United States District Court, W.D. Texas, Austin Division
PHILIP O. EMIABATA and SYLVIA EMIABATA, Plaintiffs,
THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON TRUST COMPANY N.A./J.P. MORGAN CHASE BANK, SPECIALIZED LOAN SERVICING SLS; JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, WASHINGTON MUTUAL BANK BSI; and AVAIL I. LLC, Defendants.
SPARKS, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
REMEMBERED on this day the Court reviewed the file in the
above-styled cause, and specifically Plaintiffs Philip and
Sylvia Emiabata's Complaint [#1], the United States
Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation [#3], and
the Emiabatas' Objections [#4]. Having reviewed the
documents, the governing law, and the file as a whole, the
Court enters the following.
complaint was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Mark
Lane for report and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b) and Rule 1 of Appendix C of the Local Court
Rules of the United States District Court for the Western
District of Texas, Local Rules for the Assignment of Duties
to United States Magistrate Judges. Plaintiffs are entitled
to de novo review of the portions of the Magistrate
Judge's report to which they filed specific objections.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). All other review is for plain
error. Douglass v. United Servs. Auto. Ass 'n,
79 F.3d 1415, 1428-29 (5th Cir. 1996) (en banc). A
party's failure to timely file written objection to the
proposed findings, conclusions, and recommendation in a
Report and Recommendation bars that party, except upon
grounds of plain error, from attacking on appeal the
unobjected-to proposed factual findings and legal conclusions
accepted by the District Court. See Douglass v. United
Services Auto. Ass 'n, 79 F.3d 1415 (5th Cir. 1996)
have raised two objections. First, the Emiabatas argue the
Magistrate Judge erred in dismissing for lack of jurisdiction
because complete diversity exists. Objs. R. & R. [#4] at
6. Second, the Emiabatas argue they have pled sufficient
facts to state a claim for relief. Id. In light of
these objections, the Court has undertaken a de novo
review of the entire case file in this cause.
Court will first address whether federal jurisdiction exists
over the Emiabatas' claims. It will then turn to the
Emiabatas' contention they have stated a claim for
courts have diversity jurisdiction over civil actions between
citizens of different States, where the amount in controversy
exceeds $75, 000.00. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). The Supreme
Court has interpreted this statute to require "complete
diversity"-that is, the citizenship of every plaintiff
must be different from that of every defendant.
Caterpillar Inc. v. Lewis, 519 U.S. 61, 68 (1996).
For purposes of diversity jurisdiction, a corporation is a
citizen of both its state of incorporation and the state in
which its principal place of business is located.
Id. § 1332(c)(1).
Emiabatas have not met their burden of pleading diversity
jurisdiction. While the Emiabatas allege they are citizens of
Texas, they have not established their citizenship is
different from that of every defendant. Objs. R. & R.
[#4] at 6. The Emiabatas allege each of the defendants is
incorporated in a state other than Texas. Id.
However, the Emiabatas have failed to allege these Defendants
have a principal place of business in a state other than
Texas. See Compl. [#1] at 2; Objs. R. & R. [#4]
at 6. Since the Emiabatas fail to allege complete diversity,
they do not meet their burden of pleading and this Court
lacks diversity jurisdiction.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
the Emiabatas do not object to the Magistrate Judge's
analysis of subject matter jurisdiction, the Court will
nevertheless assess whether subject matter jurisdiction
circumstances, the absence of a valid cause of action does
not implicate subject matter jurisdiction. Steel Co. v.
Citizens for a Better Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 89 (1998).
A court may dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
based on the inadequacy of the federal claim only when the
claim is "so insubstantial, implausible, foreclosed by
prior decisions of [the Supreme Court], or otherwise
completely devoid of merit as not to involve a federal
controversy." Id. (internal quotation marks and
citations omitted); see also Till v. Unifirst Fed. Sav.
& Loan Ass 'n, 653 F.2d 152, 155 n.2 (5th Cir.
Unit A Aug. 1981) ("[I]t has long been recognized that
where a plaintiff asserts that a private right of action is
implied from federal law, federal courts do have the
requisite subject matter jurisdiction to determine whether
such a federal remedy exists."); Bell v. Health-Mor,
Inc., 549 F.2d 342, 344-45 (5th Cir. 1977).
many of the instant claims are so devoid of merit as to not
create a federal controversy, the Emiabatas have brought at