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Order to Remand Case to State Court

Order to Remand Case to State Court

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Published by Barbara Forde
Order granting plaintiff's motion to remand foreclosure suit to state court based on abstention principles
Order granting plaintiff's motion to remand foreclosure suit to state court based on abstention principles

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Published by: Barbara Forde on Dec 08, 2010
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11/18/2012

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A motion (Doc. 12) to dismiss Quality Loan Service Corporationas a party to this matter and Defendants’ motion to strike (Doc. 8)are also pending.
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA BARBARA J. FORDE, ))Plaintiff,) CIV 10-01922 PHX ME)v.) ORDE)FIRST HORIZON HOME LOAN)CORPORATION, METLIFE HOME )LOANS, BANK OF NEW YORK) MELLON, MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC )REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC.,)QUALITY LOAN SERVICE )CORPORATION,))Defendants.) _____________________________)
All of the parties to this matter have agreed tomagistrate judge jurisdiction over the proceedings, includingthe entry of final judgment. Before the Court is Plaintiff’smotion (Doc. 10) to remand this matter to the state court.
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 On August 3, 2010, Plaintiff, proceeding
 pro se
, fileda complaint to quiet title to real property in the MaricopaCounty Superior Court. Plaintiff also alleged Defendants wereliable to her for monetary damages based on Defendants’ breachof contract. The complaint further asserted causes of action
Case 2:10-cv-01922-MEA Document 27 Filed 12/06/10 Page 1 of 11
 
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based on negligence and fraud. The claims derive from a$650,000 residential home loan to Plaintiff from First HorizonHome Loan Corporation. The complaint filed in state court alsosought injunctive relief, i.e., to vacate a substitution oftrustee and assignment of deed of trust and Notice of Trustee’sSale.On September 20, 2010, Defendants Metlife Home Loans,Bank of New York Mellon, First Horizon Home Loans, and MortgageElectronic Registration Systems Incorporated, filed a Notice ofRemoval in this Court. Defendants assert complete diversity ofthe parties and the amount in controversy as the sole basis forthe Court’s jurisdiction over the complaint filed by Plaintiffin state Superior Court. On September 22, 1010, theseDefendants filed a motion to strike the complaint filed in thestate Superior Court, citing Rules 8(a)(2) and (d)(1) of theFederal Rules of Civil Procedure.Plaintiff filed a motion to remand her suit to thestate court on September 24, 2010, arguing that Defendantsfailed to comply with the technical requirements for removal.Defendants filed a response to the motion to remand (Doc. 13).In her reply to the response to her motion to remand, Plaintiffconcedes that Defendants have met the technical requirements forremoval, but Plaintiff now contends that the case should beremanded to the state court because of the nature of the causesof action. SeeDoc. 22. The Court notes that no party to thismatter indicates there are or have been federal questions inthis matter which would confer jurisdiction on a basis other
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than diversity.The Court concludes judicial economy, fairness, comity,the existence of novel issues under Arizona law, and thenecessity for the Court to interpret Arizona state statutesweigh heavily in favor of the Court declining jurisdiction overthis matter. Remand at this time will reduce litigation costsand eliminate any need to certify novel state-law issues to theArizona Supreme Court or speculate how the Arizona Supreme Courtwould rule on those issues.The Court acknowledges that it has a “virtuallyunflagging obligation” to exercise its jurisdiction. ColoradoRiver Water Conservation Dist. v. United States, 424 U.S. 800,817-18, 96 S. Ct. 1236, 1246-47 (1976). The United StatesDistrict Courts have an obligation and a duty to decide casesproperly before them, and “[a]bstention from the exercise offederal jurisdiction is the exception, not the rule.” Id., 424U.S. at 813, 96 S. Ct. at 1244. However, in certain exceptionalcircumstances, the Court can and should decline to exercisejurisdiction. “Pragmatic considerations of judicial efficiency,as well as reasons of comity between federal and state courts”,have led the United States Supreme Court to construct severalabstention doctrines. Hanlin Grp., Inc. v. Power Auth. of theState of New York, 703 F. Supp. 305, 307 (S.D.N.Y. 1989).A District Court may abstain from consideration of themerits of a diversity case because of unclear state law.Railroad Comm’n of Texas v. Pullman Co., 312 U.S. 496, 499-500,61 S. Ct. 643, 644-45 (1941); Louisiana Power & Light Co. v.
Case 2:10-cv-01922-MEA Document 27 Filed 12/06/10 Page 3 of 11

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