Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

July 15, 2013

Oregon District Court Finds Claim Preclusion Bars Stop-Foreclosure Action

By Ebube Okoli

In Buckland v. MERS, Or. 11-3053-CL (2011) the court dealt with res judicata and the plaintiff relitigating the same claims that were raised or could have been raised in a previous action. The court found that the same factual transaction was at issue in the plaintiff’s prior litigation and at issue in the present case. Both actions arose out of the same non-judicial foreclosure proceeding associated with the loan on the plaintiff’s property.

The plaintiff had named Aurora Loan Services as sole defendant in his state action and MERS as a nominee for American Mortgage Network as sole defendant in the current action, although he referenced each of the parties in the complaints filed in both actions and challenged foreclosure of his property in both actions. As agents for the lender, the relationship between Aurora and MERS was close enough such that the court found the parties to be in privity. Since claim preclusion applies to a party to an earlier action and to a person who was not a party in the earlier action but who was in privity with the party to the earlier action, the plaintiff’s claim was precluded.

The court concluded that the plaintiff’s claims brought in this action, which arose out of the same factual transaction as the previous litigation, the court found that the claims could have been brought in those proceedings. Accordingly the claims were thus barred by claim preclusion.

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