United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
E. Payne, Judge
matter is before the Court on the AMENDED MOTION OF DEFENDANT
SELENE FINANCE LP TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT (ECF
No. 19) (the "AMENDED MOTION"). For the following
reasons, the AMENDED MOTION (ECF No. 19) will be granted, and
dismissal will be with prejudice.
Miffin ("Miffin"), proceeding pro se,
brings this action against Selene Finance LP
("Selene") for "accord and satisfaction"
under Uniform Commercial Code ("UCC") § 3-311.
Compl. at 3 (ECF No. 3) . Selene is the mortgage servicer for
Miffin's property in Chesterfield, Virginia. See
ECF No. 3-1.
alleged in the COMPLAINT (and the attached documentation), on
or around November 26, 2018, Miffin mailed an $890 money
order (the "November money order") to Selene in
Houston, Texas, on which he wrote (in nearly indecipherable
handwriting at the bottom) "tendered as full
satisfaction of the claim." ECF No. 3-1 at 2-3. Selene
received the November money order, and applied the $890 to
Miffin's November 2018 mortgage payment and to the
outstanding principal amount. Id. at 4. Then, on
November 29, 2018, Miffin sent a letter to Selene in which he
asserted, inter alia, that: (1) the November money
order was "Accepted and credited to my account on
November 26, 2018 by [Selene]"; (2) the November money
order "had the Contract statement written in a
conspicuous place: 'Tendered as Full Satisfaction of the
Claim'"; (3) UCC § 3-311(b) applies and
establishes that Miffin's mortgage is discharged; (4)
Selene's "acceptance and depositing of [the November
money order] means [Selene] must credit [Miffin's
mortgage account] to show the loan was fully satisfied on
November 26, 2018"; and (5) Selene stop all collections
and credit reporting on his mortgage "until this dispute
is settled." Id. at 11. Miffin's mortgage
on the Chesterfield property (as of December 2018) had an
outstanding unpaid principal balance of approximately $63,
000. See id. at 4; ECF No. 20 at 3.
on or around December 4, 2018, Miffin mailed a $900 money
order (the "December money order") to Selene in
Houston. ECF No. 3-1 at 1. The December money order had the
words "Under Duress" written on the memo line.
Id. Selene received the December money order and
applied the $900 to Miffin's February 2019 mortgage
payment and to the outstanding principal amount. Id.
at 4. Miffin then mailed two additional letters to Selene in
which he once again asserted that his mortgage had been
discharged by his writing "Tendered as Full Satisfaction
of the Claim" on the November money order and
Selene's subsequent depositing of the November money
order. See id. at 10, 14. Miff in also demanded that
Selene immediately acknowledge that his mortgage had been
satisfied. See id. In a letter to Miffin dated
December 28, 2018, Selene wrote: "Please note, writing
'tendered as full satisfaction of the claim' on your
money order does not constitute paying the mortgage account
in full." Id. at 4.
then brought this action against Selene in which he asserts
that "Selene Finance LP accepted & deposited a money
order with the terms written on the money order 'Tendered
as Full Satisfaction of the Claim'. . .and the instrument
was tendered as full satisfaction of the claim." Compl.
at 4 (ECF No. 3). He goes on: "Selene Finance LP acted
in dishonor & continue to be in dishonor although they
admitted to cashing the two money orders." Id.
Miffin seeks $1 million in damages because Selene's
refusal to discharge the mortgage "has caused [him]
stress with living, working, and completely enjoying
moves to dismiss the COMPLAINT pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). ECF No. 19. Miffin has not filed a formal
response to either the FIRST MOTION or the AMENDED MOTION.
However, he did file a MOTION TO STRIKE DEFENDANTS MOTION TO
DISMISS (ECF No. 12), in which he arguably responded to the
claims raised in the FIRST MOTION (which, again, is identical
to the AMENDED MOTION except for the omission of the
Roseboro notice). Given Miffin's pro se
status, the MOTION TO STRIKE DEFENDANTS MOTION TO DISMISS
(ECF No. 12) will be construed as a response to the AMENDED
MOTION. See ECF No. 23.
Court has considered the COMPLAINT (ECF No. 3), the AMENDED
MOTION (ECF No. 19), and the supporting and opposing
memoranda thereto (ECF Nos. 12 and 20). The Court dispenses
with oral argument because the facts and legal conclusions
are adequately presented in the materials and oral argument
would not aid in the decisional process. Thus, the matter is
ripe for decision.
STANDARDS GOVERNING FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6)
to dismiss based upon Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b) (6) are evaluated
under the following standards:
In [considering a Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss],
we must accept the factual allegations of the complaint as
true and construe them in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. To survive a 12(b)(6) motion, the
"complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, 'to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'" A claim is "plausible
on its face," if a plaintiff can demonstrate more than
"a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
Rockville Cars, LLC v. City of Rockville, 891 F.3d
141, 145 (4th Cir. 2018) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) and Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The Court "may
consider documents attached to the complaint or the motion to
dismiss so long as they are integral to the complaint and
authentic." Rockville Cars, 891 F.3d at 145
those basic principles, however, the Court does not
"accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual
allegation." SD3, LLC v. Black & Decker (U.S.)
Inc., 801 F.3d 412, 422 (4th Cir. 2015) (citation
omitted). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do
not suffice." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
courts construe pro se complaints liberally. As the
Supreme Court has instructed, "[a] document filed
pro se is 'to be liberally construed,' and
*a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded,
must be held to less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers.'" Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam) (citations
omitted). That said, w[p]rinciples requiring
generous construction of pro se complaints are not.
. .without limits." Beaudett v. City of
Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).
reasons set forth below, Miffin has failed to state a claim
for "accord and satisfaction," and the AMENDED