United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
T. NEFF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
proceeding pro se, filed this action against Bank of America,
N.A. (“Bank of America”) and ten “John
Does” in state court, seeking to challenge, for at
least the third time, the foreclosure and sale of certain
real property. Bank of America removed the matter to this
Court and moved to dismiss this case based on res judicata
grounds. Plaintiff has moved to remand the case back to state
court. The matter was referred to the Magistrate Judge, who
issued a Report and Recommendation (R&R, ECF No. 17),
recommending that this Court deny Plaintiff's motion,
grant Bank of America's motion, dismiss Plaintiff's
claims against the unidentified Doe defendants for failure to
timely effect service, and terminate this action. The matter
is presently before the Court on Plaintiff's objections
to the Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 18), to which Bank
of America has filed a response (ECF No. 19). 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 Order.
first objects to the recommended denial of his motion to
remand, which was based on the purported lack of diversity
between Plaintiff and Bank of America. Federal district
courts have original jurisdiction over “all civil
actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or
value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is
between ... citizens of different states.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(a). See also 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a)
(authorizing removal of cases from state to federal court).
Plaintiff argues that “Bank of America, N.A. has branch
offices in Michigan and therefore, diversity jurisdiction
does not apply” (Objs., ECF No. 18 at PageID.382).
However, as the Magistrate Judge properly explained, complete
diversity exists in this matter where Plaintiff is a citizen
of Michigan and Bank of America's primary place
of business is in North Carolina (R&R, ECF No. 17 at
PageID.376 [emphasis added]).
also argues that the amount-in-controversy requirement for
diversity jurisdiction is not satisfied in this case (Objs.,
ECF No. 18 at PageID.382-384). Plaintiff's argument lacks
merit. Although Plaintiff did not identify a sum certain in
his state-court complaint, the object of his complaint is a
mortgage loan on the subject property in the amount of $134,
400.00 (Compl. ¶ 88, ECF No. 1 at PageID.29, 35). As
this Court has previously stated, the amount-in-controversy
requirement is satisfied where the complaint sets forth facts
from which an amount in controversy well in excess of $75,
000.00 can be ascertained. Barnhart v. Nationstar Mortg.,
LLC, No. 1:15-cv-627, 2016 WL 424699, at *2 (W.D. Mich.
Feb. 4, 2016), aff'd sub nom. Barnhart v. Nationstar
Mortg., LLC, et al. (Feb. 29, 2016). Plaintiff's
objection is properly denied.
Plaintiff objects to the Magistrate Judge's
recommendation to grant Bank of America's motion to
dismiss. However, Plaintiff's “objection”
merely restates, nearly verbatim, the arguments he set forth
in his response in opposition to Bank of America's motion
to dismiss (ECF No. 15). His objection does not address, let
alone demonstrate error in, the Magistrate Judge's res
judicata analysis. See W.D. Mich. LCivR 72.3(b)
(requiring an objecting party to “specifically identify
the portions of the proposed findings, recommendations or
report to which objections are made and the basis for such
objections”). The Court determines that the Magistrate
Judge carefully and thoroughly considered the record, the
parties' arguments, and the law governing Plaintiff's
claims. For the reasons stated in the Report and
Recommendation, the Court agrees that Bank of America is
entitled to the dismissal it seeks. This objection is also
having determined that Plaintiff's objections are
properly denied, this Court adopts the Magistrate Judge's
Report and Recommendation as the Opinion of this Court,
including the Magistrate Judge's recommendation to
dismiss the ten unidentified John Does for failure to timely
effect service. As this Opinion and Order resolves all
pending claims, the Court will also enter a Judgment.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 58. Accordingly:
IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Objections (ECF No. 18)
are DENIED and the Report and Recommendation of the
Magistrate Judge (ECF No. 17) is APPROVED and ADOPTED as the
Opinion of the Court.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion to
Remand (ECF No. 11) is DENIED.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant Bank of America
N.A.'s Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 10) is GRANTED.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's claims
against the ten unidentified John Does are DISMISSED ...