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Betancourt v. New Century Mortgage Corp.

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 11, 2017

CESAR A. BETANCOURT, Plaintiff,
v.
NEW CENTURY MORTGAGE CORPORATION, WELLS FARGO BANK, AMERICAN'S SERVICING CO., AND FIRST AMERICAN TITLE, Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          SHEILA K. OBERTO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         SCREENING ORDER

         Plaintiff Cesar A. Betancourt, proceeding pro se, alleges a single claim of mortgage fraud against Defendants New Century Mortgage Corporation, Wells Fargo Bank, American's Servicing Co., and First American Title. This matter has been referred to a magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rules 302 and 304.

         I. Screening Requirement

         A court has inherent power to control its docket and the disposition of its cases with economy of time and effort for both the court and the parties. Landis v. North American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254-55 (1936); Ferdik v. Bonzelet, 963 F.2d 1258, 1260 (9th Cir. 1992). Accordingly, the Court screens all complaints filed by plaintiffs proceeding in propria persona to ensure that the complaint is not frivolous or malicious, states a claim upon which relief may be granted, and does not seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

         II. Pleading Standards

         “Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . . . the action or appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

         “Rule 8(a)'s simplified pleading standard applies to all civil actions, with limited exceptions, ” none of which applies here. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A., 534 U.S. 506, 512 (2002). Pursuant to Rule 8(a), a complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). “Such a statement must simply give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Swierkiewicz, 534 U.S. at 512. Detailed factual allegations are not required, but “[t]headbare recitals of the elements of the cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Ball Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 555 (2007). “Plaintiff must set forth sufficient factual matter accepted as true, to ‘state a claim that is plausible on its face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). While factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions are not. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

         Although accepted as true, “[f]actual allegations must be [sufficient] to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Id. (citations omitted). A plaintiff must set forth “the grounds of his entitlement to relief, ” which “requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recital of the elements of a cause of action.” Id. at 555-56 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). To adequately state a claim against a defendant, a plaintiff must set forth fully the legal and factual basis for his claim.

         III. Parties

         Although the caption of the complaint includes four defendants, the factual allegations refer to only two: New Century Mortgage Corporation and Wells Fargo Bank. If Plaintiff intends to include American's Servicing Co. and First American Title in his claim of mortgage fraud, he must allege facts tying these defendants to his claim. In addition, the body of the complaint identifies Quality Loan Services Corp. as a defendant but does not include Quality Loan Services Corp. as a defendant in the caption. Should Plaintiff file an amended complaint, as this order permits him to do, he must (1) name all defendants in the caption and (2) include factual allegations against each defendant in the body of the complaint.

         IV. Federal Question Jurisdiction

         The complaint does not identify the federal statute upon which federal question jurisdiction is premised. The amended complaint should identify the federal statute under which the mortgage fraud claim proceeds.

         V. Sufficiency of the ...


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