United States District Court, D. Maine
ANTOINE A. GIROUARD and JESSICA A. GIROUARD, Plaintiffs,
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., Defendant.
ORDER ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO DISMISS
Z. Singal United States District Judge.
the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims
(ECF No. 30) as to Defendant's Counterclaim Count II,
which the Court treats as a Motion for Summary Judgment on
Plaintiffs' Third Amended Complaint for Declaratory
Relief (ECF No. 27) and Defendant's Counterclaim Count II
(see ECF No. 28). For the reasons briefly explained
below, the Court GRANTS IN PART the remaining portion of the
Motion and enters judgment in favor of Plaintiffs.
relevant background for this matter was described by the
Maine Supreme Judicial Court, sitting as the Law Court, as
The Girouards own property located in Lewiston. In September
2004, they executed a note and mortgage deed in favor of a
third party [Corestar Financial Group, LLC], and after
several transactions, all rights created by the instruments
were assigned to Wells Fargo. In December 2012, Wells Fargo
issued to the Girouards a notice of default and right to
cure. See 14 M.R.S. § 6111 (2014). The notice
informed the Girouards that, in order to cure the default,
they were required to pay $8, 848.81, “plus any
additional monthly payments, late charges and other charges
that may be due under applicable law after the date of [the]
notice and on or before thirty-five (35) days from the date
of [their] signed receipt of [the notice].”
When the Girouards failed to cure the default, Wells Fargo
purported to accelerate the mortgage, and in July 2013 it
initiated [an] action for foreclosure.
More than a year later, on July 14, 2014, shortly after we
issued our decision in Bank of Am., N.A. v.
Greenleaf, the Girouards moved for summary judgment,
arguing that the notice of default did not comply with
section 6111 as interpreted in Greenleaf. See 2014
ME 89, ¶¶ 29-31, 96 A.3d 700 (holding that to
comply with the statute, a notice of default must state the
precise amount that the mortgagor must pay to cure the
default, without allowing for accrual of any additional
amount during the cure period). Wells Fargo filed a
“limited opposition” to the Girouards'
motion, agreeing that the demand letter did not meet the
requirements of section 6111 and stating that
“defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment should be
granted for failure to properly accelerate the loan and this
matter dismissed without prejudice.” In September 2014,
the court granted the Girouards' motion and entered
summary judgment for them. In the same order, however, the
court also dismissed the foreclosure action without
The Girouards then filed three post-judgment motions [and]
[t]he court issued an amended order granting the motions in
part, concluding that Wells Fargo had not complied with
section 6111 as interpreted in Greenleaf because the
notice of default did not state the precise amount of the
payment needed to cure the default. The court [further]
stated that a party's failure to comply with a
“statutory requirement” leaves the court without
subject matter jurisdiction. On this basis, the court amended
its previous order so that summary judgment now was granted
“in part” but that the foreclosure action was
still “dismissed without prejudice.”
From that amended order, the Girouards filed a timely appeal.
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Girouard, 123 A.3d 216,
217-18 (Me. 2015) (footnotes omitted).
the Law Court, the Girouards “contend[ed] that the
[district] court erred when it dismissed the foreclosure
action and ultimately granted only partial summary judgment
in their favor.” Girouard, 123 A.3d at 218.
After determining that the Girouards had standing to appeal
the partial summary judgment, the Court concluded that
because the notice of default issued by Wells Fargo did not
meet the applicable requirements of law, the court properly
entered summary judgment in favor of the Girouards, but the
court erred when it characterized the disposition of the
claim as a dismissal. We therefore vacate the court's
orders of partial summary judgment and dismissal of the
foreclosure action, and we remand to the trial court for
reinstatement of the entry of full summary judgment in favor
of the Girouards.
Id. at 219. The Law Court, however, declined to
opine “about the effect of the summary judgment order
on any future action that Wells Fargo might initiate to seek
the same relief based on the same rights.” Id.
After remand, the state District Court entered full summary
judgment for the Girouards on November 19, 2015.
(See ECF No. 30-2.)
December 2016, the Girouards filed a Complaint in state
Superior Court requesting, in relevant part, a declaratory
judgment that Wells Fargo has an obligation to discharge the
mortgage. (ECF No. 1-2.) The case was removed to this Court
and Wells Fargo filed a Motion to Dismiss for failure to
state a claim (ECF No. 5). After a series of delays and
procedural maneuvers not directly relevant to the matter
presently before this Court, the Girouards filed a
substantially amended Complaint in early 2018. The current
operative Complaint states a single claim for declaratory
relief against Wells Fargo seeking a declaratory judgment
that, in relevant part, the “note ...