United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
BRANDACE J. HOPPER, Executor, Plaintiff,
MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., and QUICKEN LOANS INC., Defendants.
D. Whitney Chief United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court upon Defendants', Mortgage
Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”)
and Quicken Loans Inc., Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 4),
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. For the reasons
stated herein, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 4)
is GRANTED. Furthermore, Plaintiff's Motion to Remand
(Doc. No. 13) and Motion for Sanctions (Doc. No. 12) are
who is proceeding pro se, initiated this action by
filing a summons and complaint with the Clerk of Court for
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina on December 18, 2017.
(Doc. No. 1, p. 1). The complaint purports to bring an action
to quiet title, contesting the validity of a deed of trust
and its subsequent assignment. (Doc. No. 1-2, p. 10).
Defendants removed the case to this Court on January 19,
2018, and filed a joint Motion to Dismiss with prejudice
Plaintiff's complaint on January 26, 2018. (Doc. No. 4).
In recognition of the unique challenges facing pro
se plaintiffs, the Court, sua sponte, issued a
Roseboro Order directing Plaintiff to respond on or
before February 16, 2018. (Doc. No. 11). Plaintiff timely
responded and filed additional motions requesting sanctions
reviewing the exhibits and difficult-to-decipher Complaint,
the Court gathers that Plaintiff seeks to use the court
system to prevent foreclosure on a personal residence.
Plaintiff requests an order voiding a deed of trust on
Plaintiff's property and quieting title in
Plaintiff's name. (Doc. No. 1-2, p. 10). On December 22,
2012, Plaintiff executed and delivered a note to Quicken
Loans for $187, 218.00 secured by a deed of trust recorded on
December 28, 2012 (the “Deed of Trust”). The Deed
of Trust named MERS as the beneficiary, “solely as
nominee for Lender . . . and Lender's successors and
assigns.” (Doc. No. 1-4, p. 2). Subsequently, MERS, as
nominee for Quicken Loans, assigned the Deed of Trust to
Quicken Loans (“the Assignment”), who recorded it
with the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds on October 11,
2016. (Doc. No. 1-7, p. 4). Plaintiff alleges a “[v]oid
and fraudulent deed of trust was created with the unlawful
business entity unregistered Mortgage Electronic Registration
Systems, Inc.” and that “such an instrument
creates a cloud by which someone or anyone may attempt to
make an adverse claim to owner's title.” (Doc. No.
1-2, p. 8-9). Plaintiff concludes that the Deed of Trust is
now “rescinded . . . by estoppel, res judicata, on the
grounds of false representation, and fraud, ” and thus
seeks an order from this Court “canceling the
instrument in Book 31244, ASSIGNMENT OF MORTGAGE (Exhibit
D-1), and the instrument in Book 27946, DEED OF TRUST
(Exhibit D-2) as well as any other such instrument of which
casts a cloud over [Plaintiff's] Title[.]”
Id. at 8-10.
Motion to Dismiss asserts Plaintiff's Complaint fails to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted and
accordingly should be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).
The Court agrees.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) tests the
“legal sufficiency of the complaint” but
“does not resolve contests surrounding the facts, the
merits of a claim, or the applicability of defenses.”
Republican Party of N.C. v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943,
952 (4th Cir. 1992); Eastern Shore Markets, Inc. v. J.D.
Assoc. Ltd. Partnership, 213 F.3d 175, 180 (4th Cir.
2000). A complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss will survive if it contains “enough facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 697 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)); see also Robinson v. American Honda Motor Co.,
Inc., 551 F.3d 218, 222 (4th Cir. 2009). “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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. At 678.
“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Id. The Supreme Court has also
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only
“a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Specific facts are
not necessary; the statement need only “give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.” In addition, when ruling
on a defendant's motion to dismiss, a judge must accept
as true all of the factual allegations contained in the
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007)
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-56) (internal
citations omitted). Conclusory allegations are "not
entitled to be assumed true." Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 681. Furthermore, "[i]n all averments of fraud or
mistake, the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake
shall be stated with particularity." Fed.R.Civ.P. 9(b).
Rule 8(a) requires that a plaintiff's complaint must
contain "a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R.
Civ. Pro. 8(a). While a high level of factual detail is not
required, a complaint needs more than "an unadorned,
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555).
contend Plaintiff's Complaint should be dismissed for the
following reasons: (1) the Complaint does not meet the
pleading requirements of Rule 8(a)(2); (2) Plaintiff lacks
standing to challenge the Assignment of the Deed of Trust;
and (3) Plaintiff's legal theories have no valid basis in
North Carolina law. The Court addresses each of these
arguments in turn.
Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
stated above, pursuant to Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure, a pleading that states a claim for relief
must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” While
the Supreme Court has determined pro se complaints
shall be reviewed liberally, nevertheless district courts may
dismiss a complaint if it is evident that no set of facts
exist which would entitle the plaintiff to relief. See
Cornish v. Schaefer, 809 ...