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Meppelink v. Wilmington Savings Fund Society FSB

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

September 10, 2019

AYNA AMANDA MEPPELINK, Plaintiff,
v.
WILMINGTON SAVINGS FUND SOCIETY FSB, d/b/a CHRISTIANA TRUST, a trustee for PRETIUM MORTGAGE CREDIT MANAGEMENT; SELENE FINANCE LP; and Defendants.

          ORDER RENOTING MOTION TO REMAND AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

          ROBERT J. BRYAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on the Plaintiff's Motion for Remand opposing Defendants' Notice of Removal. Dkt. 12. The Court has considered the pleadings filed regarding the motion and the remaining file.

         Originally filed in Kitsap County, Washington Superior Court, this case arises from a mortgage and deed of trust on property commonly known as 11700 Carriage Place SE, Olalla, Washington. Dkt. 1-3. Defendants Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB, d/b/a Christiana Trust, a trustee for Pretium Mortgage Acquisition Trust (“Wilmington”) and Selene Finance LP (“Selene) removed the case to this Court based on the federal question asserted in the Amended Complaint, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Dkt. 1. Defendant Quality Loan Service Corp. of Washington (“Quality Loan”) was not a removing defendant according to the Notice of Removal. Id. The Plaintiff now moves to remand the case, asserting that removal was improper. Dkt. 12.

         I. FACTS

         This case was originally filed in state court on May 15, 2017 and asserted only state law claims for quiet title and for violations of Washington's Consumer Protection Act. RCW 19.86, et. seq. Meppelink v. Wilmington Savings Fund Society, SSB, et. al., Kitsap County, Washington Superior Court case number 17-2-00839-9; filed in this case at Dkt. 13-1, at 1 and 6-17.

         In a May 17, 2019 Order granting the Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint, the Plaintiff was ordered to “file the amended complaint with the court by June 15, 2019.” Dkt. 14, at 24. She was further ordered to “serve the Defendants with the amended complaint, pursuant to the rules of the court for service of process by June 30, 2019.” Id.

         On June 11, 2019, the Plaintiff filed an “Amended Complaint Re: Claims for Wrongful Foreclosure Violation of Regulation X of [the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”)] (12 U.S.C. § 2601, et. seq.) Declaratory Relief and Damages” in the Kitsap County, Washington Superior Court. Dkt. 13-3, at 91-204. The Plaintiff's “Declaration of Mailing” states that she sent the Defendants a copy of an Amended Summons and the Amended Complaint to the Defendants on June 24, 2019. Dkt. 13-3, at 207-208.

         Defendants Wilmington and Selene's counsel acknowledges that they received the Amended Complaint on June 26, 2019. Dkt. 1, at 2.

         On July 17, 2019, Defendants Wilmington and Selene removed the case to this Court based on federal question jurisdiction. Dkt. 1. It does not appear that Defendant Quality Loan joined in, or consented to, the removal. It is represented by counsel and has filed a Corporate Disclosure Statement on July 23, 2019. Dkt. 4.

         The Plaintiff moves to remand the case. Dkt. 12. Defendants Wilmington and Selene oppose the motion. Dkt. 14. Defendant Quality Loan did not respond to the motion to remand.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Removal of a case from a state court to a United States District Court is governed by the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441 and 1446. Section 1441 provides, in relevant part, as follows:

Except as otherwise expressly provided by Act of congress, any civil action brought in a State court of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant or defendants, to the district court of the United States for the district and division embracing the place where such action is pending. . .

28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). “[R]emoval statutes are construed narrowly in favor of remand to protect the jurisdiction of the state courts.” Harris v. Bankers Life and Cas. Co.,425 F.3d 689, 698 (9th Cir. 2005). “The party seeking removal bears the burden of establishing federal ...


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