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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name City of Baltimore v. Wells Fargo FH-MD-0001
Docket / Court 1:08-cv-00062 ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Attorney Organization Relman, Dane & Colfax
Case Summary
On January 8, 2008, the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore ("the City") filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and Wells Fargo Financial Leasing, Inc. ("Wells Fargo") under the Fair Housing Act ("FHA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, ... read more >
On January 8, 2008, the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore ("the City") filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and Wells Fargo Financial Leasing, Inc. ("Wells Fargo") under the Fair Housing Act ("FHA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division. The plaintiffs, alleging that Wells Fargo's predatory and discriminatory lending practices have led to foreclosures that harm the City, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief and damages. Two other cases -- Memphis v. Wells Fargo (FH-TN-0002 in the Clearinghouse) and U.S. v. Wells Fargo (FH-DC-0001 in the Clearinghouse) have made essentially equivalent allegations.

The City filed its initial Complaint on January 8, 2008. On March 21, 2008, Wells Fargo filed a Motion to Dismiss, challenging the City's standing and contending that the complaint failed to state a cognizable FHA violation under either a disparate treatment or disparate impact theory. On June 1, 2009, the City filed a Motion to File an Amended Complaint with exhibits. Chief Judge Benson Everett Legg then held a hearing on the initial Complaint, denied the Motion to Dismiss, and granted the City leave to file an amended complaint. City of Baltimore v. Wells Fargo, 631 F.Supp.2d 702, 703-04 (D. Md. July 2, 2009). The City filed an Amended Complaint.

On August 6, 2009, the case was reassigned to Judge J. Frederick Motz. Judge Motz granted Wells Fargo's Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint. Judge Motz held that if the City desires to pursue a more limited claim, such as a claim for specific damages allegedly suffered by the City in regard to specific houses that became vacant allegedly because of Wells Fargo's lending activities or a claim for damages allegedly caused to a specific neighborhood in which Wells Fargo made enough allegedly improper loans that its activities bear a plausible causal relationship to the destruction of that neighborhood, it may file a Second Amended Complaint. City of Baltimore v. Wells Fargo, 677 F.Supp.2d 847, 851 (D. Md. January 6, 2010). The City filed a Second Amended Complaint.

On September 8, 2010, Judge Motz held a hearing and granted Wells Fargo's Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint, and granted the City leave to file a Third Amended Complaint. The City filed a Third Amended Complaint on October 21, 2010. In the Third Amended Complaint, the City seeks redress for injuries caused by Wells Fargo's pattern or practice of illegal and discriminatory mortgage lending. Specifically, the City seeks injunctive relief and damages for the injuries caused by foreclosures on Wells Fargo loans in minority neighborhoods and to minority borrowers that are the result of Wells Fargo's unlawful, irresponsible, unfair, deceptive, and discriminatory lending practices.

Wells Fargo filed a Motion to Dismiss the Third Amended Complaint on December 3, 2010. On April 22, 2011, Judge Motz denied Wells Fargo's Motion to Dismiss the Third Amended Complaint, concluding that the City has plausibly alleged injuries that are fairly traceable to Wells Fargo’s alleged conduct.

On August 7, 2012, Judge Motz approved a settlement order between the parties. Wells Fargo agreed to a $175 million settlement fund for disbursements to the Affected Class. Judge Motz then dismissed the case without prejudice.

Xin Chen - 07/23/2012
Asma Husain - 01/31/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Lending
General
Predatory lending
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
Defendant(s) Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Plaintiff Description the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Relman, Dane & Colfax
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing FH-DC-0005 : United States of America v. Wells Fargo Bank (D.D.C.)
FH-TN-0002 : City of Memphis v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (W.D. Tenn.)
Docket(s)
1:08−cv−00062 (D. Md.) 08/07/2012
FH-MD-0001-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Complaint 03/21/2008
FH-MD-0001-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Complaint 05/20/2008
FH-MD-0001-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Published Opinion 07/02/2009 (631 F.Supp.2d 702) (D. Md.)
FH-MD-0001-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint 09/18/2009
FH-MD-0001-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint 10/16/2009
FH-MD-0001-0009 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 01/06/2010 (677 F.Supp.2d 847) (D. Md.)
FH-MD-0001-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint 05/25/2010
FH-MD-0001-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint 07/06/2010
FH-MD-0001-0010 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AND DAMAGES 10/21/2010
FH-MD-0001-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Third Amended Complaint 12/03/2010
FH-MD-0001-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Third Amended Complaint 12/22/2010
FH-MD-0001-0011 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum 04/22/2011 (2011 WL 1557759 / 2011 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 44013) (D. Md.)
FH-MD-0001-0012 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Order 08/07/2012 (D. Md.)
FH-MD-0001-0013 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Legg, Benson Everett (D. Md.)
FH-MD-0001-0003
Motz, J. Frederick (D. Md.)
FH-MD-0001-0002 | FH-MD-0001-0012 | FH-MD-0001-0013 | FH-MD-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Blower, Bradley Howard (District of Columbia)
FH-MD-0001-0001 | FH-MD-0001-0008 | FH-MD-0001-0009 | FH-MD-0001-9000
Cacace, Megan (District of Columbia)
FH-MD-0001-9000
Moran-Gates, Megan (District of Columbia)
FH-MD-0001-0010 | FH-MD-0001-0011 | FH-MD-0001-9000
Nilson, George A. (Maryland)
FH-MD-0001-0001 | FH-MD-0001-0008 | FH-MD-0001-0009 | FH-MD-0001-0010 | FH-MD-0001-0011 | FH-MD-0001-9000
Ramchandani, Tara Kolar (District of Columbia)
FH-MD-0001-9000
Relman, John Peter (District of Columbia)
FH-MD-0001-0001 | FH-MD-0001-0008 | FH-MD-0001-0009 | FH-MD-0001-0010 | FH-MD-0001-0011 | FH-MD-0001-9000
Sangree, Suzanne (Maryland)
FH-MD-0001-0001 | FH-MD-0001-0008 | FH-MD-0001-0009 | FH-MD-0001-0010 | FH-MD-0001-0011 | FH-MD-0001-9000
Schlactus, Glenn (District of Columbia)
FH-MD-0001-0001 | FH-MD-0001-0008 | FH-MD-0001-0009 | FH-MD-0001-0010 | FH-MD-0001-0011 | FH-MD-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hletko, Valerie L. (District of Columbia)
FH-MD-0001-0006 | FH-MD-0001-0007 | FH-MD-0001-9000
Kelly, Michael P. (District of Columbia)
FH-MD-0001-0004 | FH-MD-0001-9000
Klubes, Benjamin Barnet (District of Columbia)
FH-MD-0001-0004 | FH-MD-0001-0005 | FH-MD-0001-0006 | FH-MD-0001-0007 | FH-MD-0001-9000
Sandler, Andrew L. (District of Columbia)
FH-MD-0001-0004 | FH-MD-0001-0005 | FH-MD-0001-0006 | FH-MD-0001-0007 | FH-MD-0001-9000
Saul, Benjamin P. (District of Columbia)
FH-MD-0001-0004
Tucker, Jonice Gray (District of Columbia)
FH-MD-0001-0005 | FH-MD-0001-0006 | FH-MD-0001-0007 | FH-MD-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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