United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
AND ORDER (1) GRANTING MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS
(ECF NO. 51) AND (2) DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR
PARTIAL SUMMARY DISPOSITION ON LIABILITY (ECF NO. 53) AND
MOTION TO ALLOW REDEMPTION/SETTLEMENT FUNDS TO BE PAID INTO
COURT ESCROW (ECF NO. 50)
V. PARKER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
about July 8, 2013, Plaintiffs commenced this action against
Defendants in the Circuit Court for Oakland County, Michigan.
The matter arises from the foreclosure of property commonly
known as 7860 Buckhom Lake Road, Holly, MI
(“Property”). This Court previously issued an
opinion and order dismissing Plaintiffs' claims against
Defendants Quicken Loans, Inc. (“Quicken”) and
FHLMC Multiclass Certificates Series (Number Unknown) Trust
(REMIC) (“Trust”). (ECF No. 52.) The matter is
now before the Court on the following motions:
• Motion for judgment on the pleadings filed pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) by Defendants Federal
Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”),
Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.
(“MERS”), and Provident Funding Associates, LP
(“Provident”) (hereafter, collectively
“Defendants”) (ECF No. 51);
• Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment,
filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 (ECF No.
• Plaintiffs' “Motion to Allow
Redemption/Settlement Funds to be Paid into Court
Escrow” (ECF No. 50).
filed a response to the motion for judgment on the
pleadings. No other briefs were filed with respect to
the pending motions. Nevertheless, the Court finds the facts
and legal arguments sufficiently presented in the
parties' briefs such that oral argument is unnecessary.
The Court therefore is dispensing with oral argument pursuant
to Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 7.1(f).
motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(c) is subject to the same standards of
review as a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Grindstaff v. Green, 133 F.3d 416, 421 (6th Cir.
1998). A motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) tests
the legal sufficiency of the complaint. RMI Titanium Co.
v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 78 F.3d 1125, 1134 (6th
Cir. 1996). Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a
pleading must contain a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint
need not contain “detailed factual allegations, ”
but it must contain more than “labels and
conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action . . ..” Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). A complaint
does not “suffice if it tenders ‘naked
assertions' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.' ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at
Supreme Court provided in Iqbal and
Twombly, “[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.' ” Id. (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “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.”
Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). The
plausibility standard “does not impose a probability
requirement at the pleading stage; it simply calls for enough
facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will
reveal evidence of illegal [conduct].”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.
deciding whether the plaintiff has set forth a
“plausible” claim, the court must accept the
factual allegations in the complaint as true. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). This presumption is not
applicable to legal conclusions, however. Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 668. Therefore, “[t]hreadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
the court may not consider matters outside the pleadings when
deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Weiner v.
Klais & Co., Inc., 108 F.3d 86, 88 (6th Cir. 1997)
(citing Hammond v. Baldwin, 866 F.2d 172, 175 (6th
Cir. 1989)). A court that considers such matters must first
convert the motion to dismiss to one for summary judgment.
See Fed. R. Civ. P 12(d). However, “[w]hen a
court is presented with a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, it may
consider the [c]omplaint and any exhibits attached thereto,
public records, items appearing in the record of the case and
exhibits attached to [the] defendant's motion to dismiss,
so long as they are referred to in the [c]omplaint and are
central to the claims contained therein.” Bassett
v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 528 F.3d
426, 430 (6th Cir. 2008). Thus, a court may take judicial
notice of “other court proceedings” without
converting a motion to dismiss into a motion for summary
judgment. Buck v. Thomas M. Cooley Law Sch., 597
F.3d 812, 816 (6th Cir. 2010) (citing Winget v. J.P.
Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., 537 F.3d 565, 575 (6th Cir.
judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 is
appropriate “if the movant shows that there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed R. Civ.
P. 56(a). The central inquiry is “whether the evidence
presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a
jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must
prevail as a matter of law.” Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986). After adequate
time for discovery and upon motion, Rule 56 mandates summary
judgment against a party who fails to establish the existence
of an element essential to that party's case and on which
that party bears the burden of proof at trial. Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
and Procedural Background
November 14, 2006, Plaintiffs accepted a $403, 000 loan from
Quicken, and, in exchange, executed a promissory note
(“Note”) secured by a mortgage
(“Mortgage”) on the Property. (Defs.' Mot.,
Exs. 1, 2, ECF No. 51-2, 51-3.) The Mortgage, executed in
favor of MERS “as a nominee for [Quicken] and
[Quicken]'s successors and assigns[, ]” designates
MERS as “the mortgagee[.]” (Id., Ex. 2
at 2, ECF No. 51-2 at Pg ID 168.) The Mortgage was recorded
with the Oakland County Register of Deeds on November 29,
2006, at Liber 38445, Page 634. (Id.)
Note subsequently was endorsed over to Provident.
(Id., Ex. 1 at 3; ECF No. 51-2 at Pg ID 390.)
November 8, 2012, MERS executed an Assignment of Mortgage
(“Assignment”), assigning the Mortgage to
Provident. (Id., Ex. 3; ECF No. 51-4.) The
Assignment was recorded in the Oakland County Register of