United States District Court, D. Hawaii
CLYDE IGARASHI, MICHELLE IGARASHI, and others similarly situated named herein as DOES 10 through 1000, inclusive, Plaintiffs,
DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO
A. OTAKE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Clyde and Michelle Igarashi (“Plaintiffs”) filed
an Amended Complaint (“Am. Compl.”) against
various Defendants, all of whom have moved to dismiss the
Amended Complaint with prejudice. For the reasons stated
below, the motions are GRANTED.
2006, Plaintiffs obtained a loan to purchase their home in
Mililani, entering into an Adjustable Rate Note with IndyMac
Bank. Am. Compl. ¶ 13. The loan was secured by a
mortgage on the real property, and the original mortgagee was
Defendant Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.
(“MERS”). Am. Compl. ¶¶ 23-24, ECF No.
56-6 at 26. The note provided that the lender, IndyMac
Bank, could transfer the note. ECF No. 56-6 at 21. In 2012,
the mortgage was assigned to Defendant Deutsche Bank National
Trust Company as Trustee for Harborview Mortgage Loan Trust
2006-14 (“Deutsche Bank”). ECF No. 56-6 at 48-49
(showing date recorded as September 27, 2012). The assignment
was signed by Wendy Traxler, on behalf of MERS (as nominee
for IndyMac Bank). Id.; Am. Compl. ¶ 24.
Plaintiffs allege that, when that assignment occurred,
IndyMac Bank was bankrupt. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 23, 42.
point, Plaintiffs fell behind on their payments, but in April
2015, paid Defendant Ocwen (which had begun servicing the
loan) $43, 980 to bring their payments up to date.
Id. ¶¶ 15-17. In June 2015, Defendant
Deutsche Bank brought a foreclosure action against Plaintiffs
in state court, but dismissed the foreclosure action a few
months later. Id. ¶¶ 19-22. Then in April
2017, Deutsche Bank filed another foreclosure action against
Plaintiffs, which is currently pending in state court.
Id. ¶ 23.
Plaintiffs' initial Complaint, ECF No. 1, the Amended
Complaint appears to allege that Defendants engaged in a
fraudulent transfer of the mortgage, and that Deutsche Bank
is not legally entitled to foreclose on Plaintiffs' home.
See, e.g., Am. Compl. ¶¶ 34, 38. The
Amended Complaint asserts the Defendants either created false
documents or tampered with documents, id.
¶¶ 24, 34, failed to notify Plaintiffs that the
loan was transferred or would be converted into a mortgage
backed security, id., ¶¶ 25, 31, and
failed to credit payments Plaintiffs made, id.
¶ 19. Plaintiffs also allege that Defendants failed to
provide them with the Pooling and Servicing Agreement
(“PSA”) governing the pool of securitized
mortgage loans that included Plaintiffs' loan, and
further that Defendants failed to comply with the terms of
the PSA. Id. ¶¶ 15, 23, 32-33.
Amended Complaint does not delineate separate causes of
action. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(b) (“If doing
so would promote clarity, each claim founded on a separate
transaction or occurrence . . . must be stated in a separate
count or defense.”). It does, however, reference the
following federal provisions: (1) the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act (“FDCPA”); (2) the Truth in Lending
Act (“TILA”); (3) the Federal Trade Commission
Act (“FTCA”); (4) the civil provisions of the
Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act
(“RICO”); and (5) the Real Estate Settlement
Procedures Act (“RESPA”). The Amended Complaint
also references a handful of state statutes and causes of
action under common law. See, e.g., Am. Compl. at 2.
brought this action on February 14, 2019. ECF No. 1.
Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint. ECF Nos. 18, 29.
The Court granted the motions and dismissed the Complaint.
ECF No. 50. At the outset, the Court concluded the Complaint
failed to meet Rule 8's pleading requirements because
neither Defendants nor the Court could decipher which claims
Plaintiffs were bringing against which Defendants and on what
bases. See id. The Court therefore dismissed the
Complaint with leave to amend and provided Plaintiffs with
specific instructions about how to cure these deficiencies.
