United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION ORDER
J. BOYLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Remand. Doc. 10. For
the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS the motion.
case arises out of a foreclosure dispute. Plaintiff Byron
Mack defaulted on his mortgage, resulting in foreclosure by
his lender, Defendant Plaza Home Mortgage, Inc. (Plaza).
Defendant Tuesday Real Estate, LLC (TRE) purchased Mack's
home at the foreclosure sale. In August 2017, Mack filed this
wrongful-foreclosure suit in Dallas County Court at Law No.
5. About a month later, Plaza removed the case to this Court
based on diversity jurisdiction. Doc. 1, Notice of Removal.
There is no dispute concerning the parties' state
citizenship: Mack and TRE are Texas citizens and Plaza is a
California citizen. The parties are not completely diverse as
presently constituted because Mack, the plaintiff, and TRE, a
defendant, are both Texas citizens. Plaza recognizes this,
but argues TRE was improperly joined, so it should not count
as a party in the Court's diversity-jurisdiction
analysis. Id. at 3-4. And without TRE, Mack and
Plaza are completely diverse, meaning Plaza would be entitled
to remove the case to this Court. Id.
Court ordered the parties to show cause “why this case
should not be dismissed for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction.” Doc. 5, Order. Specifically, the Court
asked the parties to address whether TRE was improperly
joined. Id. The parties responded. Docs. 7-9. Mack
then filed a motion to remand the case, Doc. 10, which is now
ripe for resolution.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.” Howery
v. Allstate Ins. Co., 243 F.3d 912, 916 (5th Cir. 2001).
District courts “must presume that a suit lies outside
this limited jurisdiction, and the burden of establishing
federal jurisdiction rests on the party seeking the federal
forum.” Id. Plaza is that party here.
federal removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a), allows a
defendant to remove any civil action to federal court if that
action falls within the district court's original
jurisdiction. This case was removed on the basis of diversity
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. A district court
has diversity jurisdiction over “all civil actions
where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of
$75, 000 . . . and is between . . . citizens of different
States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). But to invoke the
statute, the parties must be completely diverse, meaning
“each plaintiff must be of a different citizenship than
each defendant.” Lowe v. Ingalls Shipbuilding, A
Div. of Litton Sys., Inc., 723 F.2d 1173, 1177 (5th Cir.
in-state defendant is improperly joined, a court may
disregard the in-state defendant's citizenship for the
purpose of determining whether there is complete diversity.
Cuevas v. BAC Home Loans Serv., LP, 648 F.3d 242,
249 (5th Cir. 2011). The burden to establish improper joinder
is on the removing party, and it is a heavy one. Id.
establish improper joinder, the removing party must
demonstrate “(1) actual fraud in the pleading of
jurisdictional facts, or (2) inability of the plaintiff to
establish a cause of action against the non-diverse party in
state court.” Smallwood v. Ill. Cent. Ry. Co.,
385 F.3d 568, 573 (5th Cir. 2004). Plaza asserts only the
second method, under which the removing party meets its
burden by showing that “there is no reasonable basis