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Minnifield v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Court of Appeals of Georgia

March 25, 2015

MINNIFIELD
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A. et al

Cert. applied for.

Collateral estoppel. Fulton Superior Court. Before Judge Tusan.

Kimelyn A. Minnifield, pro se.

Richard B. Maner, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, Joshua N. Tropper, Amy L. Hanna, for appellee.

OPINION

Page 189

McFadden, Judge.

Kimelyn Minnifield, an attorney proceeding pro se, appeals the trial court's order dismissing her wrongful foreclosure action against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and Richard B. Maner, P.C. She contends that the trial court erred by failing to notify her that the court was [331 Ga.App. 513] converting Wells Fargo's motion to dismiss to a motion for summary judgment

Page 190

and by concluding that collateral estoppel barred her claims. Because Minnifield had sufficient notice of the documents outside the pleadings that the trial court considered and because her claims are barred by collateral estoppel, we affirm.

1. Facts.

In 2009, three-and-one-half years before she filed the subject action, Minnifield filed suit in the state court of DeKalb County against Johnson & Freedman, LLC and Johnson & Freedman II, LLC (collectively, " Johnson & Freedman" ), the law firm that initiated foreclosure proceedings against her on behalf of its client, Wells Fargo. Her lawsuit, in which she asserted claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, was subsequently removed to federal court, where it made two appearances before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

The relevant facts, taken from the latest decision from the Eleventh Circuit, are as follows:

In March 2005, Minnifield gave Argent Mortgage Company, LLC, (Argent) a security deed on property in McDonough, Georgia to secure a loan. The security deed provided that Argent and its successors and assigns could sell Minnifield's property if she defaulted on her loan. In the months that followed, the deed apparently changed hands. Then Minnifield defaulted on the loan. In 2009, Johnson & Freedman, a law firm, initiated nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings on behalf of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (Wells Fargo), the company that claimed it held Minnifield's deed.
Before the proceedings concluded, Minnifield sued Johnson & Freedman under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) alleging that the firm unlawfully initiated foreclosure proceedings because Wells Fargo did not hold the security deed and, therefore, lacked the present right to possession of her property. After ...

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