United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Melody Moss, pro se, filed a petition against
defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) in
the Circuit Court for Reynolds County, Missouri. Plaintiff
appears to seek to have defendant Chase's lien on her
property declared void. Defendant removed the matter to this
Court pursuant to the Court's diversity jurisdiction, 28
U.S.C. § 1332(a). Defendant then moved to dismiss the
petition for failure to state a claim for which relief can be
granted. (#12.) Plaintiff has not responded, and the time for
doing so has passed.
handwritten complaint is difficult to understand. It appears
that plaintiff owned property located at 1736 County Road
418, Piedmont, Missouri, 63957. She may have originally owned
the property with her husband, Dean Brachle, but they have
apparently separated. Plaintiff refers to a loan from First
Midwest Bank of Dexter, Missouri and suggests that it was
transferred to defendant Chase at some point, but she says
she received no notice of the transfer. Most of
plaintiff's complaint comprises descriptions of her more
than 200 pages of exhibits, including Missouri statutes,
deeds of trusts, and copies of handwritten communications to
defendant Chase. Some exhibits, however, are not explained in
the complaint. It appears that plaintiff was advised that
defendant Chase was foreclosing on her property and that
plaintiff tried to make “catch up payments” to
avoid further foreclosure actions. Plaintiff seeks an order
that the lien is “invalid, ” as she appears to
allege that the lien on the property, which took the form of
a deed of trust, was “non-consensual.” She states
that Chase is “trying to cheat me out of possession of
my legal residence” (#5 at 9) and that she is entitled
to monetary damages for her work on the property totaling
Chase has moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state
a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
has moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The purpose of a
Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
is to test the legal sufficiency of a complaint so as to
eliminate those actions “which are fatally flawed in
their legal premises and deigned to fail, thereby sparing
litigants the burden of unnecessary pretrial and trial
activity.” Young v. City of St. Charles, 244
F.3d 623, 627 (8th Cir. 2001) (citing Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 326-27 (1989)). “To
survive a motion to dismiss, a claim must be facially
plausible, meaning that the ‘factual content. . .
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.'“
Cole v. Homier Dist. Co., Inc., 599 F.3d 856, 861
(8th Cir. 2010) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009)). The Court must “accept the
allegations contained in the complaint as true and draw all
reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party.”
Id. (quoting Coons v. Mineta, 410 F.3d
1036, 1039 (8th Cir. 2005)). However, “[t]hreadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, ” will not pass muster.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
courts liberally construe pro se complaints, the
pleading “must not be conclusory and must state
specific facts which, when taken as true, state a claim as a
matter of law.” Beasley v. State of Mo., No.
1:04-cv-173-CAS, 2005 WL 2206110 (E.D. Mo. Sept. 12, 2005).
The Court also notes that “the absence of a response to
a dispositive motion does not relieve the Court of its duty
to consider the motion on the merits.” Country Club
Estates, L.L.C. v. Town of Loma Linda, 213 F.3d 1001
(8th Cir. 2000).
Chase argues that the complaint does not consist of “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief” as required by Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2). Although plaintiff appears
to dispute defendant's interest in and lien on
plaintiff's property, defendant opines that
plaintiff's allegations are too confusing and unclear to
assert the basis of any claim against Chase. This Court
agrees. Although the Court has read plaintiff's complaint
and reviewed her many exhibits, plaintiff appears to rely
solely on conjecture, conclusory statements, and bare
citations to her exhibits to support her claims. Without
factual allegations to support her claims, plaintiff's
conclusions are unsupported and must be disregarded by this
Court. See Wiles v. Capitol Indem. Corp., 280 F.3d
868, 870 (8th Cir. 2002).
obliquely refers to §§ 428.110-135 RSMo, which
address procedures for rejecting a “nonconsensual
common law lien.” A “nonconsensual common law
lien” is defined as
a document that purports to assert a lien against the assets,
real or personal, of any person and that, regardless of any
(a) Is not expressly provided for by a specific state or
(b) Does not depend upon the consent of the owner of the
property affected or the existence of a contract for ...