United States District Court, S.D. Florida
Christine A. Piguet and Peter N. Archer, Plaintiffs,
J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., and others, Defendants.
ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS
N. Scola, Jr. United States District Judge
Plaintiffs, proceeding pro se, bring this lawsuit against
J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“J.P. Morgan”) and
its attorneys for actions taken during a state court
foreclosure proceeding. This matter is before the Court on
the Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (ECF Nos. 45, 46, 52).
For the reasons set forth in this Order, the Court grants the
motions to dismiss.
Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants filed a
“knowingly wrongful and malicious foreclosure
action” against them in January 2010. (Compl. at 3, ECF
No. 1.) The Plaintiffs assert that the foreclosure action was
wrongful and was maliciously initiated because J.P. Morgan
breached the mortgage agreement prior to the initiation of
the foreclosure proceedings by failing to disburse overdue
insurance proceeds to Plaintiff Piguet. (Id.) In
addition, the Plaintiffs assert that J.P. Morgan and its
attorneys committed fraud and engaged in misconduct during
the foreclosure action. (Id.)
the sixth lawsuit that Piguet has filed against J.P. Morgan
in federal court concerning the foreclosure action. This
Court dismissed Piguet's first two lawsuits because they
were filed while the state court foreclosure proceedings were
ongoing. Piguet v. JP Morgan Chase Bank Nat.
Ass'n, No. 13-62406, ECF No. 5 (Scola, J.);
Piguet v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, Nat. Ass'n, et.
al., No. 13-62386, ECF No. 11 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 9, 2013)
(Scola, J.). Judge Altonaga dismissed Piguet's third
federal lawsuit because her complaint failed to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted. Piguet, et. al. v. J.P.
Morgan Chase Bank, et. al., No. 14-60869, 2014 WL
11350229, at *2 (S.D. Fla. April 29, 2014) (Altonaga, J.).
Piguet's fourth federal lawsuit asserted that J.P. Morgan
violated the terms of her mortgage agreement by failing to
process insurance funds that were owed to her, and also
alleged that J.P. Morgan fabricated a reason to foreclose on
her home. Piguet v. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank,
N.A., No. 14-62862, ECF No. 28 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 3,
2015) (Scola, J.). The Court dismissed the case with
prejudice, holding in part that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine
prohibited the Court from reviewing the state court's
foreclosure judgment and the doctrine of res judicata barred
Piguet's claim concerning the insurance proceeds because
she had already litigated that issue on two prior occasions.
Id. Most recently, this Court dismissed Piguet's
fifth federal lawsuit with prejudice because Piguet once
again claimed that J.P. Morgan violated the terms of the
mortgage agreement by refusing to endorse the check for the
insurance proceeds. Piguet v. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank,
N.A., No. 14-61075, 2014 WL 11776964 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 8,
2014) (Scola, J.).
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires “a short and
plain statement of the claims” that “will give
the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim
is and the ground upon which it rests.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a). The Supreme Court has held that “[w]hile a
complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does
not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's
obligation to provide the ‘grounds' of his
‘entitlement to relief' requires more than labels
and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements
of a cause of action will not do. Factual allegations must be
enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citations omitted).
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations and
citations omitted). “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. Thus,
“only a complaint that states a plausible claim for
relief survives a motion to dismiss.” Id. at
679. When considering a motion to dismiss, the Court must
accept all of the plaintiff's allegations as true in
determining whether a plaintiff has stated a claim for which
relief could be granted. Hishon v. King &
Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984).
filed by pro se litigants are held to “‘less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers' and can only be dismissed for failure to state a
claim if it appears ‘beyond doubt that the plaintiff
can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would
entitle him to relief.'” Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1979) (quoting Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520- 21 (1972)). However,
“the leniency afforded pro se litigants does not give
courts license to serve as de facto counsel or to rewrite an
otherwise deficient pleading in order to sustain an
action.” Shuler, 2011 WL 4495624, at *6
Defendants have moved to dismiss each cause of action in the
Complaint. As an initial matter, the Court notes that the
Plaintiffs have not complied with Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 10, which requires that a party state its claims in
numbered paragraphs. In addition, it is unclear throughout
the Complaint which factual allegations refer to which
Defendants. However, even overlooking these deficiencies, the
Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted. The Court will first address each of the counts
specifically set forth in the Complaint, and will then
address the additional causes of action referenced in the
One asserts that the Defendants breached the mortgage
agreement by failing to disburse insurance proceeds to the
Plaintiffs. (Compl. at 61, ECF No. 1.) However, as noted in
two of this Court's dismissals of Piguet's previous
lawsuits, Piguet already litigated this claim in the state
court foreclosure proceeding and in the federal case before
Judge Altonaga, both of which ended with a final judgment in
favor of J.P. Morgan. See, e.g., Piguet v. J.P.
Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 14-61075, 2014 WL 11776964,
at *2 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 9, 2014) (Scola, J.). Therefore, the
doctrine of res judicata bars Count One of the Complaint.
See, e.g., Federated Dep't Stores, Inc. v.
Moitie, 452 U.S. 394, 398 (1981); CSX Transp., Inc.
v. Bhd. of Maint. of Way Employees, 327 F.3d 1309, 1317
(11th Cir. 2003) (“Collateral estoppel or issue
preclusion forecloses relitigation of an issue of fact or law
that has been litigated and decided in a prior suit.”);
Brown v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 611 F.3d 1324,
1332 (11th Cir. 2010) (“The application of collateral
estoppel prevents the parties in a second suit from
litigating those points in question which were actually
adjudicated in the first suit.”).