United States District Court, District of Columbia
TIBEBE F. SAMUEL, Plaintiff
WELLS FARGO & COMPANY, et al., Defendants
COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
lawsuit centers on the alleged decision of Defendants Wells
Fargo & Company and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (collectively,
“Wells Fargo”) to deny a Home Affordable
Modification Program (“HAMP”) application filed
by Genet Damtie in 2010. This case has been brought by Tibebe
F. Samuel, an individual who allegedly represented Ms. Damtie
in her dealings with Wells Fargo. Plaintiff claims that Wells
Fargo treated him unfairly during Ms. Damie's HAMP
April 27, 2018, this Court granted in part and denied in part
a prior Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants. Order, ECF No.
; Memorandum Opinion, ECF No. . The Court concluded
that Plaintiff's contract claims and statutory claims
were dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a claim on
which relief can be granted. Id. at 7, 11-12.
Plaintiff's fraud claim was dismissed without prejudice
due to a failure to plead with particularity. Id. at
11. And, Plaintiff's defamation and related interference
with business relations claims, which were based on
statements allegedly made in 2016, were dismissed with
prejudice as barred by the statute of limitations.
Id. at 13-14.
Plaintiff was allowed to file a Second Amended Complaint
setting forth his defamation and related interference with
business relations claims based on statements allegedly made
by Defendants in March 2017, as those allegations were not
barred by the statute of limitations. Id. at 14-16.
Plaintiff's claims based on Defendants' alleged March
2017 statements had not been raised in his first Amended
Complaint. Instead, these claims were raised only in his
Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.
Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss, ECF No. , 10. Accordingly, Plaintiff was allowed
to file a Second Amended Complaint including these claims.
Memorandum Opinion, ECF No. , 14-16.
to his initial Complaint and his first Amended Complaint,
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint is not a model of
clarity or specificity. Plaintiff has asserted claims for
tortious interference with prospective business
relationships, defamation, and related interference with
business relations. Within these claims, Plaintiff includes
grounds for relief which the Court previously dismissed with
have filed a Motion to Dismiss or, alternatively, to Strike
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint. Upon consideration
of the pleadings,  the relevant legal authorities, and the
record as it currently stands, the Court GRANTS IN PART and
DENIES IN PART Defendants' motion. The Court will not
strike Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint or any part
thereof, but all claims which were previously dismissed with
prejudice remain dismissed with prejudice. The Court also
dismisses with prejudice Plaintiff's claim for
interference with prospective business relationships as
Plaintiff has failed to adequately plead the elements of the
offense. However, Defendants' motion to dismiss is denied
as to Plaintiff's new claims for defamation and
interference with business relations as those claims are
based on Defendants' March 2017 statements and are not
purposes of the motion before the Court, the Court accepts as
true the well-pleaded allegations in Plaintiff's Second
Amended Complaint. The Court does “not accept as true,
however, the plaintiff's legal conclusions or inferences
that are unsupported by the facts alleged.” Ralls
Corp. v. Comm. on Foreign Inv. in the United States, 758
F.3d 296, 315 (D.C. Cir. 2014).
factual background of this case is discussed in the
Court's April 27, 2018 Memorandum Opinion. See
Memorandum Opinion, ECF No. ; see also Samuel v.
Wells Fargo & Co., 311 F.Supp.3d 10, 14-17 (D.D.C.
2018). The Court does not repeat that discussion but assumes
familiarity with it and expressly incorporates it herein.
Rule 12(b)(6), a party may move to dismiss a complaint on the
grounds that it “fail[s] to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A
complaint does not “suffice if it tenders ‘naked
assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 557 (2007)). Rather, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual allegations that, if accepted as true,
“state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. “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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
Claims Previously Dismissed with Prejudice
April 27, 2018 Memorandum Opinion granting in part and
denying in part Defendants' prior motion to dismiss, the
Court explicitly instructed Defendant to file a Second
Amended Complaint setting forth Plaintiff's claims for
defamation and interference with business relations based
only on Defendants' alleged March 2017 statements and
“omit[ting] claims that the Court has dismissed with
prejudice.” Memorandum Opinion, ECF No. , 16.
Despite this clear statement, Plaintiff's Second Amended
Complaint still requests relief for claims which the Court
previously held to be dismissed with prejudice. Plaintiff
continues to assert nebulous allegations based on unspecified
“misrepresentations, ” “deceptive”
and “false statements, ” unfulfilled
“promises” and the general history of Ms.
Damtie's HAMP application. Additionally, rather than
making a claim for defamation and interference with ...