Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

November 12, 2013

Alabama Court Dismisses Plaintiff’s Insufficiently Plead Quiet Title Claim

By Ebube Okoli

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Western Division, in deciding Orton v. Matthews, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156870 (N.D. Ala. Nov. 1, 2013), granted [defendant] Bank of America’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claims pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the FRCP for failure to state a claim.

Plaintiff’s complaint represented an attempt to quiet title to the underlying property in the case. The theory behind plaintiff’s quiet title action was that, as a result of the separation of the note and the mortgage at the time of their execution, the defendant’s alleged security interest in the property was invalidated.

Defendant attacked the plaintiff’s complaint on multiple grounds, asserting that 1) it was devoid of the factual allegations necessary to maintain an action to quiet title, and 2) its only cause of action is almost wholly dependent on a theory of law, the so-called “split the note” theory, that contravenes established Alabama law.

Defendant successfully argued that such deficiencies prevented plaintiff’s complaint from meeting Rule 8’s pleading standard, and require dismissal of this action under Rule 12(b)(6). The court agreed.

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