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Perry v. Chase Auto Finance

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 22, 2018

BRUCE K. PERRY, Plaintiff,
v.
CHASE AUTO FINANCE and JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOC. 17) AND GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT (DOC. 22)

          GEORGE CARAM STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Bruce K. Perry brings various tort claims against defendants JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. and Chase Auto Finance (hereinafter collectively referred to as Chase). This matter is presently before the Court on Chase's motion for summary judgment, (Doc. 17), and Perry's motion for leave to file a second amended complaint, (Doc. 22). Pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(f)(2), the Court shall rule without oral argument. For the reasons stated below, Chase's motion is GRANTED and Perry's motion is GRANTED.

         I. Background

         In August 2014, Perry obtained a $34, 809.70 loan from The Auto Place, Inc. to purchase a 2010 Mercedes-Benz S550. The terms of the loan and the parties' respective obligations are stated in a Retail Installment Sales Contract (the RISC). (Doc. 17-2). Pursuant to the RISC, Perry agreed to pay the sum owed under the contract “even if the vehicle is damaged, destroyed, or missing.” (Doc. 17-2 at PageID 116). Perry further agreed not to “sell, rent, lease, or transfer any interest in the vehicle” without written permission from The Auto Place, Inc. (Doc. 17-2 at PageID 116). The Auto Place, Inc. thereafter transferred its interest in the RISC to Chase.

         In May 2016, Perry listed the vehicle for sale on Craigslist. (Doc. 17-3 at PageID 119). At this time, Perry owed approximately $24, 000 on the loan. Perry did not advise Chase of his intent to sell the vehicle. (Doc. 17-4 at PageID 137). He ultimately agreed to sell the vehicle to an individual identifying himself as Desmond Moore. (Doc. 17-3 at PageID 119). Moore was to send a check for $40, 000 directly to Chase.

         On or about May 17, 2016, Chase received a personal check purportedly drawn from an USAA Federal Savings Bank account held in the name of Vance Cumberland. (Doc. 17-5 at PageID 187; 17-6 at PageID 189). On May 23, 2016, Chase sent Perry a letter congratulating him on “paying off [his] account with [Chase].” (Doc. 17-6 at PageID 189). Chase acknowledged Perry's “final payoff amount of $40, 000.00 was received on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.” (Id.). Chase released its lien on the vehicle on May 23, 2016. (Doc. 17-7 at PageID 191).

         Perry alleges that he relied on this information when he delivered the vehicle's title and keys to Vance Cumberland on May 29, 2016. (Doc. 12 at PageID 67).

         On or about June 1, 2016, USAA Federal Savings Bank returned the check to Chase as altered or fictitious. (Doc. 17-8 at PageID 199). On June 2, 2016, Chase notified Perry that the check had been returned by USAA Federal Savings Bank and that Perry's loan account had been reopened. (Doc. 17-9 at PageID 205).

         Perry filed this civil action in Wayne County Circuit Court on December 7, 2016. (Doc. 1-1 at PageID 13). He raised three claims; detrimental reliance, conversion, and fraud. (Doc. 1-1 at PageID 11-12). On June 21, 2017, the parties stipulated to allow Perry to file an amended complaint that added a negligence claim. (Doc. 11). Perry filed his first amended complaint on June 21, 2017. (Doc. 12).

         Chase filed a motion for summary judgment on October 30, 2017. (Doc. 17). In his response, filed on November 20, 2017, Perry seemed to request that the Court remand a negligent misrepresentation claim to Wayne County Circuit. His brief began with the following:

STIPULATION AND WAIVER OF THEORIES OF RECOVERY
Plaintiff acknowledges Defendant's argument on detrimental reliance, conversion, and fraud. Plaintiff also acknowledges and stipulates that he cannot recover an amount over $75, 000; he waives any claim for an amount over $75, 000. The amount in dispute is no longer sufficient for this Court's jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C.A. § 1332(a). Now, this Court may decline to supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claim for negligence or negligent misrepresentation. See Bergeron v. Busch, 228 Mich.App. 618, 620, 579 N.W.2d 124 (1998); Pierson Sand and Gravel, Inc. v Keeler Brass Co., 460 Mich. 372, 378-379, 596 N.W.2d 153 (1999). Plaintiff will bring a motion to that effect.

(Doc. 18-1 at PageID 235). On December 4, 2017, Perry filed a motion to remand, (Doc. 21), and a motion for leave to file a second amended complaint, (Doc. 22). Chase filed response briefs in opposition to both motions. (Doc. 26 and 27). The Court denied Perry's motion to remand on January 11, 2018. (Doc. 30).

         II. ...


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