Argued March 6, 2014
As Corrected March 4, 2015.
Appeals from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. (CAR-8890-11). (Hon. John Ramsey Johnson, Trial Judge).
Craig A. Butler filed a brief for appellants.
Dale A. Cooter, with whom Nelson Deckelbaum was on the brief, for appellee. After their withdrawal, Stephen Nichols entered an appearance for appellee.
Before WASHINGTON, Chief Judge, MCLEESE, Associate Judge, and KING, Senior Judge.
King, Senior Judge.
Appellants, Derrick Price and IHip Hop Music, LLC (" the LLC" ), appeal from the trial court's order granting a motion to dismiss four counts of their complaint on the basis of res judicata in favor of appellee, Independence Federal Savings Bank (" Independence" ). They also challenge the trial court's order granting Independence's motion to dismiss--treating it as a motion for summary judgment--the remaining counts in their second amended complaint because Price and the LLC were not " consumers" within the meaning of the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act. We affirm.
Price owned a mixed-use property (consisting of two residential units and one commercial storefront) at 3223 Georgia Avenue, Northwest. The LLC, of which Price is a member, was the commercial tenant of the property. On August 13, 2007, Price executed a promissory note and deed of trust, refinancing the property by way of a $545,000 loan from Independence.
In early 2008, Price sought to negotiate with Independence regarding past due payments.
Independence sent a notice of default to Price on June 9, 2008, for failure to make payments. The notice indicated that Price would have to pay $27,613.31 and, if not cured, Independence would accelerate the loan on June 16. Price did not pay the past-due amounts and Independence accelerated the loan on August 5, 2008, demanding the loan's balance. On September 26, 2008, Independence filed a notice of intent to foreclose on the property, setting a sale date in November 2008. Price, expressing his desire to avoid foreclosure, tendered two checks to Independence totaling $10,000. Independence conducted a foreclosure sale on the property on November 10, 2008, selling the property to itself for $100,000.
Independence then initiated a landlord-tenant action (LT1) against the LLC for nonpayment of rent on February 18, 2009, obtaining a judgment for possession on July 8, 2009. The LLC redeemed the property on October 19, 2009, by paying Independence $7,900, at which point Independence cancelled the scheduled eviction. Independence sent the LLC a letter on October 20, expressing its desire to gain possession of the property because, pursuant to D.C. Code § 42-522, the LLC was now considered to be a tenant at will following the foreclosure.
Independence initiated a second landlord-tenant action (LT2) against the LLC on April 9, 2010, seeking possession. At a May 3, 2010, hearing, Price appeared as a member of the LLC. The trial court indicated that Price did not have standing to represent the LLC and an attorney needed to be present in order for the case to proceed. The trial court then granted Independence a non-redeemable judgment for possession. At a May 14 hearing to stay the writ of restitution, Price again appeared as a member of the LLC, and the trial court ...