United States District Court, D. Columbia
ARTHUR D. STUBBS, et al., Plaintiffs,
LAW OFFICE OF HUNTER C. PIEL, LLC, et al., Defendants
December 1, 2015
D. Stubbs, Plaintiff, Pro se, Washington, DC USA.
J. Stubbs, Plaintiff, Pro se, Washington, DC USA.
Office of Hunter C. Piel, LLC, Defendant: Lisa Danielle
Sparks, LEAD ATTORNEY, WRIGHT, CONSTABLE & SKEEN, LLP,
Baltimore, MD USA.
Harbor Bank of Maryland, Defendant: Andrew Gendron, John T.
Prisbe, LEAD ATTORNEYS, VENABLE LLP, Baltimore, MD USA.
J. LEON, United States District Judge.
Dr. Arthur D. Stubbs and Ms. Shellie J. Stubbs (together
" plaintiffs" ) bring this action against The Law
Office of Hunter C. Piel, LLC and the Harbor Bank of Maryland
(together " defendants" ), seeking to halt the
foreclosure of certain commercial real estate based on
allegations of " wrongful foreclosure" and "
willful fraud." See generally Verified Compl.
[Dkt. #1] (" Compl." ). Defendants have moved
separately to dismiss this case for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted. See Def. The Law
Office of Hunter C. Piel, LLC's Mot. to Dismiss [Dkt. #3]
(" Piel's Mot." ); Def. Harbor Bank of
Maryland's Mot. to Dismiss [Dkt. #6] (" Harbor
Bank's Mot." ). For the following reasons,
defendants' motions are GRANTED.
plaintiffs' legal basis for challenging the foreclosure
at issue is far from clear, the complaint taken together with
defendants' motions to dismiss elucidate the pertinent
facts. In broad terms, this case concerns the consequences of
plaintiffs' March 2014 default on two commercial loans
extended to plaintiffs and their business, Lake Arbor Dental
Associates, P.C. of D.C. (" Lake Arbor Dental" ),
by defendant Harbor Bank of Maryland (" Harbor
Bank" ) in 2012. See Harbor Bank's Mot.
1-2. Specifically, on January 30, 2012, plaintiffs jointly
executed an $890,000 promissory note payable to Harbor Bank
for a commercial loan. Def. Harbor Bank of Maryland's
Mem. of Law in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss [Dkt. #6-1] ("
Harbor Bank's Mem." ) Ex. 1 [Dkt. #6-2]; see
also Compl. 20-23. In connection with this loan, Lake
Arbor Dental executed a commercial guaranty of repayment.
See Harbor Bank's Mem. Ex. 3 [Dkt. #6-4]. On
September 28, 2012, Harbor Bank extended an additional
$300,000 commercial loan to Lake Arbor Dental as borrower,
with both plaintiffs serving as guarantors. See
Harbor Bank's Mem. Exs. 5, 6 [Dkts. #6-6, #6-7]; Compl.
20-23. As additional security for the repayment of these
loans, plaintiffs provided deeds of trust on commercial real
estate located at 411 8th Street, Southeast, Washington, D.C.
(the " Property" ), which is the location where Dr.
Stubbs conducts and operates a dental practice. See
Compl. Exs. A, B; see also Harbor Bank's Mem. 1.
Those deeds of trust were duly recorded among the District of
Columbia Recorder of Deeds. Harbor Bank's Mem. Ex. 2 at 1
ultimately defaulted on both of these loans, and in March
2014, Harbor Bank filed an action in the Circuit Court for
Harford County, Maryland seeking a judgment by confession
against plaintiffs and Lake Arbor Dental, consistent with the
terms of the two loans. Harbor Bank's Mem. 4. On March
24, 2014, that court entered confessed judgments as
requested. Harbor Bank's Mem. Ex. 7 [Dkt. #6-8]. Those
judgments were subsequently recorded in D.C. Superior Court
in September 2014. Harbor Bank's Mem. 1. That same month,
Harbor Bank commenced foreclosure upon the Property.
Plaintiffs responded by filing a lawsuit in D.C. Superior
Court, requesting a preliminary injunction against
foreclosure. Harbor Bank's Mem. 4. In response, Harbor
Bank agreed to stay foreclosure proceedings for a 45-day
period to allow plaintiffs to secure alternate financing.
See Harbor Bank's Mem. Ex. 8 [Dkt. #6-9].
