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Todd v. Green Farms Condominium Association

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

August 29, 2019

TODD and MARICA BATES, Plaintiffs,
v.
GREEN FARMS CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, THE HIGHLANDER GROUP, and MAKOWER ABBATE GUERRA WEGER VOLLMER, PLLC, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS (DOCS. 22, 23) AND DISMISSING CASE [1]

          AVERN COHN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         This is a consumers rights case. Plaintiffs Todd and Marcia Bates have sued the following defendants: Green Farms Condominium Association (Association), the Highlander Group (Highlander), and Makower Abbate Guerra Weger Vollmer PLLC (the Law Firm). The complaint centers on a non-judicial foreclosure sale after plaintiffs failed to pay condominium association dues. The complaint asserts the following claims:

Count I - violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
Count II - Slander of Title
Count III - Conversion
Count IV - Conversion

         Before the Court is the Law Firm's motion for judgment on the pleadings on the grounds that based on the Supreme Court's recent decision Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus, 586 U.S. - (2019), plaintiffs do not have a viable claim under the FDCPA.[2] The other defendants have joined in the motion. For the reasons that follow, the motion will be granted. In light of dismissing the federal claim, the Court will decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims. Further, given this determination, plaintiff's pending motion to compel (Doc. 32) and the Law Firm's motion to quash (Doc. 31) will be denied as moot.

         II. Background

         Plaintiffs Todd and Marcia Bates owned a condominium unit in the Green Farms Condominium community. Highlander was the property manager. Plaintiffs defaulted on dues they owed to the Association. The Association retained the Law Firm to initiate nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings. Ultimately, a third party purchased the condominium unit at the foreclosure sale.

         Plaintiffs sued defendants in federal court, alleging that the actions taken in connection with the nonjudicial foreclosure were abusive debt collection practices, in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §1692, et seq. and state law.

         III. Legal Standard

         Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c) a party may move for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) when the pleadings have closed, but the motion would not delay trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c).

         A Rule 12(c) motion is reviewed by “using the same standard as applies to a review of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).” JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Winget, 510 F.3d 577, 581 (6th Cir. 2007). Rule 12(b)(6) permits district courts to dismiss a complaint that fails “to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a plaintiff must show that her complaint alleges facts which, if true, would entitle her to relief. First American Title Co. v. DeVaugh, 480 F.3d 438, 443 (6th Cir. 2007). A complaint must contain allegations to support all of the “material elements necessary to sustain a recovery under some viable legal theory.” Weiner v. Klais & Co., 108 F.3d 86, 88 (6th Cir. 1997). The factual allegations of the complaint must be enough to raise a ...


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