Bank of Am., N.A. v. Solera At Stallion Mountain Unit Owners' Ass'n, Case No. 2:16-CV-2339 JCM (VCF)

Decision Date25 June 2018
Docket NumberCase No. 2:16-CV-2339 JCM (VCF)
CourtU.S. District Court — District of Nevada

Presently before the court is plaintiff Bank of America, N.A.'s ("BANA") motion for partial summary judgment. (ECF No. 68). Defendants SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC ("SFR") (ECF No. 79) and Solera at Stallion Mountain Unit Owners' Association ("the HOA") (ECF No. 80) responded, to which BANA replied (ECF No. 81).

Also before the court is SFR's motion for partial summary judgment. (ECF No. 69). BANA filed a response (ECF No. 77), to which SFR replied (ECF No. 83).

Also before the court is SFR's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 70). BANA filed a response (ECF No. 78), to which SFR replied (ECF No. 84).

Also before the court is the HOA's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 71). BANA filed a response (ECF No. 78), to which the HOA replied (ECF No. 82).

I. Facts

This case involves a dispute over real property located at 6032 Tokara Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89122 (the "property").

On May 29, 2009, Paul O. Parton and Cornelia A. Parton ("the borrowers") obtained a loan from Quicken Loans Inc. in the amount of $188,612.00 in order to purchase the property. (ECF No. 1). The loan was secured by a deed of trust recorded on June 24, 2009. (ECF No. 1). The Federal Housing Administration ("FHA") insured the deed of trust. (ECF No. 1). The deed of trust was assigned to BAC Home Loan Servicing, LP f/k/a Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, LP via an assignment of deed of trust recorded on July 11, 2011. (ECF No. 68). The deed of trust was then assigned to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development via an assignment of deed of trust recorded on May 8, 2014. (ECF No. 68). The deed of trust was then assigned to Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC via an assignment of deed of trust recorded on May 19, 2014 and finally, assigned again to BANA via an assignment of deed of trust recorded on February 8, 2016. (ECF No. 68).

On October 18, 2011, Nevada Association Services, Inc. ("NAS"), acting on behalf of the HOA, recorded a notice of delinquent assessment lien, stating an amount due of $1,856.04. (ECF No. 68). On December 6, 2011, NAS recorded a notice of default and election to sell, stating an amount due of $2,876.18. (ECF No. 1). On August 10, 2012, NAS recorded a notice of foreclosure sale, stating an amount due of $4,919.44. (ECF No. 68).

On January 6, 2012, BANA requested the superprioirty amount of the HOA lien from NAS. (ECF No. 68). Neither the HOA nor NAS responded to BANA's request. (ECF No. 68). Using a previous ledger provided by NAS for a different property within the HOA, BANA calculated the superpriority amount to be $900.00 and tendered that amount to NAS on January 26, 2012. (ECF No. 68). The HOA rejected the payment. Id.

On October 19, 2012, SFR purchased the property for $5,800.00 at the foreclosure sale. (ECF No. 68). The trustee's deed upon sale was recorded on October 25, 2012. (ECF No. 68).

BANA filed the underlying complaint on October 6, 2016. (ECF No. 1). The complaint alleges four claims of relief: (1) quiet title/declaratory judgment against all defendants; (2) breach of NRS 116.1113 against NAS and the HOA; (3) wrongful foreclosure against the HOA and NAS; and (4) injunctive relief against SFR. (ECF No. 1).

In the instant motions, SFR moves for partial summary judgment based on the return doctrine (ECF No. 69), BANA moves for partial summary judgment on its claim for quiettitle/declaratory judgment (ECF No. 68), and SFR and the HOA move for summary judgment as to all claims asserted by BANA (ECF Nos. 70, 71).

II. Legal Standard

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow summary judgment when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that "there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). A principal purpose of summary judgment is "to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).

For purposes of summary judgment, disputed factual issues should be construed in favor of the non-moving party. Lujan v. Nat'l Wildlife Fed., 497 U.S. 871, 888 (1990). However, to be entitled to a denial of summary judgment, the nonmoving party must "set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Id.

