United States District Court, S.D. Georgia
JOSEPH AND EUNIDE A. BENJAMIN, Plaintiffs,
SHELLPOINT MORTGAGE SERVICING, BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, and ALDRIDGE PITE, LLP, Defendants.
LISA GODBEY WOOD JUDGE.
Matter comes before the Court on Defendant Aldridge Pite,
LLP's ("AP") Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. No. 15.
For the following reasons, this Motion is
Plaintiffs filed the present lawsuit on July 7, 2017. Dkt.
No. 1. The Complaint lists claims of breach of contract,
fraud, and fraudulent loan relating to a "mortgage
dispute." Id. III.A. It asserts that the events
giving rise to the claim began occurring in 200 6 and does
not state an end date. Id. Ill.B. In describing the
relevant facts, the Complaint alleges that Plaintiff moved to
Massachusetts to save their house, and moved back into their
Georgia home because of the promise of a loan modification.
Id. III.C. "They lied, " the Complaint
alleges, and began refusing Plaintiffs' payments after
three payments had been made. Id. Then, "they
sold the mortgage to another servicer,
” and after working with Plaintiffs, they sold it
also attached a letter to their Complaint. There they explain
that the house was apparently sold in February 2016 but ask
for proof of such a transfer and allege that the settlement
and the deed completion were done without their signature.
Dkt. No. 1-1.
in order to state a claim for relief, a plaintiff's
complaint must include "enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). The Court accepts the allegations in the complaint as
true and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the
plaintiff. Ray v. Spirit Airlines, Inc., 836 F.3d
1340, 1347 (11th Cir. 2016). However, the Court does not
accept as true threadbare recitations of the elements of the
claim and disregards legal conclusions unsupported by factual
allegations. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79. At a
minimum, a complaint should "contain either direct or
inferential allegations respecting all the material elements
necessary to sustain a recovery under some viable legal
theory." Fin. Sec. Assurance, Inc. v. Stephens,
Inc., 500 F.3d 1276, 1282-83 (11th Cir. 2007) (per
curiam) (quoting Roe v. Aware Woman Ctr. for Choice,
Inc., 253 F.3d 678, 683 (11th Cir. 2001)).
standard for stating a fraud claim is even higher.” [A]
party must state with particularity the circumstances
constituting fraud . . . ." Fed.R.Civ.P. 9(b) . Rule
9(b) "plainly requires a complaint to set forth (1)
precisely what statements or omissions were made in which
documents or oral representations; (2) the time and place of
each such statement and the person responsible for making
(or, in the case of omissions, not making) them; (3) the
content of such statements and the manner in which they
misled the plaintiff; and (4) what the defendant obtained as
a consequence of the fraud." FindWhat Inv'r Grp.
v. FindWhat.Co, 658 F.3d 1282, 1296 (11th Cir. 2011).
document filed pro se is 'to be liberally
construed, [and] a pro se complaint, however
inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'"
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)); see
also Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(f) ("All pleadings shall be so
construed as to do substantial justice.").
has moved for the claims against it to be dismissed for
failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiffs have made no response to
Complaint fails to identify AP's relation to the lawsuit
whatsoever. The only time AP's name appears in the
Complaint is when Plaintiffs list the Defendants to the
action. The Complaint fails to identify who AP is, any
relationship it may have to Plaintiffs or to the other
parties in the action, or any relationship to Plaintiffs'
Property or loan agreements. What is more, once AP brought
this to Plaintiffs' attention by filing the present
Motion, -Plaintiffs gave no explanation; they failed to
reply. Other documents have been filed on the record by
Plaintiffs and the other parties showing their (the other
Defendants') involvement. Even in those docket entries,
AP's name goes without mention. Therefore, Plaintiffs
have failed to state a plausible claim for relief against AP
under either Rule 8 or Rule 9 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. The Court cannot require AP to defend such claims.
Motion to Dismiss (Diet. No. 15) is GRANTED
in its entirety. All claims against AP ...