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Fazio v. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 2, 2017

MICHAEL A. FAZIO and KIM MARIE FAZIO, Plaintiffs,
v.
FEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGE CORPORATION, JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION; MTC FINANCIAL, DBA TRUSTEE CORPS; and DOES 1-100, Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

          DEBORAH BARNES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter came before the court on November 18, 2016, for hearing of defendants' motions to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.[1] Plaintiffs Michael Fazio and Kim Fazio appeared in person on their own behalf. Attorney William Idleman appeared telephonically on behalf of defendants JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., (“Chase”), and Federal Home Loan Mortgage, (“Freddie Mac”). Attorney Martin Kosla appeared telephonically on behalf of defendant MTC Financial Inc., dba Trustee Corps, (“Trustee Corps”). After hearing oral argument, defendants' motions were taken under submission.

         For the reasons stated below, the undersigned will recommend that defendant Freddie Mac's motion to dismiss the complaint's federal law cause of action be granted and that this action be remanded to the El Dorado County Superior Court.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs, proceeding pro se, commenced this action on August 11, 2016, by filing a complaint in the El Dorado County Superior Court. (Compl. (ECF No. 1-1) at 1.[2]) Therein, plaintiffs allege causes of action for the violation of the Truth in Lending Act, (“TILA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1641, against defendant Freddie Mac, and for wrongful foreclosure and cancelation of documents against defendants Freddie Mac, Chase, and Trustee Corps, stemming from the August 20, 2014 foreclosure sale of the property at 7365 Nutmeg Lane, Placerville, California 95667, (“property”). (Id. at 8-32.)

         Defendants Freddie Mac and Chase removed the matter to this court on September 13, 2016, on the basis of federal question and diversity jurisdiction. (ECF No. 1.) On September 20, 2016, defendants Freddie Mac and Chase filed a motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 6.) On October 7, 2016, plaintiffs filed an opposition to Chase's motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 10.)

         On October 13, 2016, defendant Trustee Corps also filed a motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 15.) Plaintiffs filed an opposition to that motion to dismiss on October 28, 2016. (ECF No. 22.) Defendants Freddie Mac, Chase, and Trustee Corps filed replies on November 10, 2016. (ECF Nos. 26 & 27.)

         STANDARDS

         I. Legal Standards Applicable to Motions to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6)

         The purpose of a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) is to test the legal sufficiency of the complaint. N. Star Int'l v. Ariz. Corp. Comm'n, 720 F.2d 578, 581 (9th Cir. 1983). “Dismissal can be based on the lack of a cognizable legal theory or the absence of sufficient facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory.” Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dep't, 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990). A plaintiff is required to allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

         In determining whether a complaint states a claim on which relief may be granted, the court accepts as true the allegations in the complaint and construes the allegations in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984); Love v. United States, 915 F.2d 1242, 1245 (9th Cir. 1989). In general, pro se complaints are held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972). However, the court need not assume the truth of legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations. United States ex rel. Chunie v. Ringrose, 788 F.2d 638, 643 n.2 (9th Cir. 1986). While Rule 8(a) does not require detailed factual allegations, “it demands more than an unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. A pleading is insufficient if it offers mere “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; see also Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676 (“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”). Moreover, it is inappropriate to assume that the plaintiff “can prove facts which it has not alleged or that the defendants have violated the . . . laws in ways that have not been alleged.” Associated Gen. Contractors of Cal., Inc. v. Cal. State Council of Carpenters, 459 U.S. 519, 526 (1983).

         In ruling on a motion to dismiss brought pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the court is permitted to consider material which is properly submitted as part of the complaint, documents that are not physically attached to the complaint if their authenticity is not contested and the plaintiff's complaint necessarily relies on them, and matters of public record. Lee v. City of Los Angeles, 250 F.3d 668, 688-89 (9th Cir. 2001).

         ANALYSIS

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