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Strong v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Oregon

June 21, 2019

MARY STRONG, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS, INC., ET AL., Defendants.

          OPINON AND ORDER

          Michael J. McShane, United States District Judge

         Defendants Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (“Countrywide”), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”), and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) (collectively “Countrywide, et al.”) and The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company (“BNY Mellon”) move this Court for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. Countrywide, et al.'s Mot., ECF No. 104; BNY Mellon's Mot., ECF No. 107.[1] In support of their Motion, Countrywide, et al. asks the Court to take judicial notice of five proffered exhibits. Req. for Judicial Notice, ECF No. 105.

         Because Plaintiff has failed to raise a genuine dispute of material fact and her claims face various standing, preclusion, and statute of limitations issues, this Court GRANTS Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment (ECF Nos. 104 and 107).

         BACKGROUND

         This case is the culmination of many cases filed by Plaintiff Mary Strong, proceeding pro se. See Civ. Nos. 6:15-cv-01536-MC, 6:15-cv-1966-MC, [2] 6:16-cv-00233-MC, 6:16-cv-00331-MC. Plaintiff secured a $364, 000 refinance loan (“senior loan”) for a property located at 65510 Old Bend Redmond Highway in Bend, Oregon, 97701 (“the Property”) and subsequently defaulted on it. ECF No. 9-1. GMAC Mortgage, LLC (“GMAC”), a junior lienholder, foreclosed their second position loan (“junior loan”) on the Property and sold the Property by trustee's sale to Stratagem Capital, LLC (“Stratagem”). Countrywide et al.'s Mot. 8; Laurick Decl. Ex. 5, at 10, ECF No. 106. The Deed of Trust was assigned and Plaintiff eventually lost access to the Property. ECF No. 9-2. Plaintiff filed these now-consolidated actions relating to the loans in the Deschutes County Circuit Court on January 8, 2016. ECF Nos. 1, 2, and 11. Defendants removed the actions to this Court on February 8, 2016. Id. This Court dismissed Plaintiff's claims as to all Defendants-except GMAC and Residential Asset Mortgage Products, Inc. (“RAMP”)-with prejudice on April 4, 2016. Op. and Order, ECF No. 29.

         Plaintiff appealed on April 20, 2016. ECF Nos. 30 and 31. On September 8, 2017, the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and vacated the dismissal regarding Plaintiff's (1) slander of title, quiet title, and request for declaratory judgment claims against Countrywide, et al.; and (2) slander of title, quiet title, wrongful foreclosure, and request for declaratory judgment claims against GMAC, RAMP, [3] Stratagem, [4] and BNY Mellon. Strong v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 700 Fed.Appx. 664, 666-67 (9th Cir. 2017). The Ninth Circuit concluded that Plaintiff may have standing to bring claims regarding the senior loan based on her allegation that the foreclosure sale on the junior loan was not conducted by the trustee or an authorized agent thereof. Id. at 3-4. Defendants filed the instant Motions for Summary Judgment and Request for Judicial Notice on May 7, 2019. ECF Nos. 104, 105, and 107.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         This Court must grant summary judgment “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). An issue is “genuine” if a reasonable jury could find in favor of the non-moving party. Rivera v. Phillip Morris, Inc., 395 F.3d 1142, 1146 (9th Cir. 2005) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). A fact is “material” if it could affect the outcome of the case. Id.

         The Court reviews evidence and draws inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Miller v. Glenn Miller Prods., Inc., 454 F.3d 975, 988 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Hunt v. Cromartie, 526 U.S. 541, 552 (1999)). When the moving party has met its burden, the nonmoving party must present “specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)) (emphasis in original). The “mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position [is] insufficient” to avoid summary judgment. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at 252. Uncorroborated allegations and “self-serving testimony” are also insufficient. Villiarimo v. Aloha Island Air, Inc., 281 F.3d 1054, 1061 (9th Cir. 2002).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Request for Judicial Notice

         As a preliminary matter, Countrywide, et al. requests that this Court take judicial notice of five items:

1. Assignment of Deed of Trust related to the real property located at 65510 Old Bend Redmond Highway, Bend, OR 97701 (“Property”), pursuant to a $364, 000 loan obtained by Mary Strong, Trustee of the Mary Strong Family Trust secured by a Deed of Trust recorded in the Deschutes County Records on March 23, 2007 at 2007-17104, and recorded in the Deschutes County Records on January 11, 2016, at 2016-000744.
2. Assignment of Deed of Trust related to the Property and recorded in the Deschutes County Records on January 11, 2016 at 2016-000745.
3. The Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for the County of Deschutes No. 16CV19530 Register of Actions regarding the judicial foreclosure related to the Property.
4. General Judgment of Foreclosure and Declaration of Amount Due related to the Property and dated December 29, 2017, entered by the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for ...

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