United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G FLEISSIG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the motions filed by Defendants
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (“Wells Fargo”) (ECF
No. 30) and Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc.
(“MERS”) (ECF No. 40) to dismiss the third
amended complaint of pro se Plaintiffs Terry and Kelli
Bledsoe. Plaintiffs oppose the motions and have separately
moved for leave to conduct discovery in support of their
claims (ECF Nos. 35 & 46). For the reasons set forth below,
the Court will grant Defendants' motions and deny
filed this “Complaint to Quiet Title by Way of
Fraud” in state court, and on February 27, 2018, the
case was properly removed to this Court on diversity grounds.
Plaintiffs amended their complaint twice while it was pending
in state court, and were permitted to amend a third time by
this Court. The current, third amended complaint asks the
Court grant an “Order to Quiet Title with prejudice at
1325 Leroy Avenue, St. Louis Mo, 63133. Lot 5 Block 3 Hazel
Hill Plat Book 4 Page 43, ” and for emotional distress
and punitive damages in the amount of $750, 000.
following facts are taken from the third amended complaint,
as well as the documents incorporated by that complaint that
have been attached to Defendants' motions to dismiss,
including the relevant lending documents and deeds of
December 14, 2011, Plaintiffs obtained a $38, 986 loan from
LeaderOne Financial Corp., and signed a related promissory
note to be secured by a deed of trust or similar security
instrument. The same day, Plaintiffs executed two documents
entitled “Deed of Trust, ” both dated December
14, 2011, purporting to encumber the property. The Deeds of
Trust were recorded by the St. Louis County Recorder of Deeds
on December 15, 2011, in Book 19783, Page 2488 (“First
Recorded Deed of Trust”), and on January 4, 2012, in
Book 19805, Page 965 (“Second Recorded Deed of
First Recorded Deed of Trust accurately describes the subject
property as “Lot 5 in Block 3 of Hazel Hill, according
to the plat thereof recorded in Plat Book 4 Page 43 of the
St. Louis County Records, ” ECF No. 31-2 at 10, but
incorrectly lists the property's address as “1235
Leroy Ave, Pagedale Missouri 63133, ” id. at
3. The Second Recorded Deed of Trust contains the same legal
description of the property, and correctly lists the
property's address as “1325 Leroy Ave, Pagedale
Missouri 63133.” ECF No. 31-3 at 10, 3.
March 29, 2012, Leader One executed a document titled
“Satisfaction, ” which was recorded and released
only the First Recorded Deed of Trust with the incorrect
address. ECF No. 31-4. On May 4, 2016, Mortgage Electronic
Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) executed an
“Assignment of Mortgage/Deed of Trust, ” whereby
MERS, as nominee for Leader One, assigned the unreleased,
Second Recorded Deed of Trust to Wells Fargo.
allege that they were unaware that they were signing two sets
of closing documents with different addresses. Plaintiffs
further allege that that there should have been one note and
one security instrument and that Defendants participated in a
scheme to defraud Plaintiffs by maintaining and seeking to
enforce two security instruments. According to Plaintiffs,
Defendants knew about the falsity in this transaction and
intended to deceive Plaintiffs, and Plaintiffs have suffered
damage as a result.
motion to dismiss, Wells Fargo argues that Plaintiffs'
claim for quiet title fails because Plaintiffs have not
plausibly alleged superior title to the subject property.
Wells Fargo contends that Plaintiffs have not alleged any
facts plausibly indicating that the loan secured by the
Second Recorded Deed of Trust, which properly identifies the
property by address and legal description, has been paid; nor
have Plaintiffs pled any facts plausibly indicating that the
assignment of the Second Recorded Deed of Trust to Wells
Fargo was invalid. Wells Fargo also argues that Plaintiffs
fail to state a claim for fraud because Plaintiffs have
failed to plausibly plead the elements of such a claim with
motion to dismiss, MERS argues that it no longer has any
interest in the property as its interest was extinguished
when it assigned the Second Recorded Deed of Trust to Wells
Fargo. MERS argues that Plaintiffs lack standing to challenge
the validity of the assignment, and in any event, such a
challenge would be meritless. MERS likewise argues that
Plaintiffs fail to state a fraud claim against it because
Plaintiffs have not identified any misrepresentation by MERS
that could support such a claim.
oppose both motions and have also filed motions to conduct
discovery to obtain evidence in support of their claims.
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
“sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The
court must accept the complaint's factual allegations as
true and construe them in the plaintiff's favor, but it
is not required to accept the legal conclusions the complaint
draws from the facts alleged. Id. at 678. Although a
“pro se complaint must be liberally construed, ”
pro se plaintiffs “still must allege sufficient facts
to support the claims advanced, ” and a district court
is not required to ...