Justia Real Estate & Property Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
1256 Hertel Avenue Associates v. Calloway
The New York State Legislature amended N.Y. C.P.L.R. 5206 in 2005, increasing the state's homestead exemption from $10,000 to $50,000. At issue was whether the 2005 Amendment's increased homestead exemption applied to judgment liens perfected prior to the amendment's effective date and, if so, whether application of the law to pre-enactment judgment liens violates the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The court held that the 2005 Amendment applies to all creditors and all obligations, including pre-existing obligations, regardless of whether the debt was reduced to a judgment lien prior to the statute's enactment; and (2) that retroactive application of the exemption does not constitute an uncompensated taking of pre-enactment judgment liens in violation of the Takings Clause. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court affirming the bankruptcy court's conclusion that there was been no taking of claimant's property. View "1256 Hertel Avenue Associates v. Calloway" on Justia Law
United States v. Vazquez-Alvarez
Claimant appealed from the district court's order of forfeiture seizing roughly $750,000 in cash, arguing that the district court erred in granting the government's motion for a default judgment against the res without first considering his motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The court affirmed the district court's judgment of forfeiture because claimant failed to establishing standing to challenge the forfeiture. View "United States v. Vazquez-Alvarez" on Justia Law
Kurtz v. Verizon New York, Inc.
Plaintiffs filed a putative class action alleging that Verizon installed multi-unit terminal boxes on their property without just compensation and violated their due process rights. The court concluded that Williamson Cnty. Reg'l Planning Comm'n v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City applied to physical takings, with the recognition that the finality requirement was satisfied by a physical taking; in regards to plaintiffs' due process claims, Williamson County applies to such claims arising from the same circumstances as a takings claim; and plaintiffs have failed to exhaust their state remedies through an inverse condemnation proceeding. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Kurtz v. Verizon New York, Inc." on Justia Law
Crawford v. Franklin Credit Management Corp.
Plaintiff appealed the dismissal of her complaint alleging that defendants fraudulently procured a mortgage on her home, and thereafter sought to foreclose on that mortgage, in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1961 et seq., the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. 1691 et seq., the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq., the New York General Business Law, N. Y. Gen. Bus. Law 349, and common law. The district court denied plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment on the issues of liability and granted the motions of defendants for summary judgment dismissing the claims against them, ruling that, because plaintiff failed to disclose these claims in a 2006 proceeding under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, her present suit was barred for lack of standing or by collateral estoppel. The court considered all of the parties' arguments and, except to the extent indicated, have found them to be without merit. The court affirmed the judgment in regards to the denial of plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment in her favor and the grant of defendants' motions for summary judgment dismissing her claims under RICO, ECOA, New York Business Law 349, and for negligent misrepresentation. The court vacated so much of the judgment as dismissed plaintiff's claims for violation of TILA and for common-law fraud, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Crawford v. Franklin Credit Management Corp." on Justia Law
Rajamin v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co.
Plaintiffs appealed the district court's dismissal of their claims against four trusts to which their loans and mortgages were assigned in transactions involving the mortgagee bank, and against those trusts' trustee. The district court granted defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, finding that plaintiffs were neither parties to nor third-party beneficiaries of the assignment agreements and therefore lacked standing to pursue the claims. It is undisputed that in 2009 or 2010, each plaintiff was declared to be in default of his mortgage, and foreclosure proceedings were instituted in connection with the institution of said foreclosure proceedings, the trustee claimed to own each of plaintiff's mortgage and that plaintiffs are not seeking to enjoin foreclosure proceedings. Assuming that these concessions have not rendered plaintiffs' claims moot, the court affirmed the district court's ruling that plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue their challenges to defendants' ownership of the loans and entitlement to payments. Plaintiffs neither established constitutional nor prudential standing to pursue the claims they asserted. View "Rajamin v. Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust Co." on Justia Law
Roth v. CitiMortgage Inc.
