United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION & ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION
F. Cox United States District Judge.
filed this action against the Defendant towing company, after
Defendant acquired title to a motorhome under Michigan's
abandoned vehicle statute. The matter is currently before the
Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. The Court finds
that the issues have been adequately presented in the
parties' briefs and that oral argument would not aid the
decisional process. See Local Rule 7.1(f)(2), U.S.
District Court, Eastern District of Michigan. The Court
therefore orders that the motion will be decided upon the
briefs. As explained below, the Court shall GRANT the motion
because Plaintiffs do not state a claim for conversion,
replevin, fraud, or abuse of process under Michigan law
because the remedies under the statute at issue “are
the exclusive remedies for the disposition of abandoned
vehicles.” Mich. Comp. Laws § 257.252e(4).
25, 2016, Plaintiffs J-Bob LLC (“J-Bob”) and
Patricia Mehall (“Mehall”) (collectively
“Plaintiffs”) filed this action against Defendant
Mike's Garage/Larocca Towing, LLC
(“Defendant”), asserting diversity jurisdiction.
Plaintiff's Complaint asserts four different state-law
claims (conversion, replevin, fraud, and abuse of process),
which are all based upon Defendant having acquired title to a
motorhome under Michigan's abandoned vehicle statute. The
matter is currently before the Court on a Motion to Dismiss
filed by Defendant, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)
(failure to state a claim) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) (lack of
subject matter jurisdiction).
ruling on a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6), the court must construe the complaint in a light
most favorable to the plaintiff and accept all the
well-pleaded factual allegations as true. Evans-Marshall
v. Board of Educ., 428 F.3d 223, 228 (6th Cir. 2005).
Although a heightened fact pleading of specifics is not
required, the plaintiff must bring forth “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). For purposes of this motion, the Court may
consider: 1) documents referenced in, or attached to, the
complaint and central to the plaintiff's claims; 2)
matters of which a court may properly take notice; and 3)
public documents and records. Devlin v. Kalm, 531 F.
App'x 697, 703 (6th Cir. 2013); Costell v. Bank of
New York Mellon, 2013 WL 317746 (E.D. Mich. 2013);
Meyer v. Citimortgage, Inc., 2012 WL 511995 (E.D.
Plaintiffs' Complaint and Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss attach documents that are critical to a proper
understanding of Plaintiffs' claims.
Mehall is the sole owner of J-Bob. (Compl. at ¶ 2). On
July 30, 2014, Mehall and her husband were operating a
motorhome in Monroe, Michigan, when the motorhome was
involved in a motor vehicle accident. (Compl. at ¶ 8;
Ex. 2 to Def.'s Motion, State of Michigan Traffic Crash
Report). At that time, J-Bob alone held title to the
motorhome. (Compl. at ¶¶ 8-9; see also Ex.
A to Compl., Certificate of Title, issued in J-Bob's name
alone, on December 6, 2010).
accident caused significant damage to the motorhome,
requiring that it be towed from the accident scene. (Compl.
at ¶ 8; Ex. 2 to Def.'s Motion, State of Michigan
Traffic Crash Report). It is undisputed that Defendant towed
the motorhome and later took it to a storage yard owned by
Defendant. (Id.; Compl. at ¶¶ 10-11).
Monroe County Sheriff Department later notified the Michigan
Secretary of State, through LEIN, that the motorhome was
abandoned. (See Exs. 3 & 4 to Def.'s
Motion). The Secretary of State sent a “Notice Of
Abandoned Vehicle” to J-Bob on September 7, 2015,
stating that the motorhome had been taken into custody on
July 30, 2014, and was being held in custody at
Defendant's premises. (Ex. 4 to Def.'s Motion). That
notice stated, in pertinent part:
Our records indicate that you are the titled owner of the
vehicle listed below. This is to notify you and any secured
party on record that this vehicle was taken into custody as
an abandoned vehicle by the law enforcement agency listed
Unless this is an unregistered, abandoned, scrap vehicle, you
have 20 days from the date of this notice to redeem it by
paying the fees and accrued charges to the custodian of the
vehicle. The vehicle may be sold at public auction after 20
You may also contest that this vehicle was properly deemed
abandoned, removed, or the reasonableness of the towing and
daily storage fees by completing the enclosed petition to
request a hearing with the court listed above. The petition
must be filed with the court by mail or in person within 20
days of the date of this notice. Please refer to the back of
this form and the enclosed petition for more information.
WARNING: If you do not redeem an abandoned vehicle or request
a hearing within 20 days of the date of this notice, the law
enforcement agency may transfer ownership of the vehicle and
terminate all rights of the owner and any secured ...