See Id. The Court then addressed some of
Plaintiffs' specific claims. The Court dismissed with
prejudice Plaintiffs' claims under RESPA, the Securities
Act of 1933, and under the Longshore and Harbor Workers'
Compensation Act, but granted Plaintiffs leave to amend their
FDCPA and TILA claims. See id.
filed the Amended Complaint on September 3, 2019. Defendants
moved to dismiss the Amended Complaint, arguing that the
Amended Complaint still fails to meet the minimum pleading
standards and that the Amended Complaint fails to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. ECF Nos. 60, 61, 67.
Some Defendants also argue that, if the Court dismisses
Plaintiffs' federal claims, it lacks jurisdiction to
consider Plaintiffs' state law claims. ECF No. 60-1 at
17; ECF No. 67-1 at 11-12. Plaintiffs opposed Defendants'
motions. ECF Nos. 71, 72, 73. The Court requested additional
briefing from Defendants on the amount of controversy in this
case, ECF No. 80, and Defendants filed their supplemental
briefs responding to the request, ECF Nos. 81, 82. The Court
held a hearing on Defendants' motions on November 27,
12(b)(1) motions challenge a court's subject matter
jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). Federal courts are
presumed to lack subject matter jurisdiction, and the
plaintiff bears the burden of establishing that jurisdiction
is proper. See Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of
Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). Dismissal under Rule
12(b)(1) is warranted when the plaintiff fails to meet this
burden. See Chandler v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins.
Co., 598 F.3d 1115, 1122 (9th Cir. 2010). A motion to
dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) can amount to a facial or factual
challenge. See Safe Air for Everyone v. Meyer, 373
F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004). In a facial challenge, the
movant asserts that the allegations of the complaint
“are insufficient on their face to invoke federal
jurisdiction.” Leite v. Crane Co., 749 F.3d
1117, 1121 (9th Cir. 2014) (quoting Safe Air, 373
F.3d at 1039). As in a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6),
the court accepts the plaintiff's allegations as true,
draws all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor,
and determines whether the allegations sufficiently invoke
the court's jurisdiction. See id.
12(b)(6) allows an attack on the pleadings for failure to
state a claim on which relief can be granted. “[W]hen
ruling on a defendant's motion to dismiss, a judge must
accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in
the complaint.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 94 (2007) (citation omitted). However, a court is
“not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched
as a factual allegation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). “Nor does a
complaint suffice if it tenders ‘naked
assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.'” Id. (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557) (alteration in original)
(citation omitted). A complaint must “state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. This means that the
complaint must plead “factual content that allows the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678. There must be “sufficient allegations of
underlying facts to give fair notice and to enable the
opposing party to defend itself effectively” and
“factual allegations that are taken as true must
plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief, such that it is
not unfair to require the opposing party to be subjected to
the expense of discovery and continued litigation.”
Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011).
Compliance with Pleading Requirements
again assert that the Amended Complaint fails to comply with
both the requirements of Rule 8, and the Court's prior
order directing Plaintiffs to: (1) identify only those claims
they wish to assert; (2) adequately identify which claims are
alleged against which Defendants; and (3) adequately specify
the factual allegations supporting each claim. ECF No. 50 at
8-9. The Court agrees.
Amended Complaint fails to delineate Plaintiffs' separate
causes of action and, instead, contains references to
numerous statutes and regulations without providing factual
support or otherwise explaining how Defendants' conduct
constitutes a violation of those provisions. In most
instances, Plaintiffs also fail to identify which Defendants
have violated the statute or regulation referenced. With
regard to the state law claims, Plaintiffs' pleading is
more deficient-referencing a list of claims at the outset,
most of which are never mentioned again. As a result,
Defendants are deprived of fair notice of what claims
Plaintiffs bring and the factual bases for these claims, and
the Court must piece together whether Plaintiffs have stated
claims that they may not even wish to press.See McHenry
v. Renne, 84 F.3d 1172, 1179-80 (9th Cir. 1996);
Hearns v. San Bernardino Police Dep't, 530 F.3d
1124, 1131 (9th Cir. 2008). Plaintiffs also failed to comply
with the Court's instruction that they not include
irrelevant information in the amended complaint. ECF No. 50