from the District Court of Stark County, Southwest Judicial
District, the Honorable Rhonda Rae Ehlis, Judge.
M. Bouray, Dickinson, N.D., for plaintiffs and appellees.
L. Rogneby, Bismarck, N.D., for defendant and appellant.
1] Keith Candee appeals from a summary judgment granted to
his parents, Lyla and Douglas Candee, awarding them an $884,
508.83 deficiency judgment following foreclosure of
properties in California and North Dakota. We reverse and
remand, concluding California law bars a deficiency judgment
in this case as a matter of law.
2] Keith Candee and Lyla and Douglas Candee executed a
settlement agreement and mutual release of claims in 2013
relating to earlier disputes between the parties about the
management of their family assets. Under the settlement
agreement, Keith Candee agreed to pay $2.2 million to Lyla
and Douglas Candee. The $2.2 million settlement amount was
secured by real property in California and North Dakota. A
deed of trust in favor of Lyla and Douglas Candee secured the
California property, and a mortgage secured the property in
North Dakota. The deed of trust securing the California
property included a power of sale provision allowing Lyla and
Douglas Candee to foreclose the property in a nonjudicial
manner via a trustee's sale.
3] The agreement provided that upon default, Lyla and Douglas
Candee would foreclose the California property first. The
North Dakota property would be foreclosed upon if the
proceeds from the foreclosure of the California property were
insufficient. The agreement also provided that California law
would apply to foreclosure and deficiency judgment
proceedings, to the extent applicable.
4] After Keith Candee failed to make payments under the
settlement agreement, Lyla and Douglas Candee foreclosed the
California property. They proceeded with a nonjudicial
foreclosure and in January 2014 purchased the property at a
trustee's sale for a credit bid of $200, 000. Lyla and
Douglas Candee foreclosed the North Dakota property and
purchased the property for $975, 000 at a July 2015
5] In September 2015, Lyla and Douglas Candee sued Keith
Candee in North Dakota for a deficiency judgment for the
difference between the amount Keith Candee owed under the
settlement agreement and the amount Lyla and Douglas Candee
obtained through foreclosure of the California and North
Dakota properties. Keith Candee argued a deficiency judgment
was not available under the agreement because California law
applied and a deficiency judgment was prohibited under
California law. The district court concluded California law
applied only to the California property and granted summary
judgment to Lyla and Douglas Candee. The court entered an
$884, 508.83 deficiency judgment against Keith Candee.
6] Keith Candee argues the district court erred in awarding
Lyla and Douglas Candee a deficiency judgment. He argues the
California anti-deficiency statutes apply to the settlement
agreement, and those statutes bar a deficiency judgment in
7] Summary judgment is a procedural device for the prompt
resolution of a controversy on the merits without a trial if
there are no genuine issues of material fact or inferences
that can reasonably be drawn from the facts, or if the only
issues to be resolved are questions of law. Sorenson v.
Bakken Invs., LLC, 2017 ND 127, ¶ 6, 895 N.W.2d
302. In determining whether the district court properly
granted summary judgment, we view the evidence in the light
most favorable to the party opposing the motion, and that
party will be given the benefit of all ...