United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
OWEN BOWDRE CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
dispute over an insurance proceeds check comes before the
court on Defendants CIT Bank, N.A.'s and CIT Group,
Inc.'s partial motion to dismiss. (Doc. 73). Defendants
contend that Plaintiffs Jeannette Bennett and Maggie Bell
have not alleged any facts against CIT Group or stated a
plausible claim for conversion of the proceeds check. For the
following reasons, the court disagrees that Plaintiffs have
not stated any facts against CIT Group, but agrees that
Plaintiffs have not stated a plausible claim for conversion.
So the court will deny in part and grant in part the motion
STANDARD OF REVIEW
move to dismiss part of the amended complaint under Rule
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Under Rule
12(b)(6), a defendant can move to dismiss a complaint for
“failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” The complaint will survive the motion to
dismiss if it alleges “enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). For a
complaint to be “plausible on its face, ” it must
contain enough “factual content that allows the court
to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). And, on a motion to
dismiss, the court accepts as true the factual allegations in
the complaint. Id.
inherited a house from their mother, Catherine Getaw, subject
to a mortgage serviced by Defendant CIT. A homeowner's
property insurance policy issued by Foremost Insurance
Company covered the house. The insurance policy named Ms.
Getaw as the insured and CIT as mortgagee.
Plaintiffs inherited the house, a fire damaged the house.
Plaintiffs filed a claim for the fire damage under the
Foremost insurance policy.
CIT foreclosed on the mortgage and sold the house at the
foreclosure sale to Defendant Federal National Mortgage
Association. Later, CIT, which was then operating as
“Financial Freedom, a Division of One West Bank,
” and Fannie Mae both filed claims for the fire damage
under the Foremost insurance policy.
February 22, 2016, Foremost issued a proceeds check for the
fire damage claim in the amount of $62, 262.13. Foremost
wrote the check payable to
Financial Freedom, a Division of Onew [sic] Estate of
(Doc. 63 at ¶ 90; Doc. 63-14).
allege that CIT endorsed and deposited the check into its
account without Plaintiffs' signatures as personal
representatives of their mother's estate and transferred
some or all of those funds to Fannie Mae. (Doc. 63 at
¶¶ 103, 108). Plaintiffs demanded that CIT and
Fannie Mae give the proceeds to Plaintiffs. CIT and Fannie
Mae refused. This lawsuit followed. Plaintiffs also brought
suit against Foremost, but the court dismissed all claims
against the insurance company on September 13, 2019.
(See Doc. 102).
bring two claims against CIT and Fannie Mae: (1) declaratory
judgment that only Plaintiffs are entitled to the insurance
proceeds; and (2) conversion of the proceeds check.
move to dismiss CIT Group as a defendant in this case
because, according to Defendants, the amended complaint does
not allege any specific facts against CIT Group besides the
fact that it is the parent company of CIT Bank. And
Defendants move to dismiss the conversion claim because they
contend that the UCC provides that either party ...