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Dawn Chestnut and Rodney Chestnut v. Wells Fargo Bank

March 2, 2011

DAWN CHESTNUT AND RODNEY CHESTNUT, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Seybert, District Judge

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

Pending before the Court is Defendant Wells Fargo's motion to dismiss. For the following reasons, that motion is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND*fn1

This is a foreclosure dispute. On August 10, 2005, Plaintiffs Dawn and Rodney Chestnut, pro se, obtained a home mortgage loan from Fremont Investment and Loan, which then assigned its right to repayment to Wells Fargo. In April 2006, the Chestnuts defaulted on the mortgage, though they continued to reside in the property.

In July 2006, Wells Fargo commenced foreclosure proceedings in New York Supreme Court, County of Suffolk. On February 7, 2007, the New York Supreme Court granted Wells Fargo's unopposed summary judgment motion. On July 18, 2007, the New York Supreme Court granted Wells Fargo's unopposed motion for a Judgment of Foreclosure.

On September 5, 2007, Rodney Chestnut filed a Voluntary Petition in the Bankruptcy Court seeking Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Court dismissed Mr. Chestnut's petition in December 2008.

In January 2009, Mr. Chestnut moved, pro se, to vacate the New York Supreme Court's Judgment of Foreclosure and dismiss Wells Fargo's Complaint.*fn2 In this motion, Mr. Chestnut raised many of the arguments that he and his wife present here, including allegations that Wells Fargo did not own the note at issue and lacked standing to sue. On August 13, 2009, the New York Supreme Court denied Mr. Chestnut's motion.

On March 23, 2010, Mr. Chestnut moved for reconsideration of the New York Supreme Court's decision. In this motion, Mr. Chestnut raised still more of the kinds of arguments he raises in this action, including allegations of predatory lending. On May 14, 2010, the New York Supreme Court denied Mr. Chestnut's motion.

On September 17, 2010, Plaintiffs commenced this action, purporting to assert twenty-three separate causes of action. Among other things, Plaintiffs assert claims for fraudulent inducement, unfair business practices, unjust enrichment, and violations of the Truth-In-Lending Act. Plaintiffs also purport to assert several imaginative claims that appear to have no basis in any statute or common law doctrine, including "Lender Profit by Credit Default Swap Derivatives," and "Extra Profit on Sale of Predatory Loan Product."

Wells Fargo has moved to dismiss. Wells Fargo contends that both the Rooker-Feldman doctrine and collateral estoppel bar Plaintiffs' claims. In addition, Wells Fargo argues that Plaintiffs fail to properly plead any cognizable causes of action. Plaintiffs' opposition papers address Wells Fargo's arguments that their claims are not sufficiently pled, but do not contest Wells Fargo's Rooker-Feldman and collateral estoppel arguments.

DISCUSSION

I. Standard of Review

In deciding FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss, the Court applies a "plausibility standard," which is guided by "[t]wo working principles," Ashcroft v. Iqbal, __ U.S. __, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L. Ed. 2d 868 (2009); Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009). First, although the Court accepts all factual allegations as true, and draws all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor, this "tenet" is "inapplicable to legal conclusions"; thus, "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Harris, 572 F.3d at 72 (quoting Ashcroft); Operating Local 649 Annuity Trust Fund v. Smith Barney Fund Management LLC, 595 F.3d 86, 91 (2d Cir. 2010). Second, only complaints that state a "plausible claim for relief" can survive Rule 12(b)(6). Id. Determining whether a complaint does so is "a context specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id.

When considering a Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss*fn3 for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the Court may consider affidavits and other materials beyond the pleadings to resolve jurisdictional questions. See Robinson v. Gov't of Malaysia, 269 F.3d 133, 140 n. 6 (2d Cir. 2001). When there is a question involving federal jurisdiction, such jurisdiction must be shown affirmatively. See Shipping Fin. Servs. Corp. v. Drakos, 140 F.3d 129, 131 (2d ...


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