The Honorable Natalie White out of the 56th Circuit recently refused to enter a judgment on the pleadings as requested by the defendant-borrowers in a foreclosure action filed in Livingston County, Kentucky. JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Assoc. v. Mary Quertermous, etc., Livingston Circuit Court Case No. 23-CI-00042. The borrowers asserted in their motion for judgment that they were entitled to release of the mortgage and dismissal of all claims since JPMorgan’s foreclosure action was barred by the fifteen-year statute of limitations[i] codified at Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 413.010.
The borrowers argued that the statute of limitations barred the foreclosure of their mortgage since the payment default was June 1, 2007, and JPMorgan filed its foreclosure action on May 23, 2023, more than fifteen[ii] years from the date of the borrowers’ original payment default. The bank countered that procedurally the motion for judgment was premature. The pleadings were not formally closed as required by Kentucky’s Civil Rule 12.03[iii] because the borrowers failed to file a timely answer to the complaint.
JPMorgan also argued substantively that the borrowers failed to sustain their burden of proof on their statute of limitations defense. JPMorgan demonstrated that the borrowers failed to demonstrate from the pleadings that the fifteen-year statute of limitations started running on June 1, 2007, rather than a later date.
Judge White agreed with the bank on both grounds and entered an order denying the borrowers’ motion for judgment on the pleadings. This was a correct interpretation of the law and provides an opportunity for the matter to be resolved on the merits.
[i] Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 413.010 reads: “Subject to KRS 411.190(8), an action for the recovery of real property may be brought only within fifteen (15) years after the right to institute it first accrued to the plaintiff, or to the person through whom he claims.” Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 413.010 (West).
[ii] It is 15 years, 11 months and 10 days from the missed payment date of June 1, 2007, to the date the complaint was filed on May 12, 2023.
[iii] Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 12.03 reads in pertinent part: “After the pleadings are closed but within such time as not to delay the trial, any party may move for judgment on the pleadings…”