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Acevedo v. Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division

September 13, 2017

ALBERT ACEVEDO, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
BAYVIEW LOAN SERVICING, LLC, PHILIP C. REEVES, AND ROBERT AGUILAR, Defendants.

          ORDER

          XAVIER RODRIGUEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On this date, the Court considered the status of the above-styled and numbered case. After careful consideration, the Court DISMISSES Defendants Philip C. Reeves and Robert Aguilar as improperly joined and GRANTS Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim (Docket no. 3).

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Albert Acevedo, Jr. alleges that there are impediments to the sale and accounting regarding the amounts owed or reinstatement amounts with respect to the property Plaintiff owns at 1735 W. Craig Place, San Antonio, Texas. Docket no. 1-1 at 1-2. Plaintiff alleges these impediments should prevent foreclosure of the home. Id. at 2.

         Plaintiff brought this action in the 37th Judicial District Court of Bexar County, Texas, on July 3, 2017, naming as defendants Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC, as well as Philip C. Reeves and Robert Aguilar, Substitute Trustees c/o Shapiro & Schwartz, LLP. Docket no. 1-1. Plaintiff applied for a temporary restraining order and injunction and filed claims for breach of contract and wrongful foreclosure against all Defendants. Id. at 1-3.

         On July 18, 2017, Defendant Bayview Loan removed the action to this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. Docket no. 1. The notice of removal states that Plaintiff is a resident of Texas. Id. at 2-3. The notice of removal also states that Defendant Bayview Loan is a Delaware limited liability company whose principal place of business is in Florida, and that no member of the company is a citizen of Texas. Id. at 3. The notice of removal further states that Defendants Reeves and Aguilar are residents of Texas whose citizenship can be disregarded for purposes of diversity jurisdiction because they have been improperly joined. Id. The notice of removal alleges that the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. Id. at 3-5.

         On July 26, 2017, Defendant Bayview Loan filed a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim.

         On August 9, 2017, this Court considered its jurisdiction over the removed case and ordered Plaintiff to show cause no later than August 31, 2017, as to why Defendants Reeves and Aguilar should not be dismissed as improperly joined. Plaintiff failed to respond.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Improper Joinder of Defendants Reeves and Aguilar

          If Defendants Reeves and Aguilar are properly joined, their citizenship must be considered and there is no diversity jurisdiction. Defendant Bayview Loan argues that Plaintiff names Defendants Reeves and Aguilar as defendants for the sole purpose of avoiding removal. Docket no. 1 at 3. Defendant Bayview Loan contends there is no possibility Plaintiff can maintain a cause of action against Defendants Reeves and Aguilar. This Court agrees with Defendant Bayview Loan and finds that Reeves and Aguilar are improperly joined.

         A. Legal Standard

         “[A]ny civil action brought in a State court of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant or defendants, to the district court of the United States for the district and division embracing the place where such action is pending.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). On a motion to remand, the court must consider whether removal was proper. In order for removal to be proper, a district court must have original jurisdiction over the removed action. See id.

         Federal district courts have original jurisdiction over civil actions if the parties are diverse and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). There is no dispute regarding the amount in controversy, which is alleged to be in excess of $75, 000. Docket no. 1. Further, ...


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