United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ROY A. LAUES and KRISTEN G. LAUES, Plaintiffs,
VICTORIA A. ROBERTS, BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., BODMAN PLC, BRIDGET M. HATHAWAY, NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE LLC, and GREEN TREE SERVICING, LLC, Defendants.
OPINION REGARDING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS, DEFENDANT NATIONSTAR'S MOTION TO STRIKE, PLAINTIFFS' MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION, AND PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO DISMISS DEFENDANTS NATIONSTAR'S AND GREENTREE'S COUNSELS' FILINGS
GORDON J. QUIST, District Judge.
Pro se Plaintiffs, Roy A. Laues and Kristen G. Laues, filed a verified complaint on June 12, 2014 against Bank of America, N.A. (BANA), Green Tree Servicing, LLC (Green Tree), Nationstar Mortgage, LLC (Nationstar), attorney Bridget M. Hathaway and her law firm Bodman PLC (referred to collectively with BANA as the BANA Defendants), United States District Judge Victoria A. Roberts, and the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, purporting to set forth claims for violations of various constitutional rights, violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and a declaratory judgment. On October 28, 2014, the Laueses filed a verified first amended complaint against Defendants BANA, Green Tree, Nationstar, Hathaway and Bodman, and Roberts, but not the United States Attorney's Office, purporting to allege claims for a declaratory judgment under the FDCPA, negligent violation of the FDCPA, and conspiracy under the FDCPA. The Laueses' claims in this case arise out of, relate to, or seek review of, a prior lawsuit they filed in this district, captioned Roy A. Laues and Kristen G. Laues v. Bank of America, N.A. et al., No. 2:13-CV-12468 ( Laues I), over which Judge Roberts presided. Pursuant to an Order entered on January 6, 2015, this Court dismissed Judge Roberts from this case based on the doctrine of absolute judicial immunity. (Dkt. # 44.)
Defendants have filed motions to dismiss the Laueses' claims on various grounds, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Dkt. ## 21, 24 and 35.) The Laueses responded to Green Tree's motion and Nationstar's motion, but did not respond to the BANA Defendants' motion. The Laueses have filed objections to the Court's November 18, 2014 Order granting the BANA Defendants' motion to extend time and the Court's January 6, 2015 Order dismissing Judge Roberts, which the Court will construe as motions for reconsideration. (Dkt. ## 36, 48.) In addition, the Laueses have filed a motion to dismiss Nationstar's and Greentree's counsels' filings. (Dkt. # 47.) Finally, Nationstar has filed a motion to strike the Laueses' so-called "notice of nonfeasance" (dkt. # 32). (Dkt. # 41.)
For the following reasons, the Court will grant Nationstar's motion to strike, deny the Laueses' motions for reconsideration and their motion to dismiss, and grant Defendants' motions to dismiss.
I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
The following factual background is taken from Judge Roberts' October 15, 2013 Opinion and Order in Laues I:
America's Wholesale Lender ("AWL") is the trade name for Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. ("CHL"). CHL is a unit of Countrywide Financial Corporation ("CFC"). CFC purchases, securitizes, and services mortgages. Bank of America ("B of A") purchased CFC in 2008.
The Laues obtained two loans to purchase property in Canton, MI. The first loan was made in the principal amount of $975, 000.00. The Laues granted a mortgage on the property as security for the first loan in favor of mortgagee [Mortgage Electronic Registry System], acting as nominee for AWL. The second loan was made in the principal amount of $260, 000.00. The Laues granted a mortgage on the property as security for this second loan, also in favor of [Mortgage Electronic Registry System], acting as nominee for lender AWL. [Mortgage Electronic Registry System] assigned the first mortgage to U.S. Bank National Association as Trustee for GSAA Home Equity Trust ("US Bank") on April 20, 2012; it assigned the second mortgage to The Bank of New York Mellon ("BNYM") on April 25, 2012.
The Laues defaulted on both loans in April 2012. They allegedly contacted B of A to work out payment arrangements that kept the account in default status but out of foreclosure. The Laues then sent letters "disputing the mortgage debt and queried for the identity of the real party in interest" in January, February, March, and April 2013. B of A responded to their inquiries and held itself out as the servicer of the loans.
( Laues I, Dkt. # 28 at Page ID 408-09.)
On May 1, 2013, the Laueses filed a complaint in the Wayne County Circuit Court against BANA and other defendants requesting that the court quiet title to the Laueses' property "for fraud and the bifurcation of note and mortgage." ( Laues I, Dkt. # 1 at Page ID 17.) On June 6, 2005, Defendant Hathaway and another attorney, Brian Summerfield, both of the Bodman law firm, appeared on behalf of the defendants and filed a notice of removal to this court, alleging diversity jurisdiction and federal question jurisdiction as bases for removal. ( Laues I, Dkt. # 1.) The Laueses moved to remand the case to state court, and on June 6, 2013, Judge Roberts entered an Order denying the Laueses' motion to remand, concluding that the federal court had both diversity and federal question jurisdiction over the removed case. ( Laues I, Dkt. # 10.) Judge Roberts denied the Laueses' motions for reconsideration on July 17, 2013. ( Laues I, Dkt. # 15.)
On August 22, 2013, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss. On October 15, 2013, after the motion was fully briefed, Judge Roberts issued an Opinion and Order granting the motion. ( Laues I, Dkt. # 28.) In granting the motion, Judge Roberts concluded that the Laueses lacked standing to challenge Mortgage Electronic Registry System's assignment of the mortgages. She also held that the Laueses failed to state a claim because the Laueses' debt was not discharged by the merger of AWL and CFC into BANA, note-splitting is not a valid cause of action, the Laueses failed to plead fraud with particularity as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b), and the Laueses failed to state a viable claim to quiet title. ( Id. at Page ID 411-13.) The Laueses appealed Judge Roberts' Order and Judgment to the United states Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. However, on May 23, 2014, the Sixth Circuit dismissed the appeal as untimely. ( Laues I, Dkt. # 33.) Denied further relief from the rulings in Laues I, the Laueses proceeded to file the instant case.
A. Nationstar's Motion to Strike and the Laueses' ...