documents submitted by
Plaintiff in connection with his request for a loan
January 28, 2016, Defendant recorded a Notice of Default
against the property. Plaintiff did not believe that
Defendant was reviewing Plaintiff's loan modification
application in good faith. On or around May 6, 2016,
Defendant recorded a Notice of Trustee Sale against the
property. On or around June 1, 2016, Defendant sold the
property, and initiated action to take possession of the
property and to evict Plaintiff from his home. Plaintiff
alleges that Defendant wrongfully delayed the processing of
Plaintiff's loan modification application.
on these allegations, Plaintiff alleges causes of action for
violation of California's UCL, negligence, and
cancellation of instrument.
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss challenges the legal sufficiency
of the complaint. Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729,
732 (9th Cir. 2001). “While a complaint attacked by a
Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed
factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide
the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do. Factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal quotations,
brackets, and citations omitted).
reviewing the motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the
court must assume the truth of all factual allegations, and
construe them in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party. Cahill v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 80 F.3d 336,
337-38 (9th Cir. 1996). However, “conclusory
allegations of law and unwarranted inferences are not
sufficient to defeat a motion to dismiss, ” Pareto
v. Fed. Deposit Ins. Corp., 139 F.3d 696, 699 (9th Cir.
1998), and it is improper for a court to assume a plaintiff
“can prove facts that [he or she] has not alleged,
” see Assoc. Gen. Contractors of California, Inc.
v. California State Council of Carpenters, 459 U.S. 519,
Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) sets forth a heightened pleading
standard for allegations of fraud, requiring parties to
“state with particularity the circumstances
constituting fraud or mistake.” In general, fraud
allegations must be “specific enough to give defendants
notice of the particular misconduct … so that they can
defend against the charge and not just deny that they have
done anything wrong.” Vess v. Ciba-Geigy Corp.
USA, 317 F.3d 1097, 1106 (9th Cir. 2003) (quoting
Bly-Magee v. California, 236 F.3d 1014, 1019 (9th
Cir. 2001)). Specifically, plaintiffs are required to
supplement allegations of fraud with the “who, what,
when, where, and how” of the purported misconduct, in
addition to why the statement or conduct is false or
misleading. Id. Failure to satisfy this heightened
pleading standard can result in dismissal of the claim.
Id. at 1107.
Request for Judicial Notice
requests that the Court take judicial notice of certain
public records relating to Plaintiffs' complaint.
See Doc. No. 3-3. These records include: (1) Deed of
Trust, recorded on March 1, 2005; (2) Deed of Trust, recorded
on October 28, 2005; (3) Assignment of Deed of Trust,
recorded on January 28, 2016; (4) Substitution of Trustee,
recorded on January 28, 2016; (5) Trustee's Deed Upon
Sale, recorded June 15, 2016; and (6) Full Reconveyance,
recorded on July 20, 2016.
a district court's review on a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss
is limited to the complaint. Lee v. City of Los
Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 688 (9th Cir. 2001) overruled
on other grounds by Galbraith v. Cnty. Of Santa Clara,
307 F.3d 1119 (9th Cir. 2002). However, “a court may
take judicial notice of matters of public record, ”
id. at 689 (internal quotations and citations
omitted), and of “documents whose contents are alleged
in a complaint and whose authenticity no party questions, but
which are not physically attached to the pleading, ”
Branch v. Tunnell, 14 F.3d 449, 454 (9th Cir. 1994),
overruled on other grounds by Galbraith v. Cnty. Of Santa