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Hamilton-Warwick v. U.S. Bancorp

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

November 22, 2016


          Amy Hamilton-Warwick, pro se.

          Amie E. Penny Sayler and Jonathan P. Norrie, BASSFORD REMELE, PA, for defendants U.S. Bancorp and U.S. Bank National Association.

          Andrew A. Nicely and Larry L. Goodman, FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION, for defendant Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.


          JOHN R. TUNHEIM Chief Judge.

         In June 2015, Plaintiff Amy Hamilton-Warwick initiated this pro se action against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) and U.S. Bancorp and U.S. Bank National Association (collectively, “U.S. Bank”) alleging that U.S. Bank committed various illegal actions against her in managing her U.S. Bank account. (Compl., June 16, 2015, Docket No. 1.) In February 2016, the Court found that Hamilton-Warwick had failed to properly serve the defendants and granted her thirty days to perfect service on each defendant. (Mem. Op. and Order, Feb. 24, 2016, Docket No. 55.) Hamilton-Warwick then filed an amended complaint. (Am. Compl., Mar. 1, 2016, Docket No. 56.) In her amended complaint, Hamilton-Warwick alleges that Defendants committed fraud. (Am. Compl. at 4-6.)

         Each defendant has moved to dismiss Hamilton-Warwick's complaint for failure to state a claim. (FDIC's Mot. to Dismiss, Mar. 9, 2016, Docket No. 58; U.S. Bank's Mot. to Dismiss, Mar. 28, 2016, Docket No. 67.) In Hamilton-Warwick's briefing on those motions to dismiss and at the motion hearing before United States Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer, she argued for the first time that Defendants were liable not only for common law fraud, but also for violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), the Bank Holding Company Act (“BHCA”), 12 U.S.C. § 503, and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (“EFTA”). Hamilton-Warwick cited none of those legal authorities in her complaint or amended complaint. In May 2016, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) recommending that Defendants' motions be granted and Hamilton-Warwick's complaint be dismissed in its entirety. (R&R, May 18, 2016, Docket No. 96.) The Magistrate Judge recommended that all of Hamilton-Warwick's claims against the FDIC and also her RICO, BHCA, and § 503 claims against U.S. Bank be dismissed with prejudice. But the Magistrate Judge also recommended that the fraud and EFTA claims be dismissed without prejudice, because although Hamilton-Warwick had failed to state a claim generally, it was conceivable that she could, in a future complaint, allege sufficiently detailed facts to state fraud and EFTA claims.

         Hamilton-Warwick and U.S. Bank each objected to the R&R. (Hamilton-Warwick's Objs., May 24, 2016, Docket No. 97; U.S. Bank's Objs., June 1, 2016, Docket No. 98).



         Upon the filing of an R&R by a magistrate judge, “a party may serve and file specific written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2); accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b). “The district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3).


         Hamilton-Warwick has seven objections to the R&R. First, she objects to the Magistrate Judge's statement that she “declined assistance” from the Federal Bar Association's pro se project. (Hamilton-Warwick's Objs. at 1-2.) Hamilton-Warwick states she accepted assistance and had an “initial conversation” with an attorney she met through the project, but had no further contact with the attorney because she understood that to be “the extent” of the project. (Id. at 2.) The Court is unaware of the exact details of Hamilton-Warwick's contact with the pro se project, but because this objection is solely to the R&R's factual summary of the case and has no bearing on the outcome of the now-pending motions, the Court will sustain the objection.

         Second, Hamilton-Warwick objects to the R&R's statement that she “demands $250, 000.00 in her request for relief.” (Hamilton-Warwick's Objs. at 2; see R&R at 3.) Hamilton-Warwick's complaint requests damages “in excess” of $250, 000.00. (Am. Compl. at 6.) Again, the Court will sustain this objection, but notes that the distinction has no effect on the outcome of the pending motions.

         Hamilton-Warwick's third and fourth objections argue that dismissal is inappropriate because Defendants each improperly styled their motions as motions to dismiss “the complaint, ” instead of the amended complaint. (Hamilton-Warwick's Objs. at 3-4.) But neither party made the mistake Hamilton-Warwick accuses them of making. While it is true that the FDIC's moving document does reference “the complaint” and not the amended complaint, the FDIC's memorandum in support of its motion makes clear it is seeking to dismiss the amended complaint. (FDIC's Mot. to Dismiss at 1, 3, 7, 10 (stating that the amended complaint should be dismissed).) U.S. Bank's moving document and memorandum in support of its motion each request the dismissal of the ...

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