Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. v. Johnston
Petitioner Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, acting as trustee for Morgan Stanley ABS Capital 1 Inc. Trust 2006-NC4 (Deutsche Bank), filed a complaint seeking foreclosure on Respondent Johnny Johnston’s home (Homeowner), and attached to its complaint an unindorsed note, mortgage, and land recording, both naming a third party as the mortgagee. Deutsche Bank later provided documentation and testimony showing that :(1) a document assigning the mortgage to Deutsche Bank was dated prior to the filing of the complaint but recorded after the complaint was filed; (2) Deutsche Bank possessed a version of the note indorsed in blank at the time of trial; and (3) a servicing company began servicing the loan to Homeowner on behalf of Deutsche Bank prior to the filing of the complaint. After receiving this evidence, the district court found that Deutsche Bank had standing to foreclose on Homeowner’s property. The Court of Appeals disagreed, finding that “standing is a jurisdictional prerequisite for a cause of action,” and concluded that the evidence provided by Deutsche Bank did not establish its standing as of the time it filed its complaint. The Supreme Court held that standing was not a jurisdictional prerequisite in this case. Nonetheless the Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ ultimate conclusion that the evidence provided by Deutsche Bank did not establish standing.