Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Mottram v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

March 8, 2016

Darrin M. Mottram
v.
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A Opinion No. 2016 DNH 046

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          PAUL BARBADORO, District Judge.

         Darrin M. Mottram, proceeding pro se, has sued Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., for claims arising from the bank's attempts to foreclose on his home. Mottram alleges that Wells Fargo (1) discriminated against him because he is disabled, (2) violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA") by failing to disclose certain information about his loan, and (3) breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing by declining to modify his loan. He asserts that Wells Fargo's actions have caused him emotional distress. Wells Fargo responded with a motion to dismiss, arguing that Mottram's complaint fails to state a viable claim for relief.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Mottram, who suffers from an unspecified disability, lives at 42 South Avenue in Derry, New Hampshire.[1] In January 2009, Mottram entered into a mortgage, secured by his home, with Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc. In 2012, Mottram's mortgage was assigned to Wells Fargo, the defendant here.

         At some point, Mottram defaulted on his mortgage, and Wells Fargo attempted to foreclose. Wells Fargo hired the Harmon Law Offices as foreclosure counsel, which sent Mottram notices that his house would be auctioned. Those notices, and the possibility that he would be required to leave his home, upset Mottram. He filed this suit.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a plaintiff must allege sufficient facts to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible if it provides "factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id . This plausibility standard "asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully, " id., but "simply calls for enough fact to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence" of wrongdoing. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.

         I employ a two-step approach in deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. See Ocasio-Hernandez v. Fortuno-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011). First, I screen the complaint for statements that "merely offer legal conclusions couched as fact or threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action." Id . (citations, internal punctuation, and alterations omitted). I then accept as true all non-conclusory factual allegations and the reasonable inferences drawn therefrom, and determine whether the claim is plausible. Id . When applying this standard to a pro se pleading, I construe the pleading liberally. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); see also Dutil v. Murphy, 550 F.3d 154, 158 (1st Cir. 2008) (explaining that courts "hold pro se pleadings to less demanding standards than those drafted by lawyers and endeavor, within reasonable limits, to guard against the loss of pro se claims due to technical defects").

         III. ANALYSIS

         Mottram's complaint appears to include four claims: (1) a discrimination claim, (2) a RESPA claim, (3) a breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing claim, and (4) a claim for infliction of emotional distress. Wells Fargo attacks each claim on various grounds.

         A. Discrimination Claim

         Mottram first alleges that Wells Fargo discriminated against him on the basis of his disability by declining to modify his loan, attempting to foreclose on his home, and sending him auction notices. Mottram claims that these actions violate federal and state anti-discrimination laws. He specifically cites Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. See Doc. No. 1 at 1.

         1. Title VII

         Mottram contends that Wells Fargo violated Title VII by discriminating against him because of his disability. Title VII forbids "an employer... [from] discriminat[ing] against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1). Accordingly, "Title VII is a vehicle through which an individual may seek recovery for employment discrimination...." Franceschi v. U.S. Dep't of Veterans Affairs, 514 F.3d 81, 85 (1st Cir. 2008) (emphasis added). Title VII thus prohibits only employment-related discrimination. See Joseph G. Cook & John L. Sobieski, Jr., Civil Rights Actions, § 21.08[A], at 21-54 (2015) ("Title VII prohibits discrimination only insofar as it ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.