In re Ames Depart Stores, Inc.

 on December 26th, 2021

Collateral estoppel barred the re-litigation of the issues between co-defendants (LFD and GE Capital) in the adversary case. The doctrine of collateral estoppel is premised on the basic concept of fairness. It protects parties from relitigating identical issues and promotes efficiency by impeding unnecessary litigation. Due process dictates that collateral estoppel cannot be used against a person who did not have a fair opportunity to litigate an issue decided in a previous proceeding. Therefore, two formal requirements must be met to invoke the doctrine of collateral estoppel. First, there must have been a full and fair opportunity to litigate the decision that now controls. Second, the issue in the prior action must be identical to and decisive of the issue in the instant action.

The issues in the between LFD and GE Capital in adversary proceeding were the identical and dependent upon the issues already raised and decided in an ancillary proceeding. LFD had a full and fair opportunity to litigate the issues already decided in the previous proceeding. Thus, the Court granted GE Capital’s motion for summary judgment as to count one of LFD’s complaint based upon collateral estoppel.

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Aurora Loan Services v. Wider

 on December 26th, 2021

Plaintiff Aurora Loan Services LLC commenced this action against defendants Aaron Wider, Wider as Trustee of the Wider Family Trust, the Wider Family Trust, HTFC Corporation, Victoria Stasichin, as administratrix of the estate of Daniel Stasichin and Barbara Shane. Plaintiff sought to quiet title and declare that Nationstar Mortgage a valid first mortgage lien on the real property located at 44 Sand Street, Massapequa, New York superior to the claims asserted by Stasichin as fee owner and Shane as recorded first mortgagee. Plaintiff also sought damages for claims of unjust enrichment, fraud and conversion as to the Wider Defendants. After a bench trial the Court determined the satisfaction of the Nationstar Mortgage was fraudulently recorded by Wider, however Stasichin and Shane were bone fide purchasers and encumbrancers for value and without notice of the fraud. Consequently the claims of plaintiff to declare its mortgage a valid mortgage on the premises was dismissed.

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Bank of America N.A. v. Wilmington Trust FSB

 on December 26th, 2021

Plaintiff Bank of America, N.A., filed a complaint in the District Court for the Southern District of New York against defendants Wilmington Trust FSB, Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co., Fidelity–National Title Insurance Co., and First American Title Insurance Co. Bank of America sought a declaratory judgment resolving its duties to provide certain information to defendants in connection with multiple lawsuits brought in the wake of the failed Fontainebleau Las Vegas project. Defendants moved to dismiss arguing that venue was improper pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3).

The case had a connection in name only to the Southern District of New York. All parties had main offices outside New York. The Fontainebleau Project began and stopped in Nevada, and a subsequent bankruptcy of the Fontainebleu was pending in Florida. The Court transferred the case the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida with a recommendation that the action be referred the Bankruptcy Court handling the underlying bankruptcy.

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