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Lyall v. Bank of America

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

October 30, 2019

MARTA D. LYALL, Plaintiff,
v.
BANK OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's (1) Notice (to Remand) (“Motion to Remand”) and (2) Motion to Strike and Motion to Renote and Request Hearing (“Motion to Strike”). Dkts. #10 and #28. Defendant First American Title Insurance Company (“First American”) opposes the Motion to Remand. Dkt. #25. Plaintiff has not responded to First American's opposition, calling into question the strength of the arguments laid forth in her Motion to Remand. See LCR 7(b)(2) (“if a party fails to file papers in opposition to a motion, such failure may be considered by the court as an admission that the motion has merit”). Rather, Plaintiff filed her Motion to Strike, seeking varied relief from the Court. Dkt. #28. First American has responded. Dkt. #31. For the following reasons, the Court denies Plaintiff's Motions.

         II. BACKGROUND

         The relevant background is limited and procedural in nature. First American removed Plaintiff's state court action to this Court on September 19, 2019. Dkt. #1. First American removed the action based on the Court's diversity jurisdiction. Id. at 2-5. Both Defendant Bank of America, N.A. (“Bank of America”) and Defendants Rushmore Loan Management Services (“Rushmore”) and U.S. Bank NA (“US Bank”) have filed motions to dismiss which are not yet ready for consideration. Dkts. #6 and #12. First American seeks to join in Bank of America's motion to dismiss. Dkt. #14.

         For her part, Plaintiff has filed what the Court construes as a motion to remand. Dkt. #10. First American timely responded to Plaintiff's Motion to Remand. Dkt. #25. Plaintiff did not file a reply in support of her Motion to Remand and instead filed her Motion to Strike. Dkt. #28. First American likewise opposes the Motion to Strike and is joined by the other Defendants. Dkts. #31, #34, and #35. On the noting date of the Motion to Strike, Plaintiff filed a document captioned as “Plaintiff's Request for the Court to Take Judicial Notice of Substitution of John Doe Defendants. Dkt. #37. Upon the Court's review, that filing does not appear to be a substantive reply and the Court will not consider it further.[1]

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Plaintiff's Notice to Remand

         Plaintiff does not establish any basis for remand in this case. Plaintiff's Motion to Remand proceeds on misunderstandings of the law and attempts to cast removal in this case as improper. Contrary to the Motion to Remand, the Court finds removal in accordance with the rules and does not find a valid objection in Plaintiff's Motion to Remand.

         1. Legal Standard

         Removal jurisdiction is strictly construed in favor of remand, and any doubt as to the right of removal must be resolved in favor of remand. Harris v. Bankers Life & Cas. Co., 425 F.3d 689, 698 (9th Cir. 2005). The removing party must carry the burden of establishing jurisdiction not only at the time of removal, but also in opposition to a motion for remand. See Moore-Thomas v. Alaska Airlines, Inc., 553 F.3d 1241, 1244 (9th Cir. 2009).

         The Court's diversity jurisdiction is properly invoked for “a claim between parties of diverse citizenship that exceeds the required jurisdictional amount, currently $75, 000.” Arbaugh v. Y&H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 513 (2006) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1332). For diversity jurisdiction in a case involving multiple plaintiffs and defendants, each plaintiff must be a citizen of a different state than each defendant. Morris v. Princess Cruises, Inc., 236 F.3d 1061, 1067 (9th Cir. 2001); Caterpillar Inc. v. Lewis, 519 U.S. 61, 67 (1996).

         2. Remand was Proper

         Without legal or factual support, [2] Plaintiff contends that removal was improper. But each of Plaintiff's unsupported objections fail. Plaintiff believes that a motion should have been filed in state court, that removal somehow altered the nature of her case, [3] and that an upcoming hearing in state court should have precluded removal. Dkt. #10 at 2. But, Plaintiff's arguments are baseless and, as First American ...


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