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Good v. Prof-2013-S3 Legal Title Trust IV

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

January 8, 2018

ANTHONY GOOD, Plaintiff,
v.
PROF-2013-S3 LEGAL TITLE TRUST IV, BY U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS LEGAL TITLE TRUSTEE, FAY SERVICING, LLC, WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, ARIS COOK, and COUCH ENTERPRISES, LP, Defendants.

          FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          DAVID L. HORAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This case has been referred to the undersigned United States magistrate judge for pretrial management under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and a standing order of reference from Chief Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn.

         Plaintiff Anthony Good has filed a Motion to Remand. See Dkt. No. 12. Defendants Fay Servicing, LLC (“Fay Servicing”), Prof-2013-S3 Legal Title Trust IV, by U.S. Bank, National Association, Trustee (“U.S. Bank”), Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells Fargo”), Couch Enterprises, LP (“Couch”), and Aris Cook filed responses in opposition. See Dkt. Nos. 22, 23, & 24.

         Good has not filed a reply, and his time to do so has passed. See N.D. Tex. L. Civ. R. 7.1(f).

         For the reasons explained below, the Court should deny Plaintiff Anthony Good's Motion to Remand [Dkt. No. 12].

         Background

         Good filed Plaintiff's Original Petition in state court, asserting claims against Wells Fargo, Fay Servicing, and U.S. Bank for violating both the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), 12 U.S.C. §§ 2601 & 2605, and the Texas Debt Collection Act (“TDCA”), Tex. Fin. Code § 392.001 et seq., as well as for wrongful foreclosure and/or suit to set aside trustee's deed and negligent misrepresentation. He also asserted claims against Couch for suit to quiet title and trespass to try title and alleged that he joined Cook as a necessary party. See Dkt. No. 1-7.

         Wells Fargo removed the case under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1367(a), 1441, and 1446, with the written consent of Fay Servicing, U.S. Bank, Couch, and Cook. See Dkt. Nos. 1, 1-4, 1-5, & 1-6. Wells Fargo asserts that this Court has federal question subject-matter jurisdiction because Good alleges a violation of RESPA, which “expressly grants this Court original jurisdiction to hear such a claim, ” such that Good “alleges violations of federal law, and his right to relief will necessarily depend upon the resolution of federal law.” Id. at 4.

         Good moves to remand because “Congress never provided federal courts with exclusive jurisdiction over RESPA claims” and “has instead expressly provided for concurrent jurisdiction in state courts for claims under 12 U.S.C. § 2605” and, “[m]oreover, because Good's claims arise out of an attempted, improper foreclosure - an issue traditionally better suited for state court proceedings, the case is tailor-made for remand under the abstention doctrine, thereby allowing a Texas state court to properly adjudicate the wrongful foreclosure of Texas real property.” Dkt. No. 12 at 2.

         Legal Standards

         A defendant may remove “any civil action brought in a State court of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a).

         Statutes that authorize removal are meant to be strictly construed, and any doubt as to the propriety of removal should be resolved in favor of remand. See Hood ex rel. Miss. v. JP Morgan Chase & Co., 737 F.3d 78, 89 (5th Cir. 2013); In re Hot-Hed Inc., 477 F.3d 320, 323 (5th Cir. 2007).

         The removing party bears the burden of establishing jurisdiction. See Miller v. Diamond Shamrock Co., 275 F.3d 414, 417 (5th Cir. 2001).

         A federal court's jurisdiction is limited, and federal courts generally may hear only a case of this nature if it involves a question of federal law or where diversity of citizenship exists between the parties. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332. “As a general rule, absent diversity jurisdiction, a case will not be removable if the complaint does not ...


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