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Bullen v. Mortgage

United States District Court, E.D. New York

April 15, 2015

CLAUDETE BULLEN, EDWARD BULLEN, MATTHEW BULLEN, Plaintiffs,
v.
WELLS FARGO HOME MORTGAGE, ARGENT MORTGAGE COMPANY, LLC WACHOVIA CORPORATION Defendants.

DECISION & ORDER

WILLIAM F. KUNTZ, II, District Judge.

Claudette Bullen, Edward Bullen, and Matthew Bullen (collectively "Plaintiffs"), proceeding pro se, brought this action in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Queens on December 23, 2013 against Defendants Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Argent Mortgage Company, LLC, and Wachovia Corporation (collectively, "Defendants"). On May 21, 2014, Defendants removed the case to this Court. Plaintiffs allege Defendants conducted an illegal foreclosure of a mortgage and bring claims against Defendants for fraud, wantonness, abuse of process, trespass, slander, wrongful foreclosure, unjust enrichment, and civil conspiracy. Currently before the Court is Defendant Wells Fargo Home Mortgage's and Defendant Wachovia Corporation's motion to dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(6). For the reasons that follow, Defendants' motion to dismiss is GRANTED.[1]

BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs Claudette Bullen and Matthews Bullen are residents of Queens, New York. Dkt 1. (Notice of Removal), Ex. A ("Complaint") at ¶¶ 1-2[2]. Plaintiff Edward Bullen owns property in Saint Albans, New York. Id. at 3. Defendants conduct business within the state of New York. Id. ¶¶ at 4-6.

According to Plaintiffs, Defendants have "engaged in predatory lending, fraud and [] there appears to be an illegal transfer of mortgage and fraudulent assignment of mortgage." Id. at ¶ 9. Plaintiffs' further state Defendants conducted an illegal foreclosure by way of "Wells Fargo Bank using defective and misrepresented documents." Id. at ¶ 11.

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiffs bring the following causes of action: fraud, wantonness, trespass, abuse of process, slander of title, wrongful foreclosure, unjust enrichment, and civil conspiracy. Id. at ¶¶ 8-30. Plaintiffs seek various types of relief, including discharge of mortgages on the real property located at 104-21 200th Street, Saint Albans, New York. Id. at ¶¶ a-d.

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standard

To survive a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), each claim must set forth sufficient factual allegations, accepted as true, "to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). A sufficiently pled complaint "must provide more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.'" Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. v. Morgan Stanley Inv. Mgmt. Inc., 712 F.3d 705, 717 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). If a complaint merely offers labels and conclusions, a formulaic recitation of the elements, or "naked assertions devoid of further factual enhancement, " it will not survive a motion to dismiss. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 557 (2007)) (internal quotation marks and alteration omitted). At this stage, the Court accepts all factual allegations in the complaint as true and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of Plaintiff, the non-movant. Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 71 (2d Cir. 2009). However, the Court need not credit "legal conclusions" in a claim or "threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements." Id. at 72 (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678) (internal quotation marks and alteration omitted). Moreover, the Court is "not bound to accept as true legal conclusion couched as factual allegation." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555) (internal quotation marks omitted). Legal conclusions must be supported by factual allegations. Id.; Pension Benefit Guar. Corp., 712 F.3d at 717-18. With these principles in mind, the Court turns its analysis to Defendants' motion to dismiss.

II. Analysis

As an initial matter, Plaintiffs have not opposed Defendants' motion to dismiss. However:

[a Plaintiff's] failure to oppose a 12(b)(6) motion cannot itself justify dismissal of a complaint. In deciding an unopposed motion to dismiss, a court is to assume the truth of a pleading's factual allegations and test only its legal sufficiency. Thus, although a party is of course to be given a reasonable opportunity to respond to an opponent's motion, the sufficiency of a complaint is a matter of law that the court is capable of determining based on its own reading of the pleading and knowledge of the law. Accordingly, [a] Court must review the Complaint to determine whether plaintiff has carried his burden.

Haas v. Commerce Bank, 497 F.Supp.2d 563, 564 (S.D.N.Y. 2007) (Holwell, J.) (internal quotation marks, citations, and ellipses omitted). Moreover, because Plaintiffs are pro se, "the Court must liberally construe [Plaintiffs'] pleadings, and must interpret [the] Complaint to raise the strongest arguments it suggests. Id. at 564-65 (internal citation marks omitted).

A. Plaintiffs Wrongful Foreclosure, Trespass, and Unjust Enrichment Claims Must be Dismissed Pursuant to Federal Rules ...


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