Plaintiff filed suit alleging that CitiMortgage's responses to requests for information about her mortgage violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), 12 U.S.C. 2601-2617; the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. 1692-1692p; and N.Y. General Business Law (GBL) section 349. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6). The court concluded that plaintiff failed to allege that CitiMortgage did not properly designate a qualified written address (QWR) or that any or her lawyer's letters were sent to the designated address. Because plaintiff's lawyer's letters are not QWRs, CitiMortgage's RESPA duties were not triggered, and therefore the district court properly dismissed the RESPA claims. The district court did not err in dismissing the FDCPA claims where the amended complaint failed to alleged that CitiMortgage qualified as a debt collector under the FDCPA. The district court did not err in dismissing the section 349 claim where CitiMortgage's QWR address notice was not inadequate. Finally, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court and denied her request for leave to amend. View "Roth v. CitiMortgage Inc." on Justia Law
Stockbridge-Munsee v. State of New York, et al.
Stockbridge, a recognized Indian tribe, appealed from the district court's dismissal of its claims asserting title of a tract of land in upstate New York. The court affirmed the judgment of the district court, concluding that it was well-settled that claims by an Indian tribe alleging that it was unlawfully dispossessed of land early in America's history were barred by the equitable principles of laches, acquiescence, and impossibility. View "Stockbridge-Munsee v. State of New York, et al." on Justia Law
United States v. Technodyne LLC
Claimants appealed from the district court's forfeiture orders of 23 of the defendant funds and properties to the United States. The judgments were entered by default after the district court granted the motion of the United States under the fugitive disentitlement statute, 28 U.S.C. 2466, to strike Claimants' claims to the properties on the ground that Claimants Padma and Reddy (the "Allens") remained outside the United States in order to avoid prosecution in a related criminal case. The court rejected the government's contention that the burden of proof as to intent under the fugitive disentitlement statute was on Claimants. However, the court also rejected Claimants' contentions that summary judgment standards were applicable, and that the court was required to find that avoidance of criminal prosecution was the Allens' sole, dominant, or principal reason for remaining outside of the United States. The court concluded that the district court's findings were not clearly erroneous and that its application of the fugitive disentitlement statute was well within the bounds of its discretion. The court considered all of Claimants' challenges and found them to be without merit. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "United States v. Technodyne LLC" on Justia Law
Sherman v. Town of Chester
Plaintiff filed suit against the Town after a decade of dealing with the Town in plaintiff's efforts to apply for subdivision approval. The court reversed the district court's decision to dismiss plaintiff's federal takings claims, concluding that his claim became ripe because of the way the Town handled his application under Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City where the Town employed a decade of unfair and repetitive procedures, which made seeking a final decision futile. The Town also unfairly manipulated the litigation of the case in a way that might have prevented plaintiff from ever bringing his takings claim. The court vacated the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's non-takings claims based on ripeness grounds and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over his state law claims. The court affirmed the district court's decision to dismiss plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. 1981 claim, to deny plaintiff leave to amend to add a 42 U.S.C. 1982 claim, and to dismiss plaintiff's procedural due process claim based on the consultants' fee law. View "Sherman v. Town of Chester" on Justia Law
Santiago-Monteverde v. Pereira
Debtor, a New York City tenant, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and listed the value of her apartment lease on Schedule B as personal property exempt from the bankruptcy estate as a "local public assistance benefit." At issue was whether the value inherent in debtor's rent-stabilized lease as a consequence of the protections afforded by New York's Rent Stabilization Code, N.Y. Comp. Code R. & Regs. tit. 9, 2520.1 et seq., made the lease, or some portion of its value, exempt from debtor's bankruptcy estate as a "local public assistance benefit" within the meaning of New York Debtor and Creditor Law 282(2). The court certified this unsettled issue to the New York Court of Appeals. View "Santiago-Monteverde v. Pereira" on Justia Law