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Green Tree Servicing, LLC v. Cargille

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

January 24, 2019



          PETER G. SHERIDAN, U.S.D.J.

         This motion comes before the Court on a motion for reconsideration (ECF No. 77) filed by Plaintiff/Counterclaim defendant Green Tree Servicing, LLC, now known as Ditech Financial LLC (hereinafter "Ditech").

         The facts and procedural history of this matter have been set forth in great detail in this Court's prior decision, and they will not be repeated here again. (See ECF No. 75). The present motion asks the Court to reconsider the Order filed on April 12, 2018, (ECF No. 75), which partially dismissed Defendant/Counterclaim plaintiffs David Cargille and Julie Cargille's Counterclaims (hereinafter "the Cargille's"). Pursuant to the Order:

Counts I, II, IV, and VII were dismissed without prejudice,
Count VI (violation of the FDCPA) was dismissed with prejudice for all allegations that occurred prior to April 29, 2015, but allegations occurring after that date were allowed to proceed,
Counts III (fraud) and V (violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA)) were allowed to proceed.

         Ditech now asks that the Court consider additional case law, which would support the dismissal of Counts III, V, and VI in their entirety.


         Motions for reconsideration are governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) and L. Civ. R. 7.1(i). The "extraordinary remedy" of reconsideration is "to be granted sparingly." A.K. Stamping Co., Inc., v. Instrument Specialties Co., Inc., 106 F.Supp.2d 627, 662 (D.N.J. 2000) (quoting NL Indus., Inc., v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 935 F.Supp. 513, 516 (D.N.J. 1996)). The Rule "does not contemplate a Court looking to matters which were not originally presented." Damiano v. Sony Music Entertainment, Inc., 975 F.Supp. 623, 634 (D.N.J. 1996) (quoting Florham Park Chevron, Inc., v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 680 F.Supp. 159, 162 (D.N.J. 1988)).

         The Third Circuit has held that the "purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence." Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985), cert, denied, 476 U.S. 1171 (1986). "Reconsideration motions, however, may not be used to relitigate old matters, nor to raise arguments or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment." NL Indus., Inc., 935 F.Supp. at 516 (citing Wright, Miller & Kane, Fed. Practice and Procedure: Civil 2d § 2810.1). Such motions will only be granted where (1) an intervening change in the law has occurred, (2) new evidence not previously available has emerged, or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or prevent a manifest injustice arises. See North River Ins. Co. v. CIGNA Reinsurance Co., 52 F.3d 1194, 1218 (3d Cir. 1995). Because reconsideration of a judgment after its entry is an extraordinary remedy, requests pursuant to these rules are to be granted "sparingly," Maldonado v. Lucca, 636 F.Supp. 621, 630 (D.N.J. 1986); and only when "dispositive factual matters or controlling decisions of law" were brought to the Court's attention but not considered. Pelham v. United States, 661 F.Supp. 1063, 1065 (D.N.J. 1987); see also G-69 v. Degnan, 748 F.Supp. 274, 275 (D.N.J. 1990).


         Count III of the counterclaim alleges fraud and Count V of the counterclaim alleges a violation of the NJCFA. Ditech argues that these claims should be dismissed because the Cargilles have no standing to challenge an assignment to which they are not a party to, and are unaffected by. In support of this argument, Ditech cites Giles v. Phelan, Hallinan & Schmieg, LLC, 901 F.Supp.2d 509, 532 (D.N.J. 2012). In Giles, the court held that the plaintiffs "could not challenge the validity of assignments transferring Plaintiffs mortgages from one holder to the another." Id. (quoting Ifert v. Miller, 138 B.R. 159, 163 (E.D. Pa. 1992) affd, 981 F.2d 1247 (3d Cir. 1992). The Ifert court explained, "[t]he fact that the assignors might have a valid cause of action against the assignee because of fraud practiced upon them did not affect the legal title of the assignee, and could not be proved by a defendant in an action on the assignments." Ifert, 138 B.R. at 166 (quotation omitted). Instead, those claims "can be raised only 'at the option of the injured party.'" Id. (citing 6A C.J.S. § 58). "Plaintiffs may not, therefore, challenge any assignments to which they were not a party" Giles, 901 F.Supp.2d at 532.

         As stated in this Court's previous opinion, the Counts alleging fraudulent behavior by Ditech were allowed to move forward based on the "alleged improper notarization of an assignment, combined with the 'robo-signed' assignment, and the misidentification of Danielle Burnes and her employees." After reviewing the Giles opinion, the Court is satisfied that this Count should be dismissed. Since this same evidence constituted support for Count V and VII as well, these Counts too should be dismissed, because the allegations relate to an assignment to which the Cargilles were not a party. Accordingly, Counts III, V, and VII are dismissed in their entirety.

         The Court next considers Count VI of the counterclaim, the FDCPA claim. The FDCPA applies only to "debt ...

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