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Sawyer v. Dimon

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

February 28, 2019

JAMES DIMON, ET AL., Defendants.




         On May 16, 2018, Plaintiff Shonnon Sawyer filed a pro se civil complaint, titled “Complaint for Failure to Answer RESPA/QWR Fraud” [Doc. #1]. He names as Defendants JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) and the Directors and Officers of Chase: James Dimon (President), Marianne Lake (CFO), and otherwise unnamed Directors. Before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2) filed by Defendants Dimon, Lake, and Directors William C. Weldon, Lee R. Raymond, Michael Neal, Laban P. Jackson, Jr., Mellody Hobson, Timothy P. Flynn, Stephen B. Burke, James S. Crown, James A. Bell, Todd A. Combs, and Linda B. Bammann (the “Director Defendants”) [Doc. #11], [1] which has been referred for a Report and Recommendation under 28 U.S.C. sc 636(b)(1)(B). For the reasons discussed below, I recommend that the motion be GRANTED, and that these Defendants be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.


         Plaintiff's complaint is a bit hard to follow. However, it does appear to allege a violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”). Attached to the complaint is a December 21, 2017 letter from Plaintiff to Chase “directors, President, CFO and Registered Agents, ” addressed to P.O. Box 183210, Columbus, OH 43218-3210, stating that it is a Qualified Written Request (“QWR”) for information regarding a mortgage loan, Account No. 1040298396. Complaint [Doc. #1], Pg. ID 13-15. Plaintiff's specific statement of his claim is brief, and reads as follows:

“My name is Mr. Shonnon Sawyer and I am a regular consumer. I wanted to purchase a house. I thought I was suppose to receive a loan in exchange for the Deed and my Note. that never transpired. I continued to ask JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A. to give me, under penalty of perjury, the front and back copy of the loan check and they refuse. I want my Deed, Note and the lien released on my property. I also want all my payments, plus interest and 1.5 million doallars for the fraud committed against me. JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A. failure to respond as I require them to respond, is considered not an answer to my required request. If they can't answer my questions the way I demand of them, then their responses don't count towards my demands. All of their communications are non-responsive because they refuse to answer under penalty of perjury and refuse to respond with signed communications that I require. They also refuse to affirm communications under penalty of perjury and that's evidence of their theft, fraud and deceit. I also want an Injunctive and Declaratory relief to prevent record tampering.” Id. Pg. ID 3.

         The Plaintiff further added in the “Statement of Claim” section of the printed pro se form, Pg. ID 8:

“I never received a loan in exchange for my Deed and Note. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. refuse under penalty of perjury to give me the front and back copy of the loan check. JPMCBNA also attempts to transfer servicing rights to evade me.” In their motion [Doc. #11], the Director Defendants seek dismissal under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2), on the basis that the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over them.


         Fed.R. Civ.P. 12(b)(2) permits the Court to dismiss an action for lack of personal jurisdiction. A plaintiff must plead facts establishing personal jurisdiction over the defendants, and the plaintiff has the burden of making at least a prima facie showing of personal jurisdiction. See Neogen Corp. v. Neo Gen Screening, Inc., 282 F.3d 883, 887 (6th Cir. 2002); Kerry Steel, Inc. v. Paragon Indust., Inc., 106 F.3d 147, 149 (6th Cir. 1997). “Without personal jurisdiction over an individual...a court lacks all jurisdiction to adjudicate that party's right, whether or not the court has valid subject matter jurisdiction.” Friedman v. Estate of Presser, 929 F.2d 1151, 1156 (6th Cir. 1991).


         “[P]ersonal jurisdiction over a defendant exists ‘if the defendant is amenable to service of process under the [forum] state's long-arm statute and if the exercise of personal jurisdiction would not deny the defendants due process.'” Bird v. Parsons, 289 F.3d 865, 871 (6th Cir. 2002)(quoting Michigan Coalition of Radioactive Material Users, Inc. v. Griepentrog, 954 F.2d 1174, 1176 (6th Cir. 1992)). “The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment limits the power of a state court to exert personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant.” Asahi Metal Industry Co., Ltd. v. Superior Court of California, Solano County, 480 U.S. 102, 108-09 (1987). “‘[T]he constitutional touchstone' of the determination whether an exercise of personal jurisdiction comports with due process ‘remains whether the defendant purposefully established ‘minimum contacts' in the forum State.'” Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 474 (1985) (quoting International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945)).

         There are two kinds of personal jurisdiction within the Due Process inquiry: (1) general personal jurisdiction, where the Defendant has either consented to the state's jurisdiction, is incorporated within the state, or has continuous and systematic contacts with the forum state; and (2) specific jurisdiction, where the claim only arises from or relates to the Defendant's contacts with the forum state. Fortis Corp. Ins. v. Viken Ship Mgmt., 450 F.3d 214, 218 (6th Cir. 2006). See M.C.L. § 600.701. In Kerry Steel, Inc., 106 F.3d at149, the Sixth Circuit explained:

“ Personal jurisdiction comes in two flavors: ‘general' jurisdiction, which depends on a showing that the defendant has continuous and systematic contacts with the forum state sufficient to justify the state's exercise of judicial power with respect to any and all claims the plaintiff may have against the defendant, and ‘specific' jurisdiction, which exposes the defendant to suit in the forum state only on claims that ‘arise out of or relate to' a defendant's contacts with the forum. Helicopteros Nacionales deColombia S.A., v. ...

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