Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

December 24, 2013

Michigan Court Dismisses State Claims Against 13 Defendants – Including Wells Fargo

By Ebube Okoli

The court in deciding Berry v. Main St. Bank, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147915 ( E.D. Mich. 2013) granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss, and the plaintiff’s claims were dismissed without prejudice.

Plaintiff Erik Berry initiated this action against thirteen defendants, including Defendant Wells Fargo, in state court seeking to redress alleged improprieties in the foreclosure of his home. Wells Fargo filed a motion seeking dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), or in the alternative, a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56. The court ultimately granted Wells Fargo’s motion and dismissed this action without prejudice.

The court found significant portions of the plaintiff’s complaint and response were dedicated to challenging the validity of the note, mortgage, and assignment. Although plaintiff relied on case law from several states other than Michigan, the court construed the complaint as alleging that (1) the splitting of the note and mortgage rendered the assignment from MERS acting as nominee for Main Street Bank to Wells Fargo defective, (2) because the assignment was invalid, no record chain of title evidencing the assignment of the mortgage existed as required by Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.3204(3), and (3) this chain of title defect deprived Wells Fargo of the authority to initiate foreclosure proceedings. The court rejected these arguments.

Wells Fargo’s motion to dismiss was ultimately granted and plaintiff’s claims were dismissed without prejudice.

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