United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Middle Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS United States District Judge.
August 4, 2017, Defendants Ditech Financial LLC
(“Ditech”) and Mortgage Electronic Registration
Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) (collectively
“Defendants”) removed this case to the Northern
District of Alabama. (Doc. 1). On that day, Defendants also
filed a Motion To Dismiss. (Doc. 3). In response, the Court,
on September 6, 2017, took two actions. First, the Court
stayed the case until ruling on the pending Motion To Remand.
(Doc. 10). Second, the Court issued an Order Requiring
Repleader within 14 days because Plaintiff's Complaint
was a “shotgun pleading.” (Doc. 11).
before the Court is Plaintiff Peeples's Motion To Remand
(the “Remand Motion”) filed on September 5, 2017.
(Doc. 8). Defendants responded on September 15, 2017. (Doc.
12). In Defendants' response, they moved to stay ruling
on the Remand Motion until after Plaintiff files an amended
complaint, and they also argued their opposition to the
Motion. (Id. at 1). To date, Plaintiff has neither
filed a new complaint, nor has he replied to Defendants'
response. Accordingly, this Motion is ripe for review.
issue presented is whether this case meets the amount in
controversy requirement needed to confer federal
jurisdiction. For the reasons herein stated, this Court
determines that it does. Accordingly, the Remand Motion is
Relevant Factual and Procedural Background
case arises from a dispute over a home foreclosure. (Doc. 1-2
at 4-7). The Complaint states nine counts for relief.
(Id. at 7-14). It does not explicitly state a
specific dollar amount in controversy. (See generally
id.). The case was originally filed in the Circuit Court
of St. Clair County, Alabama, on July 5, 2017. (Id.
at 3). The complaint states multiple counts. (Id. at
7-14). Among those claims are quiet title, negligence,
wantonness, wrongful foreclosure, slander of title, placed in
a false light, defamation/libel/slander, and declaratory
Ditech and MERS removed this case to the Northern District of
Alabama on August 4, 2017. (Doc. 1 at 1). The basis for
removal was diversity jurisdiction. (Id. at 2-6).
Although the Defendants do not state as much in their Notice
of Removal, this case was removed under 28 U.S.C. §
1446(b)(1). That statute states:
(b) Requirements; generally.--(1) The notice
of removal of a civil action or proceeding shall be filed
within 30 days after the receipt by the defendant, through
service or otherwise, of a copy of the initial pleading
setting forth the claim for relief upon which such action or
proceeding is based, or within 30 days after the service of
summons upon the defendant if such initial pleading has then
been filed in court and is not required to be served on the
defendant, whichever period is shorter.
(2)(A) When a civil action is removed solely
under section 1441(a), all defendants who have been properly
joined and served must join in or consent to the removal of
(B) Each defendant shall have 30 days after
receipt by or service on that defendant of the initial
pleading or summons described in paragraph (1) to file the
notice of removal.
(C) If defendants are served at different
times, and a later-served defendant files a notice of
removal, any earlier-served defendant may consent to the
removal even though that earlier-served defendant did not
previously initiate or consent to removal.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (c), if
the case stated by the initial pleading is not removable, a
notice of removal may be filed within 30 days after receipt
by the defendant, through service or otherwise, of a copy of
an amended pleading, motion, order or other paper from which
it may first be ascertained that the case is one which is or
has become removable.
28 U.S.C. § 1446(b). Defendants filed the Notice of
Removal within 30 days after being served. (Doc. 1 at 7);
(see also Doc. 1-2 at 21-22). They base their
removal on the complaint filed in state court, not a later
“pleading, motion, order or other paper from which it
may be first ascertained that the case is one which is or has
become removable.” (See generally Doc. 1-2);
see 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(3). This means that it
is a “first paragraph removal case.” See
Smith v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc., No.
7:14-cv-161-SLB, 2014 WL 4793445 at *2 (N.D. Ala. Sept. 25,
allege complete diversity of citizenship. (Doc. 1 at 3-4).
Defendants also allege that this case meets the amount in
controversy requirement. (Id. at 4). However,
Plaintiff argues that this case does ...