United States District Court, D. Connecticut
J.P. MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A., Defendant, Counterclaim Plaintiff,
RICHARD CAIRES, Plaintiff, Counterclaim Defendant.
ORDER RE: REMAND TO STATE COURT
C. Hall United States District Judge
August 3, 2017, the court ordered plaintiff/counterclaim
defendant Richard Caires (“Caires”) to show cause
why this action should not be remanded to state court for
lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction. See
Order to Show Cause (Doc. No. 8). Caires moved for an
extension of time to respond to the Order to Show Cause until
August 26, 2017 and then again moved for a continuance to
respond, which Magistrate Judge Merriam granted until
September 27, 2017. See Motion for Extension of Time
(Doc. No. 11); Motion to Continue (Doc. No. 14); Order
Granting Motion to Continue (Doc. No. 16). The defendant,
counterclaim plaintiff J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.
(“JPM”) filed its own response to the court's
Order to Show Cause, arguing that this case should (again) be
remanded to state court. See Statement in Resp. to
Order to Show Cause (“JPM Stmt.”) (Doc. No. 10)
reasons set forth below, the court DISMISSES
the Complaint sua sponte for lack of jurisdiction and
ORDERS that this case be remanded to state
procedural history of this case is extensive and complex. As
such, the court will summarize only those aspects of the
prior action in this case necessary to address the propriety
of removal and/or remand.
filed a Complaint against JPM in Connecticut Superior Court
on December 3, 2009, in which he alleged various causes of
action related to a note and mortgage on real property in
Greenwich, Connecticut. See Statement in Resp. to
Order to Show Cause, Ex. B (“Ex. B”) (Doc. No.
10-2) at 2-3. Shortly thereafter, on December 30, 2009,
JPM removed the case to the United States District Court for
the District of Connecticut, see id. at 3, and filed
a foreclosure counterclaim on October 21, 2010, see
Caires v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 3:09-cv-2142
(VLB) (D. Conn.) (“D. Conn. Case #1”),
Counterclaim (Doc. No. 27) at 8-12.
23, 2012, Judge Bryant dismissed all of Caires's claims.
See D. Conn. Case #1, Mem. of Decision Granting
Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss (Doc. No. 92) at 1. The court
issued an Order to Show Cause directed at JPM, requiring JPM
to show cause why the case should not be remanded to state
court, given that the only remaining claim in the case was
JPM's foreclosure counterclaim. See D. Conn.
Case #1, Order to Show Cause (Doc. No. 94). JPM responded
that it had no objection to the remand, see
generally D. Conn. Case #1, Resp. to Order to Show Cause
(Doc. No. 95), and Caires did not object. Accordingly, the
case was remanded to state court on September 11, 2012.
See D. Conn. Case #1, Order (Doc. No. 96).
nearly four years, the parties litigated the case in state
court. See generally Ex. B at 5-11. Then, on the day
trial was scheduled to commence, see id. at 11
(reflecting, in an entry at state court docket number 294.00,
a trial date of April 12, 2016), Caires filed a notice of
removal, purporting to remove the case to the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, see
generally Caires v. JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A., No.
1:16-cv-2694-GBD-RLE (S.D.N.Y.) (“S.D.N.Y.
Case”), Notice of Removal (Doc. No. 1). After the
magistrate judge's recommendation that the case be
remanded to Connecticut state court, see generally
S.D.N.Y. Case, Report & Recommendation (Doc. No. 26), the
district court adopted the report and recommendation over
Caires's objection, see generally S.D.N.Y. Case,
Memorandum Decision & Order (Doc. No. 37). The case was
again remanded to state court on January 27, 2017.
further motion practice on remand, the Superior Court set a
trial date of August 3, 2017. See Ex. B at 13.
However, on August 2, 2017, Caires again removed the case,
this time to the United States District Court for the
District of Connecticut. See id.; Notice of Removal
(“NOR”) (Doc. No. 1) at 1. One day earlier,
Caires had filed a separate action in this District, seeking
a declaratory judgment regarding the real property on which
JPM seeks to foreclose. See generally Caires v. JPMorgan
Chase Bank, N.A., No. 3:17-cv-1288 (JAM), Pl.'s
Complaint (Doc. No. 1).
represents that the trial in state court has now commenced.
See JPM Stmt. at 2 n.1.
court addresses the legal standards governing each basis on
which remand to state court is appropriate in more depth
below. It bears noting, however, that the court remains
mindful of its obligation to construe pro se filings
liberally to raise the strongest arguments they might
suggest. See McLeod v. Jewish Guild for the Blind,
__F.3d __, 2017 WL 3044626, No. 15-2898-cv, at *2 (2d Cir.
July 19, 2017).