United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
T. NEFF, United States District Judge
initiated this case against Defendants, who are proceeding
pro se, in state court to evict Defendants from a particular
piece of real property. Defendants counterclaimed and removed
the case to this Court (Dkt 1). Defendants also filed a
Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, seeking to enjoin
enforcement of any “proceedings, orders, or writs, on
or after 8-24-2016, against [Defendants] and their Homestead
Real Property, pending hearing . . . ” (Dkt 5 at
PageID.302). Plaintiff responded (Dkt 12) and filed a motion
to have the case remanded back to state court (Dkt 10). The
matter was referred to the Magistrate Judge, who issued a
Report and Recommendation (Dkt 20) on August 31, 2016,
recommending that this Court deny Defendants' Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order and grant Plaintiff's Motion
to Remand (id. at PageID.704).
before the Court is Defendants' “Response in
Opposition to Report and Recommendation and Defendants[']
Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Remand
After Removal” (Dkt 28). In accordance with 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3), the Court has
performed de novo consideration of those portions of the
Report and Recommendation to which objections have been made.
The Court denies the objections and issues this Opinion and
Magistrate Judge recommended denying Defendants' Motion
for Temporary Restraining Order (Dkt 5) because Defendants
failed to show that any of the factors relevant to the
determination of injunctive relief weighed in their favor
(Dkt 20 at PageID.702-03). See Samuel v. Herrick
Mem'l Hosp., 201 F.3d 830, 833 (6th Cir. 2000)
(delineating the factors to consider when deciding whether to
grant injunctive relief). Specifically, the Magistrate Judge
held that Defendants presented neither evidence nor argument
suggesting that there exists “any reasonable likelihood
that they can prevail on the merits of the present
action” (Dkt 29 at PageID.703).
their objections, Defendants reiterate their position that
they would succeed on the merits and that they would suffer
irreparable harm absent injunctive relief (Dkt 28 at
PageID.1119). However, Defendants' mere disagreement with
the Magistrate Judge's recommendation does not warrant
its rejection, as Defendants' motion still suffers from
the same deficiencies identified by the Magistrate Judge.
also disagree with the Magistrate Judge's recommendation
that Plaintiff's Motion to Remand should be granted.
Concerning diversity jurisdiction, Defendants assert that
“Plaintiff is from Texas, not Michigan as purported,
and is [n]ot a [b]ank as purported . . . ” (Dkt 28 at
PageID.1118). The Magistrate Judge properly noted that
Defendants are Michigan citizens; thus, they could not remove
the case to this Court (Dkt 20 at PageID.704, citing 28
U.S.C. § 1441(b)(2) (removal based on diversity
jurisdiction not permitted if any defendant “is a
citizen of the State in which such action is
brought”)). Therefore, regardless of Plaintiff's
citizenship, there is no basis for removal based upon
diversity jurisdiction because Defendants dwell in Michigan,
the forum state of the original complaint. The Magistrate
Judge did not err in so concluding.
also assert that federal question jurisdiction exists, citing
to numerous statutes and constitutional provisions upon which
they believe their counterclaim and defenses lie
(see Dkt 28 at passim). Defendants'
assertion lacks merit. “The presence or absence of
federal-question jurisdiction is governed by the
‘well-pleaded complaint rule, ' which provides that
federal jurisdiction exists only when a federal question is
presented on the face of the plaintiff's properly pleaded
complaint.” Rivet v. Regions Bank of
Louisiana, 522 U.S. 470, 475 (1998) (quoting
Caterpiller Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392
(1987)). For removal purposes, courts do not consider
potential defenses or counterclaims. Id. (no
defenses); Holmes Group, Inc. v. Vornado Air Circulation
Sys., Inc., 535 U.S. 826, 832 (2002) (no counterclaims).
Therefore, regardless of Defendants' asserted defenses or
counterclaims, the Magistrate Judge, in considering
Plaintiff's well-pleaded complaint, did not err in
concluding that no federal question exists.
the Court approves and adopts the Report and Recommendation
as its opinion. In doing so, the Court finds Defendants'
Proposed Order (Dkt 29) moot.
IT IS ORDERED that the Objections (Dkt 28) are DENIED and the
Report and Recommendation (Dkt 20) is APPROVED and ADOPTED as
the Opinion of the Court.
FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion to Remand (Dkt
10) is GRANTED, and this matter is REMANDED to ...