United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE
M. BORDEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the court is the Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a
Claim (Doc. 58) filed by Defendant Garden City Group, LLC
(“Garden City Group”). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1) this case was referred to the undersigned
United States Magistrate Judge for consideration and
disposition or recommendation on all pretrial matters as may
be appropriate. Doc. 6.
February 21, 2018, Plaintiff Rickey Lett (“Lett”)
filed this lawsuit, claiming that Garden City Group defrauded
him. See Doc. 1. He has been given a number of
opportunities to amend his allegations and has filed amended
complaints on March 7, 2018 (Doc. 8); April 2, 2018 (Doc.
17); and April 13, 2018 (Doc. 21). These complaints did not
address all of the court's concerns, so the court held a
hearing and ordered Lett to file yet another amended
complaint, which he did on June 11, 2018. Doc. 38.
13, 2018, the court entered an Order requiring Lett to comply
with Rules 8 and 10 of the Rules of Civil Procedure by more
specifically setting forth his claims and noting certain
pleading deficiencies with respect to his most recent
complaint. Doc. 49 at 4. The court ordered Lett to separate
each count for relief and to omit references to an invasion
of privacy and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act (“RICO”) if he intends to bring
only a fraud claim; to set forth allegations of fact material
to each of the elements of his claims; to allege facts
establishing reasonable reliance for purposes of the fraud
claim; and not to incorporate by reference all factual
allegations into every count if he pleads more than one
count. Doc. 49 at 4. In response, Lett filed the amended
complaint which is the subject of the pending motion to
dismiss. Doc. 53.
receipt of the motion to dismiss, this court entered an Order
allowing Lett until August 30, 2018 to file a response. Doc.
60. Lett has not filed a response to the motion to dismiss as
of the date of this recommendation.
careful consideration of the record and the applicable law,
the undersigned RECOMMENDS that the motion to dismiss (Doc.
58) be GRANTED and that Lett's claims be DISMISSED.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
alleges that Crawford & Company is a member of Garden
City Group located in Atlanta, Georgia. Doc. 53. In its
Answer, Garden City Group admits that it is a Delaware
limited liability company with its principal place of
business in New York, and that its sole member is Crawford
& Company, a Georgia corporation with a principal place
of business in Georgia. Doc. 59 at 2. Lett is a citizen of
Alabama. Doc. 53. Lett seeks more than $75, 000, exclusive of
interest and costs. Doc. 53 at 2. The court therefore has
diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The
parties do not contest personal jurisdiction or venue, and
the court finds adequate allegations to support both.
alleges in his amended complaint that he received a legal
notice from Garden City Group informing him that he was
included in a class action lawsuit. Doc. 53. The lawsuit
covered a class of persons who had mortgages serviced by
Wells Fargo from August 1, 2004 to December 31, 2013. Doc. 53
at 8. Lett alleges that within this notice Garden City Group
knowingly made a statement that was an intentional
misrepresentation that he would be paid $10, 000. Doc. 53 at
6. He attached the class notice to his amended complaint.
Doc. 53 at 8. Lett also alleges that Garden City Group
induced him to rely on the false statement. Doc. 53 at 5.
notice attached to the amended complaint states that
The settlement with Wells Fargo involves a total payment of
$25, 750, 000. After deductions for costs of settlement
administration and notice, class representative service
awards, and attorneys' fees and expenses, the remainder
(the “Net Settlement Fund”) will be distributed
to Class Members.
Doc. 53 at 8. The notice also states:
The Honorable Robert W. Pratt will hold a hearing in the
case, known as Young v. Wells Fargo & Co. Case
No. 4:08-CV-507 RP-CFB, on January 21, 2016, at 10:00 am, at
the United States District Court, Southern District of Iowa,
Central Division, U.S. District Courthouse, 123 East Walnut
Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309, to consider whether to
approve the settlement, attorneys' fees of up to 33-1/3 %
of the $25, 750, 000 settlement, reimbursement for lawsuit
costs and ...