United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
A.Gibney, Jr United States District Judge
2016, Donald Young Bey refinanced his mortgage loan, using
Freedom Mortgage as the lender. In March 2017, Young Bey
filed a complaint against Freedom Mortgage seeking possession
of the home and damages. On June 19, 2017, the Court granted
Freedom Mortgage's motion to dismiss, but directed Young
Bey to file a particularized complaint.
30, 2017, Young Bey filed his particularized complaint. In
it, he alleges fraud, negligence, and breach of contract.
Young Bey no longer seeks possession of his
Mortgage has filed a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. A Rule 12(b)(6) motion
gauges the sufficiency of a complaint. Goines v. Valley
Cmty. Servs. Bd, 822 F.3d 159, 165 (4th Cir. 2016).
Accordingly, in evaluating such a motion, courts typically
focus only on the complaint, documents attached to the
complaint, and documents explicitly incorporated into the
complaint by reference. Id. at 166. In appropriate
cases, however, courts may also (1) take judicial notice of
public records, such as state court records, and (2) consider
documents submitted by the movant if the documents are
integral to the complaint and indisputably authentic. Id;
Witthohn v. Fed. Ins. Co., 164 F.App'x 395, 396 (4th
Cir. 2006). When considering the complaint itself, courts
must accept all allegations as true and must draw all
reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Nemet
Chevrolet, Ltd. v. Consumeraffairs.com, Inc., 591 F.3d
250, 253 (4th Cir. 2009) (citing Edwards v. City of
Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 244 (4th Cir. 1999)). The
principle that a court must accept all allegations as true,
however, does not apply to legal conclusions. Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
the facts alleged in the complaint in light of these
principles, to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the
complaint must contain sufficient facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face. Id. "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." Id. (quoting BellAtl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 565 (2007)).
case, all claims alleged in the particularized complaint
(i.e., fraud, negligence, and breach of contract) fail
because Young Bey has not alleged sufficient facts to state
any plausible claims for relief.
establish fraud in Virginia, a plaintiff must show that the
defendant intentionally and knowingly made a false
representation of a material fact with intent to mislead the
plaintiff, and that the plaintiffs reliance on the false
representation resulted in damages. Bryant v.
Peckinpaugh, 241 Va. 172, 175, 400 S.E.2d 201, 203
(1991). Additionally, under the Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 9(b), a plaintiff must state the circumstances
constituting fraud with particularity. These
"circumstances" include "the time, place, and
contents of the false representations, as well as the
identity of the person making the misrepresentation and what
he obtained thereby." Harrison v. Westinghouse
Savannah River Co., 176 F.3d 776, 784 (4th Cir. 1999).
In this case, Young Bey alleges that Freedom Mortgage
committed fraud when it requested mortgage payments. Freedom
Mortgage, however, had a right to these payments under the
loan that Young Bey entered into. Other than this allegation,
Young Bey does not provide any facts about false
representations made by Freedom Mortgage, let alone who made
those misrepresentations and when. Further, Young Bey gives no
indication that he relied on any of these facts to his
detriment. Accordingly, Young Bey has not sufficiently stated
a claim for fraud, and the Court will dismiss this claim.
establish negligence, the plaintiff must allege that the
defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty, that the defendant
breached that duty, and that the breach proximately caused
the plaintiffs injury. Blue Ridge Serv. Corp. of Va. v.
Saxon Shoes, Inc., 271 Va. 206, 218, 624 S.E.2d 55, 62
(2006). In the particularized complaint, Young Bey does not
allege any facts about a duty that Freedom Mortgage owed him
or a breach of any such duty. Thus, the claim for negligence
to establish a claim for breach of contract, the plaintiff
must show a legally enforceable obligation of a defendant to
a plaintiff, the defendant's violation or breach of that
obligation, and injury to the plaintiff caused by the breach
of the obligation. Filak v. George, 267 Va. 612,
619, 594 S.E.2d 610, 614 (2004). Here, Young Bey bases his
breach of contract allegation on House Joint Resolution 192
dated June 5, 1933. This resolution took the United States
off the gold standard. This resolution did not create a
legally enforceable obligation between Freedom Mortgage and
Young Bey. Consequently, Young Bey's breach of contract
reasons stated, the Court will grant Freedom Mortgage's
motion to dismiss and will dismiss all of Young Bey's
claims with prejudice.
Court will issue an appropriate order.
Clerk send a copy of this Opinion to the pro se plaintiff and
to all counsel of record.