Stephen Debrunner (plaintiff) loaned money to Barbara Chiu. The loan was secured by a deed of trust held by Quick Loan Funding, Inc. (Quick Loan). Chiu signed a promissory note and second deed of trust, in favor of Debrunner. Quick Loan assigned the first deed of trust, but not the underlying promissory note, to a third party. The first deed of trust was eventually assigned to Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (Deutsche) (defendant). In January 2008, Debrunner commenced foreclosure proceedings on the property. As a result of the foreclosure, Debrunner obtained a trustee’s deed in March 2009. In September 2009, Deutsche commenced foreclosure proceedings on the property. Debrunner brought suit, seeking a declaratory judgment that Deutsche had no right to foreclose, and also seeking to quiet title. Debrunner argued that the assignment of a deed of trust without an assignment of the underlying promissory note is a legal nullity. The superior court sustained Deutsche’s demurrer to the complaint. Debrunner appealed.