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Wreh v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

January 14, 2020

J. Christopher Wreh, Plaintiff,
v.
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. as Trustee for Park Place Securities, Inc. Asset-backed pass-through Certificates, Series 2004-MCW1, Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC, [1] Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          RENEE HARRIS TOLIVER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend Conform Caption to Complaint (“Motion”), Doc. 4, and Supplemental Motion for Leave to Conform Caption to Complaint (“Supplemental Motion”), Doc. 7. The Court liberally construes Plaintiff's pro se Motion and Supplemental Motion as a request for leave to file an amended complaint.[2] For the reasons detailed here, the request is GRANTED.

         Plaintiff filed this action in state court, seeking to avoid an “expedited foreclosure [on his home] which is at the point of eviction.” Doc. 1-1 at 2. Liberally construed, the Petition seeks damages or injunctive from Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells Fargo”), Specialized Loan Servicing LLP (“SLS”), Bank of America, N.A. (“Bank of America”), and Marian Brown in her official capacity as Dallas County Sheriff. Doc. 1-1 at 3-18. Under the heading “parties, ” Plaintiff lists in bolded text “Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., ” Defendant Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC, ” and “NOTABLY: Bank of America, N.A.” Doc. 1-1 at 5-6. He alleges that Bank of America “committed torts as a Mortgage Loan Servicer using forged and ineffective documents to collect unauthorized mortgage payments between 2004 and 2009… in excess of the jurisdictional minimum.” Doc. 101 at 6-7. He also alleges claims for misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, and wrongful foreclosure against Wells Fargo and SLS.

         Plaintiff now seeks to amend the case caption to include SLS and Bank of America.[3] See Doc. 4 at 1-2; Doc. 7 at 3. Defendant opposes the motion, arguing that Plaintiff provides “no basis for seeking to join the additional parties to this lawsuit.” Doc. 5 at 3-4. Defendant specifically contends that Plaintiff failed to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, specifically Rule 8, by not pleading claims against each of the defendants he seeks to add, and Rule 4, by failing to request that summonses be issued for each. Doc. 5 at 4.

         “The title of the complaint must name all the parties.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(a). That notwithstanding, “the caption itself is normally not determinative of the identity of the parties or of the pleader's statement of claim . . . . The caption, pleadings, service of process and other indications of the intent of the pleader, are evidence upon which a district court will decide, in cases of doubt, whether an entity has properly been made a party to a lawsuit.” E.E.O.C. v. Int'l Ass'n of Bridge, Structural & Ornamental Ironworkers, Local 580, 139 F.Supp.2d 512, 525 (S.D.N.Y. 2001) (citations omitted). Based on the allegations contained in the Petition and given Plaintiffs pro se status, the Court sees no reason not to amend the case caption to include SLS and Bank of America as defendants. Moreover, at this stage, the Court takes no position with respect to the adequacy of the claims pled, as a motion to dismiss is the proper vehicle for such challenges.

         Accordingly, Plaintiff s Motion for Leave to Amend Conform Caption to Complaint, Doc. 4, and Supplemental Motion for Leave to Conform Caption to Complaint, Doc. 7, are GRANTED. The Clerk of the Court is directed to amend the caption of the instant case to include as defendants: (1) Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC; and (2) Bank of America, N.A. Additionally, the Court sua sponte extends the period for Plaintiff to request summonses and effectuate service on defendants Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC and Bank of America, N.A. to March 9, 2020. Failure to comply by this deadline may result in dismissal of Plaintiffs claims against defendants Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC and Bank of America, N.A. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(h)&(m).

         SO ORDERED.

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Notes:

[1] Defendant avers that its correct name is “Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as trustee for Park Place Securities, Inc., asset-backed pass-through certificates, series 2004-MCW1, class A-1 certificates.” Doc. 5 at 1.

[2] Pro se pleadings should be “liberally construed.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citations omitted).

[3] In his reply, Plaintiff abandons his request to add Marian Brown in her official capacity as Dallas County Sherriff as defendants.to the caption of the case as a defendant since the “ongoing ejection/eviction action against the ...


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