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Lowe v. Federal National Mortgage Association

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

February 2, 2017



          Slomsky, J.


         This case involves a dispute over ownership of real property located at 8603 Alicia Street, Philadelphia, PA 19115 (the “Property”). (Doc. No. 1 at 6.) Plaintiff Amara Caresse Lowe asserts that she is the lawful owner of the Property and brought the instant suit involving the property against Defendants the Court of Common Pleas Trial Division - Civil and the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”). (Id. at 5, 6.) Defendant Fannie Mae has filed a Motion to Dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), which is now ripe for review.[1] (Doc. No. 4.) For all the following reasons, the Motion to Dismiss will be granted, and the case will be dismissed.


         The Property at issue was subject to a Sheriff's sale at which Defendant Fannie Mae purchased it. (Doc. No. 4-2 at 3.) On March 31, 2016, the Sherriff's deed for the Property was recorded and shows proof that Fannie Mae owned the Property. (Doc. No. 1 at 16-19.) Plaintiff does not argue that Fannie Mae transferred its ownership of the Property to her at any point.

         On August 8, 2016, Plaintiff filed the pro se Complaint against Fannie Mae and the Court of Common Pleas Trial Division.[3] (Doc. No. 1.) Plaintiff claims she is the rightful owner and has title to the Property. (Doc. No. 1 at 6; Doc. No. 5 at 8.) She seeks entry of a confessed judgment against Fannie Mae. (Doc. No. 1 at 6.) She requests the Court of Common Pleas Trial Division to rightfully transfer the Property to her. (Id.)

         The Complaint states that Plaintiff executed her acknowledgement of deed over her land and real property. (Doc. No. 1 at 6.) She claims the Property is currently and unlawfully under the name “Federal National Mortgage Association.” (Id.) The sole basis for her declaration is a self-executed document entitled “Acknowledgement of Deed Confessed Judgment to the Complaint” where she purports to be the owner of the Property. (Id.) Plaintiff argues that the “improper record prohibits [her] lawful ownership of the real property to be public information on [the] record . . . .” (Id. at 7.)


         The motion to dismiss standard under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) is set forth in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). After Iqbal it is clear that “threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements do not suffice” to defeat a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Id. at 663; see also Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ethypharm S.A. France v. Abbott Labs., 707 F.3d 223, 231 n.14 (3d Cir. 2013) (citing Sheridan v. NGK Metals Corp., 609 F.3d 239, 262 n.27 (3d Cir. 2010)). “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.” Id. Applying the principles of Iqbal and Twombly, the Third Circuit in Santiago v. Warminster Twp., 629 F.3d 121 (3d Cir. 2010), set forth a three-part analysis that a district court in this Circuit must conduct in evaluating whether allegations in a complaint survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss:

First, the court must “tak[e] note of the elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim.” Second, the court should identify allegations that, “because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Finally, “where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement for relief.”

Id. at 130 (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 675, 679). “This means that our inquiry is normally broken into three parts: (1) identifying the elements of the claim, (2) reviewing the complaint to strike conclusory allegations, and then (3) looking at the well-pleaded components of the complaint and evaluating whether all of the elements identified in part one of the inquiry are sufficiently alleged.” Malleus v. George, 641 F.3d 560, 563 (3d Cir. 2011).

         A complaint must do more than allege a plaintiff's entitlement to relief, it must “show” such an entitlement with its facts. Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210-11 (citing Phillips v. Cnty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234-35 (3d Cir. 2008)). “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged - but it has not ‘shown' - ‘that the pleader is entitled to relief.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. The “plausibility” determination is a “context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id.

         IV. ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff has brought this action against the Court of Common Pleas Trial Division and Fannie Mae. First, the Court will address the preliminary issue of the Court of Common Pleas as a defendant. Second, ...

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