United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S EMERGENCY
MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND FOR PRELIMINARY
INJUNCTION TO STAY AND TOLL THE EXPIRATION OF THE REDEMPTION
PERIOD (DKT. 6)
TERRENCE G. BERG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
lawsuit Plaintiff Felecia Donald-Coleman seeks to quiet the
title to a property that Defendant Nationstar Mortgage has
foreclosed upon and Defendant U.S. Bank has purchased at a
sheriff's sale. Plaintiff filed the lawsuit in state
court, and Defendants recently removed the case to this
Court. Plaintiff has filed a motion seeking a temporary
restraining order (TRO) and a preliminary injunction to stay
the redemption period for the property. Defendants oppose the
motion. For the reasons outlined below, Plaintiff's
motion with respect to her request for a TRO is DENIED AS
MOOT and Plaintiff's motion with respect to her request
for a preliminary motion is DENIED.
2005, Plaintiff purchased with her former husband, Alex
Cole-man, property located at 21401 Eastlawn St., Saint Clair
Shores, MI 48080. Dkt. 6-2, Pg. ID 211. They obtained a
mortgage from FMC Capital, LLC. Dkt. 6-2, Pg. ID 228. This
mortgage was then assigned and re-assigned to various
entities, and ultimately belonged to U.S. Bank. Dkt. 6-2, Pg.
ID 221. Nationstar is the servicer of U.S. Bank, meaning
Nationstar was responsible for conducting and supervising the
foreclosure process. Dkt. 6-2, Pg. ID 214.
and Coleman separated in February of 2013 and divorced in
August of 2016. Dkt. 6, Pg. ID 171. They stopped making
payments on the mortgage in November, 2013. Dkt. 1-2, Pg. ID
25.On November 4, 2016-three years after
Plaintiff and Coleman stopped paying their
mortgage-Nationstar sent Plaintiff a letter stating that she
and Coleman were in foreclosure and that a sheriff's sale
was scheduled for December 2, 2016. Dkt. 6-2, Pg. ID 256.
Plaintiff responded (presumably by mail, as that is how the
other communications between the parties took place, but the
record is unclear on this fact) that she was unable to
prevent the sheriff's sale by satisfying her mortgage
obligations because of the divorce litigation. Dkt. 6, Pg.
IDs 171-72. Nationstar went ahead with the foreclosure
anyway, and the sheriff's sale took place on December 2,
2016. Dkt. 6, Pg. IDs 171-72.
notified Plaintiff by mail that the redemption period-six
months during which the property owner can prevent loss of
title to the property by paying the purchaser (in this case,
U.S. Bank) the foreclosure sale price in addition to any
interest, taxes, and insurance costs that accumulated during
the window- would end on June 2, 2017. Dkt. 6-2, Pg. ID 258;
see also Mich. Comp. Law § 600.3240 (creating six-month
through the redemption period (on March 3, 2017), Plaintiff
entered into a Consent Judgment of Divorce in which Plaintiff
and Coleman agreed that he would receive title to the
property (subject to the outstanding mortgage that was in
foreclosure) while she would receive the right to redeem the
property. Dkt. 6-2, Pg. ID 236. Thus if Plaintiff
redeemed the property, Cole-man would be legally obligated to
file a Quit Claim Deed assigning the property to Plaintiff.
Dkt. 6-2, Pg. ID 238.
before the end of the redemption period, Plaintiff filed suit
in Macomb County Circuit Court, seeking to be awarded title
to the property and also seeking an equitable extension of
the redemption period. Dkt. 1-2, Pg. ID 12. Plaintiff also
filed an ex parte motion for a TRO and a preliminary
injunction, Dkt. 6-1, Pg. ID 188, arguing that the redemption
period should have started on March 3, 2017 (the date the
Consent Judgment of Divorce was filed), not December 2, 2016
(the date of the sheriff's sale). Dkt. 6-2, Pg. ID
193-94. The state court issued a TRO and scheduled a hearing
so Defendants could appear and contest Plaintiff's
request for a preliminary injunction. Dkt. 6-1, Pg. ID 200.
then removed the case to this Court, three days before the
hearing would have taken place. Dkt. 1-4, Pg. ID 75. And upon
removal, Plaintiff filed a new motion for a TRO and a
preliminary injunction. Dkt. 6, Pg. ID 161.
Court concludes that oral argument would not help resolve
Plaintiff's motion. So the Court will decide the motion
based solely on the parties' written submissions. See
E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f).
Standard of Review
may issue a TRO or a preliminary injunction pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65. The purpose of a TRO is
to maintain current circumstances between parties-to press
“pause”-until the Court has an opportunity to
determine whether it will issue a preliminary injunction.
See First Tech. Safety Sys. Inc. v. Depinet, 11 F.3d
641, 650 (6th Cir. 1993).
determining whether to issue a preliminary injunction, the
Court considers and balances four factors: “(1) whether
the mo-vant has a strong likelihood of success on the merits;
(2) whether the movant would otherwise suffer irreparable
injury; (3) whether issuance of a preliminary injunction
would cause substantial harm to others; and (4) whether
public interest would be served by issuance of a preliminary
injunction.” Summit County Democratic Central and
Executive Committee v. Blackwell, 388 F.3d 547, 550 (6th
Cir. 2004) (internal quotations omitted).
Court must make a finding on each of the four factors unless
consideration of fewer factors so clearly resolves the motion
that additional findings would not change the outcome.
Six Clinics Holding Corp., II v. Cafcomp Systems,
Inc., 119 F.3d 393, 399 (6th Cir. 1997). For example, a
finding that there is “simply no likelihood of success
on the merits” is generally sufficient to end the
inquiry. O'Toole v. O'Connor, 802 F.3d 783,
788 (6th Cir. 2015).
has requested both a TRO and a preliminary injunction. Dkt.
6, Pg. ID 161. The Court will address each request
separately, starting with the request for a TRO.
Temporary Restraining Order
take the position that the state court's TRO expired by
its own terms on June 16, 2017, which was 14 days after the
date it was entered by Macomb County Circuit Judge Kathryn
Viviano, on June 2, 2017. Dkt. 6-1, Pg. ID 200-01. Under
Michigan Court Rule 3.310(B)(3), a TRO endures for only 14
days unless it is extended by the court. But the problem with
Defendants' position is that they removed the case to
federal court on June 16, 2017- the 14th day of
the state court-issued TRO, the last day when it was still in
effect. Once a case has been removed to federal court,
federal procedural law takes the place of state procedural
law. See Granny Goose Food Inc. v. Brotherhood of
Teamsters and Auto Truck Drivers Local No. 70 of Alameda
County, 415 U.S. 423 (1974). And under federal
procedural law, “[a]ll injunctions, orders, and other
proceedings had in such action prior to its removal shall
remain in full force and effect until dissolved or modified
by the district court.” 28 U.S.C. § 1450.
Defendants elected to remove the case before the TRO expired,
and before the state court could hold ...