Despite their failure to comply with this deadline, Harbor
Bank gave plaintiffs a second chance--entering a Forbearance
Agreement whereby plaintiffs acknowledged their default but
were given until May 31, 2015 to pay off their debts. Harbor
Bank's Mem. Ex. 2. Yet again, plaintiffs failed to repay
their debts. As such, Harbor Bank proceeded to foreclose upon
the Property in July 2015 and a foreclosure sale occurred on
July 16, 2015. Harbor Bank's Mem. 5. That same day,
plaintiffs filed suit in this Court on claims of "
willful fraud" and " wrongful foreclosure" in
relation to the two commercial loans, the March 2014
confessed judgments, and the current foreclosure of the
Property. See generally Compl. In short, this action
appears to be a last ditch effort by plaintiffs to avoid the
legal consequences of their admitted default.
separately moved to dismiss this action in its entirety on
August 6, 2015, see Piel's Mot., and August 11,
2015, see Harbor Bank's Mot. Although plaintiffs
timely responded to these motions on August 20, 2015 [Dkts.
#7, #8], this Court, on October 19, 2015, advised plaintiffs
of their obligations under the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure and the local rules of this Court, and specifically
warned plaintiffs that, if they did not oppose the arguments
made within defendants' motions, the Court may treat
those arguments as conceded, see Oct. 19, 2015 Order
2 [Dkt. #19]. As such, the Court afforded plaintiffs an
additional thirty days to supplement their opposition to
defendants' motions to dismiss. Oct. 19, 2015 Order 3. On
November 13, 2015, plaintiffs filed supplemental memoranda in
opposition to defendants' motions. See Pls.'
Mems. of P. & A. in Opp'n to Mots, to Dismiss [Dkts. #21,
Local Civil Rule 7(b), if a party fails to file a memorandum
of points and authorities in opposition to a dispositive
motion by the deadline set by the Court, " the Court may
treat the motion as conceded." LCvR 7(b); see
FDIC v. Bender, 127 F.3d 58, 67-68, 326 U.S.App.D.C.
390 (D.C. Cir. 1997) (upholding the treatment of the
plaintiff's summary judgment motion as conceded because
the defendant filed its opposition late). Furthermore, "
[i]t is understood in this Circuit that when a plaintiff
files an opposition to a dispositive motion and addresses
only certain arguments raised by the defendant, a court may
treat those arguments that the plaintiff failed to address as
conceded." Buggs v. Powell, 293 F.Supp.2d 135,
141 (D.D.C. 2003); see also Rosenblatt v.
Fenty, 734 F.Supp.2d 21, 22 (D.D.C. 2010) (" [A]n
argument in a dispositive motion that the opponent fails to
address in an opposition may be deemed conceded." ).
case, despite two opportunities to oppose defendants'
motions to dismiss, plaintiffs have wholly failed to respond
to any of defendants' arguments in favor of dismissal. In
its motion to dismiss, defendant The Law Office of Hunter C.
Piel, LLC argues that plaintiffs simply failed to set out any
cognizable claim in their complaint, pointing out that (1)
plaintiffs have no legal basis to collaterally attack the
confessed judgment entered by the Circuit Court for Harford
County, Maryland, (2) plaintiff does not have a claim under
the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §
1692g because it does not apply to commercial loans, (3)
defendant was not required to execute the deeds of trust such
that its failure to do so somehow makes those documents
defective, and (4) plaintiffs arguments regarding the nature
of credit and money are frivolous. Def. The Law Office of
Hunter C. Piel's Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss 7-10
[Dkt. #3-1]. Defendant Harbor Bank likewise argues that
plaintiffs have failed to adequately allege " willful
fraud" in connection with the confessed judgment entered
by the Circuit Court for Harford County, Maryland and offer
nothing more that conclusory statements to support their
claim for wrongful foreclosure. Harbor Bank's Mem. 7-8.
initial responses to defendants' motions, as well as
their supplements thereto, do not address the substance of
any of the specific arguments defendants raise. Rather,
plaintiffs focus on attacking-the nature and form of
defendants' filings. Therefore, the Court will treat
defendants' motions to dismiss as conceded and dismiss
this case. SeeCummings ex rel. J.C. v. Woodson
Senior High Sch., 563 F.Supp.2d 256, 259 (D.D.C. 2008)
(dismissing claims where " [t]he brief [plaintiff's
counsel] filed . . . is filled with irrelevant legal
principles and ...