United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION ORDER
J. BOYLE UMTED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration. Doc.
19. For the reasons that follow, the Court
DENIES the motion.
James and Cheryl Douglas are in the process of being evicted
from their home after defaulting on their mortgage. Doc. 19,
Mot. for Recons., 1. In May 2017, Defendant Wells Fargo Bank
N.A. (Wells Fargo) purchased the Douglases' home at a
foreclosure sale. Doc. 14, Pls.' Br. in Supp., 6. Wells
Fargo later conveyed the home to former Defendant
Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA). Id.
Defendant Vendor Resource Management (VRM), the VA's
agent, obtained from the Justice of the Peace Court of Dallas
County a forcible-detainer judgment entitling VRM to
possession of the home. Id. The Douglases appealed
the judgment to the Dallas County Court at Law. Id.
The eviction trial in that court was scheduled for November
2017. Id. The Douglases filed this suit in August
2017 in state court, which granted the Douglases'
temporary restraining order preventing their eviction.
Id. The Defendants removed the case to this Court on
September 22, 2017. Doc. 1. On October 27, 2017, the
Douglases moved the Court for a temporary restraining order
and preliminary injunction to stop the parallel state-court
eviction proceedings. Doc. 13. But the Court denied the
Douglases' motion because the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA)
prevents federal courts from enjoining state-court
proceedings, and because the Douglases did not argue any of
the AIA's exceptions applied. Doc. 17, Order, 3. The
Douglases filed a motion for reconsideration, arguing that
the necessary-in-aid-of-jurisdiction exception to the AIA
applies. Doc. 19, Mot. for Recons., 2-3. Their motion is ripe
before the Court.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not explicitly provide
for motions for reconsideration, but courts rule on motions
for reconsideration under Rules 54(b), 59, and 60. Menlo
Inv. Grp., LLC v. Fought, No. 3:12-CV-4182-K BF, 2015 WL
547343, at *3 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 5, 2015). A request to
reconsider an interlocutory order, such as an order denying a
motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary
injunction, falls under Rule 54(b). See Cabral v.
Brennan, 853 F.3d 763, 766 (5th Cir. 2017). So Rule
54(b) applies here.
Rule 54(b), the Court may “reconsider and reverse its
decision for any reason it deems sufficient, even in the
absence of new evidence or an intervening change in or
clarification of the substantive law.” Lavespere v.
Niagara Mach. & Tool Works, Inc., 910 F.2d 167, 185
(5th Cir. 1990), abrogated on other grounds by Little v.
Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069 (5th Cir. 1994).
Douglases assert that the Court should enjoin the state
court's proceedings in spite of the AIA because they
qualify for AIA's necessary-in-aid-of-jurisdiction
exception . Doc. 19, Mot. for Recons., 2-3; see also
28 U.S.C. § 2283. They argue the
necessary-in-aid-of-jurisdiction exception applies to
“quasi-in-rem” cases. Doc. 19, Mot. for Recons.,
2-3. A qausi-in-rem case, they say, is one that involves the
rights of a property located in the Court's jurisdiction.
Id. at 3 n.1. And they argue this is a qausi-in-rem
case because it will determine the parties' rights to the
home. Id. at 3.
necessary-in-aid-of-jurisdiction exception applies where a
state court proceeding “threatens to dispose of
property that forms the basis for federal in rem
jurisdiction.” Texas v. United States, 837
F.2d 184, 186 n.4 (5th Cir. 1988). But the exception only
works if the federal court acquired jurisdiction over the res
before the state court did. Mitchum v. Foster, 407
U.S. 225 (1972) (explaining that the exception allows
“a federal court to ...