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Krishnan v. JP Morgan Chase Bank

United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Sherman Division

May 30, 2019

MURALIDHARAN KRISHNAN and INDIRAGANDHI KENTHAPADI, Plaintiffs,
v.
JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          RON CLARK, SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE

         Came on for consideration the Report of the United States Magistrate Judge in this action, this matter having been referred to the United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636. Before the court is Plaintiffs Muralidharan Krishnan and Indiragandhi Kenthapadi's (together, “Plaintiffs”) Motion for Rule 60 Relief (“Rule 60 Motion”) (Dkt. #170). Defendant JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) filed a response (Dkt. #175), Defendant Barrett Daffin Frappier Truner & Engel, LLP, Grep Bertrand, Deac Caufield, and Alison Grant (together, the “DTFTE Defendants”) filed a response (Dkt. #181), and Plaintiffs filed a reply (Dkt. #184).

         On December 18, 2018, the Magistrate Judge entered the Order and Report and Recommendation (the “Report”) (Dkt. #188), which recommended Plaintiffs' Rule 60 Motion (Dkt. #170) be denied. Plaintiffs filed objections to the Report (the “Objections”) (Dkt. #192). The Court has made a de novo review of the Objections and is of the opinion that the findings and conclusions of the Magistrate Judge are correct and the Objections are without merit as to the ultimate findings of the Magistrate Judge. The Court hereby adopts the findings and conclusions of the Magistrate Judge as the findings and conclusions of the Court.

         Also pending before the Court are Plaintiffs' Motions for Referral to the United States Attorney's Office (“Motion for Referral”) (Dkt. #172) and Plaintiffs' Motion for Judicial Transcripts in Other Case (“Motion for Transcripts”) (Dkt. #173). In the Report, the Magistrate Judge denied the Motion for Referral and the Motion for Transcripts (Dkt. #188).

         The Court has reviewed the Magistrate Judge's Order on the Motion for Referral (Dkt. #172) and Motion for Transcripts (Dkt. #173) and is of the opinion that the Order is not clearly erroneous and will therefore not be set aside. See D2L Ltd. v. Armstrong, 2013 WL 12184297, at *1 (E.D. Tex. June 24, 2013) (“The Court may modify or set aside a Magistrate Judge's order only if it is clearly erroneous or contrary to law.”).

         Finally, pending before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Rule 11 Sanctions against Defendants, Counsel, and Law Firms (Dkt. #191) and Motion for Rule 11 Sanctions against Treyson Brooks (Dkt. #193) (together, the “Rule 11 Motions”).[1] The BDFTE Defendants filed a response (Dkt. #194), Chase filed responses (Dkts. #197, #198), Plaintiffs filed a reply (Dkt. #199), and the BDFTE Defendants filed a sur-reply (Dkt. #200). For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs' Rule 11 Motions are hereby DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs filed suit to avoid or delay foreclosure of the property located at 8528 Maltby Court in Plano, Texas (the “Property”). See Dkt. #117. On August 26, 2015, Plaintiffs filed their Original Petition and Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Temporary Injunction in the 416th Judicial District Court of Collin County, Texas. See Dkt. #3. Chase removed the action to this Court on September 16, 2015. Dkt. #1. On February 16, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint (Dkt. #48). On March 2, 2016, the Court received notice that Plaintiffs had filed bankruptcy (see Dkt. #57), and on March 7, 2016, the Court stayed the case pending resolution of Plaintiffs' bankruptcy proceeding. See Dkt. #64. Plaintiffs' bankruptcy case was resolved, and the stay was lifted on June 7, 2017. See Dkt. #91. After the stay was lifted, Defendants filed motions to dismiss (Dkts. #92, #94). On August 14, 2017, Plaintiffs filed the Second Amended Complaint (the “Complaint”) (Dkt. #117), which is the operative Complaint in this action. As such, the Court denied the previous motions to dismiss as moot. See Dkt. #119.

         Chase subsequently filed a Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. #118), which was granted on December 1, 2017. See Dkt. #163. Defendants Barrett Daffin Frappier Turner & Engel, LLP, Greg Bertrand, Deac Caufield, and Alison Grant (collectively, the “BDFTE Defendants”) filed a Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. #120), which was granted on December 1, 2017.[2] See Dkt. #163. Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (Dkt. #124) which was denied. See Dkt. #163.

         Plaintiffs appealed the final judgment to the Fifth Circuit. See Dkt. #167. On April 2, 2019, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the District Court's ruling and ordered Plaintiffs to pay to Defendants the costs on appeal. See Krishnan v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., 17-41286, Dkts. #00514897920, #00514897889 (unpublished).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b), a court, “on motion and just terms . . . may relieve a party from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for . . . fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party [or if] the judgment is void.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(3)-(4). To prevail on a motion to set aside judgment, a party must show “good cause.” Meaux Servs., Inc. v. Dao, 160 F.R.D. 563, 564 (E.D. Tex. 1995). “A judgment will not be reopened if the evidence is merely cumulative or impeaching and would not have changed the result.” Hesling v. CSX Transp., Inc., 396 F.3d 632, 639 (5th Cir. 2005)

         III. DISCUSSION

         As the Court and the Magistrate Judge have previously noted, Plaintiffs' filings are vague, convoluted, and confusing, making it difficult for the Court to discern Plaintiffs' arguments. Additionally, Plaintiffs do not limit the subject of each filing to a single topic or motion; to the contrary, Plaintiffs' pending motions re-urge issues previously raised in their Rule 60 Motion. See Dkts. #171, #179, #185, #189, #191, #193, #197-99. The Court has reviewed Plaintiffs' pro se pleadings, attachments, and the docket in detail and addresses Plaintiffs' objections below.

         A. OBJECTIONS TO THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION (DKT. #192) Objection One

          Plaintiffs argue that the Magistrate Judge erred in recommending Plaintiffs' Rule 60 Motion be denied. See Dkt. #96. Many of Plaintiffs' objections are related and arise out of the same underlying premise: Plaintiffs allege fraud occurred because Chase employees Bubba Fangman (“Fangman”) and Myrtle Cox (“Cox”) signed in the capacity of “vice presidents” of Chase, but, on a day-to-day basis during their employment with Chase, they held other job titles. See Dkt. #170 at 3; see also Dkt. #192. Because the documents Fangman and Cox signed were considered by former Magistrate Judge Don Bush prior to entry of the earlier report and recommendation (Dkt. #138), Plaintiffs allege that all attorneys representing Defendants, Defendants themselves, and Judge Bush, as well as some other individuals who work with Defendants' attorneys, committed fraud, which requires that the final judgment be set aside. See id.; see also Dkts. #171, #179. Plaintiffs further pursue sanctions motions against several of these individuals. See Dkts. #191, #193.

         The Court finds no error in the Magistrate Judge's recommendation that the Rule 60 Motion should be denied, as the “new evidence” Plaintiffs presented is neither new nor alters the outcome of ...


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