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United States District Court for the District of Columbia
August 5, 2021, Decided; August 5, 2021, Filed
No. 18-cv-928 (KBJ)
On April 19, 2018, Plaintiffs Estate of Carolyn J. Mickens and Vivian Newman (the estate's administrator) brought the instant legal action against three institutional defendants: U.S. Bank National Association, as Trustee for the C-Bass Mortgage Loan Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2006-RP2 ("U.S. Bank"), Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC ("Ocwen"), and BWW Law Group, LLC ("BWW" and, collectively, "Defendants"). Plaintiffs allege that Defendants violated several federal and local consumer protection statutes in connection with their efforts to foreclose on Carolyn Mickens's property due to a defaulted mortgage. (See Second Am. Compl., ECF No. 44, ¶ 1.) Plaintiffs have now voluntarily dismissed their claims against BWW (see Notice of Voluntary Dismissal, ECF No. 70), and U.S. Bank and Ocwen have moved to [*2] dismiss Plaintiffs' second amended complaint in this matter for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (see Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss Second Am. Compl., ECF No. 48, at 1).1 For the reasons explained below, this Court concludes that Plaintiffs' second amended complaint must instead be dismissed because it fails to satisfy Rule 8's basic pleading requirements. Consequently, Plaintiffs' second amended complaint will be DISMISSED with leave to amend, and U.S. Bank and Ocwen's motion to dismiss will be DENIED AS MOOT. A separate Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion will follow.
I. BACKGROUND FACTS2
Until her death in 2016, Carolyn Mickens owned real property located at 5200 Ames Street Northeast in Washington, D.C. (Second Am. Compl. ¶¶ 7, 29.)3 In 1998, Mickens refinanced the mortgage on that property, by taking out a loan of about $100,000, and she executed a promissory note that reflected the terms of the loan, as well as a deed of trust that secured the loan with a lien on the property. (See id. ¶¶ 10-12.)4 Several years later, in 2001, Mickens filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and as a result, she obtained a standard discharge of her personal obligations [*3] on her debts that same year. (See id. ¶ 13; see also Exs. to Second Am. Compl. at 17.) Nonetheless, Plaintiffs allege that Mickens later "reaffirmed the mortgage debt" at some unspecified time (Second Am. Compl. ¶ 14), and "continued to pay her mortgage loan payments on the [p]roperty" (id. ¶ 13).
Records from the files of U.S. Bank and Ocwen indicate that Mickens stopped making payments on the mortgage loan in April of 2009. (See id. ¶ 42; see also Exs. to Second Am. Compl. at 4.) Consequently, in August of 2014, U.S. Bank initiated a judicial foreclosure action in the District of Columbia Superior Court, seeking a court order authorizing a judicial sale of Mickens's property. (See Second Am. Compl. ¶ 27.) See also U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass'n v. Mickens, No. 2014-CA-5065 (D.C. Super. Ct. filed Aug. 8, 2014). BWW represented U.S. Bank in this foreclosure action. (See, e.g., Second Am. Compl. ¶ 58.) Plaintiffs allege that U.S. Bank amended its complaint on July 20, 2017, after the parties learned of another unreleased lien on the property, to add the holder of the lien as a party "so that . . . title [on the property] could be cleared." (Id. ¶ 54.) Then, after a dispute arose over whether U.S. Bank had possession of the note (see [*4] id. ¶¶ 57-59, 65-69), U.S. Bank filed a second amended complaint in the foreclosure action on January 2, 2019, in which it represented that it "had the Note" at one point but "lost it," although U.S. Bank asserted that it "still owned the Loan and could enforce the lost Note" (id. ¶ 71(A)).5
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2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146470 *; 2021 WL 3418955
ESTATE OF CAROLYN J. MICKENS, et al., Plaintiffs, v. U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, et al., Defendants.
Prior History: Estate of Mickens v. US Bank, N.A., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101099 (D.D.C., June 18, 2018)
second amended complaint, mortgage, allegations, motion to dismiss, quotation, marks, modification, Defendants', foreclosure, moot, foreclosure action, notice, third amended complaint, pleading requirements, legal claim, amend
Civil Procedure, Pleading & Practice, Pleadings, Answers, Complaints, Requirements for Complaint, Preliminary Considerations, Justiciability, Abatement Upon Death, Parties, Substitution, Death of Party