United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
RICHARD D. BOSTWICK and RICHARD D. BOSTWICK as a CLASS OF ONE, Plaintiffs,
44 CHESTNUT STREET, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANTS SANTANDER AND
FANNIE MAE'S MOTION TO DISMISS
ALLISON D. BURROUGHS U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Richard D. Bostwick ("Plaintiff) asserts claims for
various civil rights violations allegedly stemming from
foreclosure proceedings related to his home and from
decisions made by the Land Court, Middlesex Superior Court,
and the Massachusetts Appeals Court in various civil suits
surrounding ongoing issues at his property. [ECF No. 1
("Complaint" or"Compl.")]. Santander
Bank, N.A ("Santander") and Federal National
Mortgage Association ('Tannie Mae") (collectively,
"Defendants") have moved to dismiss the claims
against them pursuant to res judicata, the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine, Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 8, and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
[ECF No. 68]. For the reasons set forth below,
Defendants' motion to dismiss is GRANTED.
following facts are drawn from the Complaint, the
well-pleaded allegations of which are taken as true for the
purposes of evaluating the motion to dismiss. See Ruivo
v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 766 F.3d 87, 90 (1st
Cir. 2014). As it may on a motion to dismiss, the Court has
also considered "documents incorporated by reference in
[the complaint], matters of public record, and other matters
susceptible to judicial notice." Giragosian v.
Ryan, 547 F.3d 59, 65-66 (1st Cir. 2008) (quoting In
re Colonial Mortg. Bankers Corp., 324 F.3d 12, 20 (1st
here, where the Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the
Court "hold[s] pro se pleadings to less
demanding standards than those drafted by lawyers and
endeavors, within reasonable limits, to guard against the
loss of pro se claims due to technical
defects." Santiago v. Action for Bos. Cmty. Dev.
Inc., No. 17-cv-12249-ADB, 2018 WL 5635014, at *2 (D.
Mass. Oct. 31, 2018) (quoting Dutil v. Murphy, 550
F.3d 154, 158 (1st Cir. 2008)). Accordingly, the Court
liberally construes Plaintiffs complaint. Foley v. Wells
Fargo Bank, N.A, 772 F.3d 63, 75 (1st Cir. 2014) (citing
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)).
owns a multi-family home at 44 Chestnut Street in Wakefield,
MA ("44 Chestnut Street"). [Compl. ¶ 1]. On
January 31, 2003, Plaintiff signed a mortgage for 44 Chestnut
Street with Sovereign Bank. [ECF No. 1-1 ¶75]. On
February 10, 2003, the mortgage was assigned to Fannie Mae.
[Id.]. On September 15, 2015, Santander, through
Orlans Moran PLLC, entered an Order of Notice against
Plaintiffs property at 44 Chestnut Street. [Compl. ¶
71]. On November 12, 2015, the Land Court entered an order
allowing a foreclosure sale within three weeks of publication
of notice of the sale. [Id]- Notice of the foreclosure sale
was published on February 22, 2016. [ECF No. 100-45]. The
foreclosure auction was held on April 29, 2016. [ECF No.
History of Prior Litigation
Santander, and Fannie Mae have been litigating issues related
to the mortgage on 44 Chestnut Street since 2008, at which
time Santander was known as Sovereign Bank.Below, the Court
recaps, in relevant part, the litigation between Plaintiff,
Santander, and Fannie Mae.
Land Court Servicemembers Claims
2008, Sovereign Bank filed a Servicemembers' Civil Relief
Act ("SCRA") action in Massachusetts Land Court
seeking a declaration that Plaintiff was not entitled to the
benefits of the SCRA, which provides financial protections to
members of the military. See Sovereign Bank v.
Bostwick, No. 08-Misc-388922 (Mass. Land Ct). The Land
Court dismissed the case in light of a preliminary injunction
entered by the Middlesex Superior Court in a related case
that "enjoin[ed] [Sovereign Bank] from proceeding in all
actions relating to foreclosure against [Bostwick's]
property." [ECF No. 100-42].
2015, after initiating steps towards a foreclosure, Santander
filed an SCRA action in Land Court again seeking a
declaration that Plaintiff was not entitled to the benefits
of the SCRA. See Santander Bank, N.A. v. Bostwick,
No. 15-SM-006460(Mass. Land Ct. 2015). The Land Court issued
a judgment that Plaintiff was not entitled to the benefits of
the SCRA. Id.
Land Court Try Title and Trespass Claims
2016, Plaintiff filed an action for try title and trespass
against Santander; Fannie Mae; Orlans Moran PLLC; Saturn
Realty Group, LLC; Unknown Future Property Owners Claiming
Title to 44 Chestnut Street, Wakefield, Mass.; and, Unknown
Future Title Insurance Companies providing Title Insurance to
Unknown Future Property Owners Claiming Title to 44 Chestnut
Street, Wakefield, Mass. See [ECF No. 69-7]. On September 28,
2016, the Land Court granted the defendants' motions to
dismiss the try title claim on the ground that the action was
barred under Massachusetts Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(9)
due to a then-pending action in Middlesex Superior Court.
See [ECF No. 69-8]. The Land Court also dismissed
the trespass claim against all defendants under Massachusetts
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), finding that Plaintiff had
not pled facts that could plausibly establish a trespass
claim. [Id]. On March 26, 2018, the Massachusetts Appeals
Court affirmed the Land Court's decision dismissing the
action. See [ECF No. 69-9].
Middlesex Superior Court Litigation
2009, Plaintiff brought suit against Santander and Fannie Mae
in Middlesex Superior Court ("Superior Court")
alleging wrongful foreclosure, unlawful failure to remediate
lead paint contamination, and improper failure to offer a
loan modification ("2009 Action"). See
[ECF No. 69-4]. On May 19, 2009, the Superior Court granted a
preliminary injunction staying the foreclosure of Plaintiffs
property. Bostwick v. Sovereign Bank, No.
2009-MICV-01755 (Mass. Super. Ct). On October 31, 2012, the
Superior Court granted summary judgment in favor of Santander
and Fannie Mae, finding that "1.) there has been no
foreclosure; 2.) the defendants owed no duty to remediate the
lead contamination at Mr. Bostwick's property; and 3.)
the defendants had no obligation to work out Mr.