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CIA, Gary Gresko, S.A. v. Stewart Title Guaranty Co.

April 15, 2009

CIA, GARY GRESKO, S.A., PLAINTIFF,
v.
STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY, INC., ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Pisano, District Judge

OPINION

Plaintiff, CIA, Gary Gresko, S.A. ("Plaintiff or the "Company") brought this action against Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Stewart Information International, Inc. and Stewart Title Dominicana, S.A. (collectively, "Stewart" or "Defendants") seeking coverage under a title insurance policy. Presently before the Court is a motion by defendants to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Consequently, Defendants' motion to dismiss is granted.

I. BACKGROUND*fn1

According to the complaint, Plaintiff CIA, Gary Gresko, S.A. is a Dominican Republic company with its principal place of business in New Jersey. Gary Gresko ("Gresko") is a principal of the company. Compl. at 1, ¶ 1. On or about November 28, 2006, Gresko "entered into a promise to purchase" certain land (the "Premises") in the Dominican Republic from Patrick Marchland ("Marchland"). Compl. at 3, ¶ 2. As part of the due diligence process, Gresko engaged the services of Defendants "to review the title to the Premises and as part of the purchase secure title guaranty and/or insurance." Id. ¶ 3. On December 5, 2006, Stewart issued a commitment for title guaranty ("Commitment"). Id. ¶4; see also Commitment attached as Exhibit C to Certification of Joshua Elias ("Elias Cert.").*fn2 The Commitment provided that Stuart Title Company would commit to issue its Guaranty of Title with respect to the Premises "upon payment of the premium charges therefore and compliance with and subject to the provisions of Schedules A, B and C and the Conditions and Stipulations hereof." Commitment at 1. Schedule C of the Commitment of the Commitment provided that Schedule B of the Title Guaranty to be issued will also contain exceptions with respect to the following matters that may affect title to the hereinabove-described property unless the following matters are disposed of to the satisfaction of the Company at or prior to the date of the issuance of the Title Guaranty. . .

8. The Company requires a current Certificatión de No Litis Sobre Terrenos Registrados [Certification of No Litigation on Registered Lands], issued by the Secretary of the Superior Land Court north department.

On December 13, 2006, Gresko paid Defendant $6,496 "to be applied toward the title guaranty policy." Id. ¶ 5. Shortly thereafter, on December 22, 2006, Gresko formed the Company for the purpose of purchasing the Premises. Compl. at 3, ¶ 7.

On January 25, 2007, the Company executed a sales agreement with the Marchland for the acquisition of the Premises. Id. at 4, ¶ 8. The closing took place on February 16, 2007. The Defendants issued the title guaranty (the "Policy") to the Company "on or about" that same day. Id., ¶¶ 9, 12.

There appears to be no disagreement that a current Certificatión de No Litis Sobre Terrenos Registrados was not obtained prior to the closing on the property. Consistent with express terms of the title commitment, because a current Certificatión de No Litis Sobre Terrenos Registrados had not been obtained prior to closing, Schedule B of the Policy expressly exempted loss or damage arising from the certain litigation that the parties had become aware of before the Policy issued (the "Litigation"). See Policy at Schedule B, ¶ 8, attached as Ex. B to Elias Cert. (excepting from coverage "any loss sustained or incurred due to the Litis Sobre Terrenos Registrados described in Case No. 2006-644-01472, filed in the Superior Land Court, northeast department.")

Ultimately, the Litigation resulted in a ruling dated April 27, 2007, which, among other things, voided the sale of the Premises the to Marchland, which, in turn, voided the sale by Marchland to the Company. Complaint ¶ 15. The ruling cancelled all certificates of title previous issued and ordered the issuance of the certificate of title in the name of a third party, Amal Salem. Id.

On October 1, 2007, the Company filed a quiet title action in the Dominican Republic.

Id. at 19. Stewart was notified of the action and was requested to pursue the case, but refused do.

Plaintiff also demanded coverage under the Policy for a loss of over $2,000,000, which was also refused. This action followed.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review under ...


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