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In re Ameriquest Mortgage Co. Mortgage Lending Practices Litigation

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

July 16, 2015

IN RE AMERIQUEST MORTGAGE CO. MORTGAGE LENDING PRACTICES LITIGATION MDL No. 1715 THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO: Arndt
v.
AmeriquestMortgage Co., etal. (Indiv. Case No. 06 C 2479); Myers
v.
Ameriquest Mortgage Co., etal. (Indiv. Case No. 07 C 3584); and Solnin
v.
Ameriquest Mortgage Co., etal. (Indiv. Case No. 06 C 4866)

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

MARVIN E. ASPEN, District Judge:

Plaintiffs in each of these three opt-out cases-Arndt v. Ameriquest Mortgage Co., et al, Myers v. Ameriquest Mortgage Co., et al, and Solnin v. Ameriquest Mortgage Co., etal.-have failed to actively prosecute their lawsuits against Defendants Ameriquest Mortgage Co. and AMC Mortgage Services, Inc. (collectively, "Ameriquesf). As a result of this failure. Magistrate Judge Daniel Martin recently issued orders recommending that we dismiss these actions pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) as well as Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 41.1. Plaintiffs have not filed any objections to Judge Martin's recommendations. For the reasons described below, we accept the recommendations pursuant to Rule 72(b) and hereby dismiss these actions.

BACKGROUND

Before briefly addressing Judge Martin's recommendations, we review the pertinent procedural history of these lawsuits.

A. Arndt v. Ameriquest Mortgage Co., et al. (06 C 2479)

As detailed in Ameriquest’s motion for recommendation, (Indiv. Dkt. No. 41), Plaintiffs Maria Arndt and Forrest Pendergraph have yet to properly respond to discovery requests propounded in December 2011. (Id. ¶¶ 1–7, 13.) They refused to cooperate with Ameriquest to schedule their depositions or to participate in loan modification or settlement negotiations. (Id. ¶¶ 8–13.)

In addition, Arndt and Pendergraph failed to respond to a motion to dismiss for want of prosecution filed before us in early 2014. Although we set a briefing schedule on that motion, Arndt and Pendergraph filed no opposition. (See Indiv. Dkt. Nos. 34, 37, 38.)

In light of this history, Ameriquest filed a motion for recommendation before Judge Martin on May 26, 2015 and noticed the motion for hearing on June 4, 2015. (Indiv. Dkt. Nos. 41–43.) Arndt and Pendergraph failed to appear for that hearing or to contact the court. Judge Martin then granted Ameriquest’s motion and recommended dismissal of the action pursuant to Local Rule 41.1. (Indiv. Dkt. No. 44.) Judge Martin informed Arndt and Pendergraph that they had 14 days from service of the order to file before us any objection to his recommendation. (Id.) He further notified them that any objections not filed within that timeframe would be waived. (Id.)

Despite Judge Martin’s clear warning, Arndt and Pendergraph have not filed any objection to his June 4, 2015 recommendation of dismissal. In fact, according to the docket, Arndt and Pendergraph have not participated in this litigation, in any meaningful way, in roughly two years. (See, e.g., MDL Dkt. No. 5326 (7/18/13 Min. Order noting that these plaintiffs were attempting to provide initial discovery responses).)

B. Myers v. Ameriquest Mortgage Co., et al. (07 C 3584)

As detailed in Ameriquest’s motion for recommendation, (Indiv. Dkt. No. 35), Plaintiff Gail Myers has not actively participated in this lawsuit in more than a year. According to Ameriquest, Myers failed to respond to discovery served in July 2012, despite a January 25, 2013 order setting a deadline for her response. (Id. ¶¶ 2, 14.) Myers, for her part, has not issued any discovery requests. (Id. ¶ 2.)

We previously dismissed this case for want of prosecution, on July 31, 2013, in light of Myers’ failure to participate in discovery and her failure to oppose dismissal. (MDL Dkt. No. 5336.) Shortly thereafter, Myers moved for reinstatement of her claim based on difficulties she had communicating with prior counsel. On October 8, 2013, we allowed the motion, reinstated the case, and ordered Myers to respond to a pending motion for summary judgment. (MDL Dkt. No. 5364.)

Myers repeatedly requested additional time, which we granted, to respond to Ameriquest’s summary judgment motion. (MDL Dkt. Nos. 5390, 5416, 5425, 5452.) Despite the generous extensions, Myers never filed any opposition to the summary judgment motion.

Myers has also failed to respond to Ameriquest’s attempts to resolve the action. (Id. ¶¶ 10–13.) Ameriquest states that it has twice offered a loan modification to Myers, who neglected to respond in any way. (Id. ¶¶ 11–12.) According to Ameriquest, Myers ...


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