Federal Court Building, New York City.
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A Federal Court may have taken a step closer to summary judgment on a motion to dismiss. Federal Courts notoriously consider extrinsic evidence when passing on Rule 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim. However, although such motions are no longer viewed as addressed to the face of the complaint, Rule 12(b)(6) is now a "Roberts Rule" and among other documents which the District Judge may consider on a motion to dismiss are documents she thinks are "integral" to the complaint and relied on in it, whether or not the documents are attached to the complaint.
The FDIC alleged in the main case here that the defendant broker arranged the mortgage loan in question based on the broker furnishing false information. The FDIC sued the broker to recoup monies expended on the strength of the false information, because the simple act "of supplying the false and misleading information" was allegedly a breach of a Master Broker Agreement with the AmTrust Bank of Cleveland, Ohio. (The FDIC was suing as receiver standing in the shoes of the AmTrust Bank.)
However, the actual sources of the false information were allegedly several "individuals engaged in a fraudulent scheme to obtain a home mortgage loan." The broker sought indemnity from the individual defendants in the event it, the broker, was found liable. One of the individual defendants filed a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim.
The broad reach of extrinsic evidence was expanded to include "the Closing Documents" and "the Deed" involved in the real estate transaction in this case. Federal Deposit Ins. Corp. v. US Mortgage Corp., 132 F. Supp. 3d 369, 380, 381-82 (E.D.N.Y. 2015). The individual defendant's motion to dismiss was granted as a result of the District Court considering this and other evidence in passing on the motion to dismiss.
Whatever distinctions there might once have been between a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment became increasingly harder to detect once the Roberts Rule of extrinsic evidence went into effect. The decision in this case seems to be a part of that trend.
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