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Ohio Mers – Decision on Motion to Dismiss

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Ohio MERS – Decision on Motion to Dismiss

In 2011, the Geauga County Prosecutor filed a Class Action lawsuit in the Geauga County Common Pleas Court on behalf of all Ohio counties against a number of banks, and MERS Corp., Inc., claiming that they engaged in a scheme to provide for assignment of mortgages through a MERS registration system, upon sale of a mortgage loan, and failing to record the mortgage assignments, purportedly required by Ohio law.  Our firm represented one of the banks named as a Defendant in the case.  The case was removed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, but that Court determined that the case should be referred back to the Geauga County Common Pleas Court.

After the Plaintiffs amended their Complaint, all of the Defendants jointly moved to dismiss the Class Action Complaint (which had 5 counts)  asserting (i) there is no requirement in Ohio law to record a mortgage assignment; (ii) the County had no standing to allege any harm; and (iii)  the County could not support an unjust enrichment claim.

Judge Forrest Burt agreed with all three arguments of the banks and MERS Corp. and on May 17, 2016 dismissed the Amended Class Action Complaint.  The Decision is one of many recently issued by courts around the country dismissing claims against banks and MERS Corp., finding, as Judge Burt did, that there is no duty to record a mortgage assignment and therefore the County did not lose recording fees.

If you would like to know more about this case or defending class actions, feel free to contact the litigation team lead by Dale H. Markowitz.  The Decision is available by clicking on the link, and is captioned State of Ohio ex rel. James Flaiz, et al., vs. MERSCORP, Inc., et al., Case No. 11M001087.