In determining summary judgment, a court applies a burden-shifting analysis. The moving party must first satisfy its initial burden. "When the party moving for summary judgment would bear the burden of proof at trial, it must come forward with evidence which would entitle it to a directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at trial. In such a case, the moving party has the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of fact on each issue material to its case." C.A.R. Transp. Brokerage Co. v. Darden Rests., Inc., 213 F.3d 474, 480 (9th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted).

By contrast, when the nonmoving party bears the burden of proving the claim or defense, the moving party can meet its burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence to negate an essential element of the non-moving party's case; or (2) by demonstrating that the nonmoving party failed to make a showing sufficient to establish an element essential to that party's case on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323-24. If the moving party fails to meet its initial burden, summary judgment must be denied and the court need not consider the nonmoving party's evidence. See Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 159-60 (1970).

If the moving party satisfies its initial burden, the burden then shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine issue of material fact exists. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). To establish the existence of a factual dispute, the opposing party need not establish a material issue of fact conclusively in its favor. It is sufficient that "the claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial." T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 631 (9th Cir. 1987).

In other words, the nonmoving party cannot avoid summary judgment by relying solely on conclusory allegations that are unsupported by factual data. See Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). Instead, the opposition must go beyond the assertions and allegations of the pleadings and set forth specific facts by producing competent evidence that shows a genuine issue for trial. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324.

At summary judgment, a court's function is not to weigh the evidence and determine the truth, but to determine whether there is a genuine issue for trial. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). The evidence of the nonmovant is "to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Id. at 255. But if the evidence of the nonmoving party is merely colorable or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted. See id. at 249-50.

III. Discussion

As an initial matter, the court will deny SFR's motion for partial summary judgment. (ECF No. 69). SFR moves for an order that "post-Bourne Valley [Court Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 832 F.3d 1154 (9th Cir. 2016)], under the Return Doctrine, NRS Chapter 116's 'notice scheme' 'returns' to its 1991 version." (ECF No. 69).1

In essence, SFR requests that this court issue an advisory opinion, which Article III prohibits. See, e.g., Calderon v. Ashmus, 523 U.S. 740, 745-46 (1998). Specifically, the United States Supreme Court has held, in relevant part, as follows:

[T]he Article III prohibition against advisory opinions reflects the complementary constitutional considerations expressed by the justiciability doctrine: Federal judicial power is limited to those disputes which confine federal courts to a rule consistent with a system of separated powers and which are traditionally thought to be capable of resolution through the judicial process.

Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83, 97 (1968).

Accordingly, the court will deny SFR's motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 69).

1. Claim (4) - Injunctive Relief

Count (4) of BANA's complaint will be dismissed without prejudice because the court follows the well-settled rule that a claim for "injunctive relief" standing alone is not a cause of action. See, e.g., In re Wal-Mart Wage & Hour Emp't Practices Litig., 490 F. Supp. 2d 1091, 1130 (D. Nev. 2007); Tillman v. Quality Loan Serv. Corp., No. 2:12-CV-346 JCM RJJ, 2012 WL 1279939, at *3 (D. Nev. Apr. 13, 2012) (finding that "injunctive relief is a remedy, not an independent cause of action"); Jensen v. Quality Loan Serv. Corp., 702 F. Supp. 2d 1183, 1201 (E.D. Cal. 2010) ("A request for injunctive relief by itself does not state a cause of action.").

2. Claim (1) - Quiet Title

In the HOA and SFR's motions, they contend that summary judgment in their favor is proper because, inter alia, the foreclosure sale extinguished BANA's deed of trust pursuant to NRS 116.3116 and SFR Investments. (ECF Nos. 70, 71). The HOA and SFR further contend that the foreclosure sale should not be set aside because the price paid at the foreclosure sale was commercially reasonable, the HOA complied with all notice requirements under NRS 116 and BANA received actual notice, BANA has not shown fraud, unfairness, or oppression as outlined in Shadow Wood Homeowners Assoc. v. N.Y. Cmty. Bancorp., Inc., 366 P.3d 1105 (Nev. 2016) ("Shadow Wood"), BANA is not entitled to an equitable remedy, SFR is a bona fide purchaser, and because BANA's attempted tender of the superpriority portion of the lien was not a true tender and was properly rejected. (...

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