Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Miffin v. Selene Finance LP

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

June 10, 2019

RICHARD LEWIS MIFFIN, Plaintiff,
v.
SELENE FINANCE LP, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Robert E. Payne, Judge

         This 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.

         BACKGROUND

         Richard 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.

         As 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.

         Thereafter, 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.

         Miffin 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 life." Id.

         Selene moves to dismiss the COMPLAINT pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).[1] 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.

         The 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.

         THE STANDARDS GOVERNING FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6)

         Motions 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 unlawfully."

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 (citation omitted).

         Notwithstanding 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.

         Further, 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).

         DISCUSSION

         For the reasons set forth below, Miffin has failed to state a claim for "accord and satisfaction," and the AMENDED ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.