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Bank of New York Mellon v. Fletcher

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

July 19, 2018

BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, Plaintiff,
v.
ABERTHA FLETCHER, Defendants.

          RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION TO REMAND

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On May 19, 2016, Bank of New York Mellon (“Bank of Mellon” or “Plaintiff”) sued Albertha Fletcher (“Defendant”) in Connecticut Superior Court seeking to foreclose on her home. Pl.'s Mot. to Remand at 2, ECF No. 13.

         Bank of Mellon now moves to remand this case to Connecticut Superior Court.

         For the following reasons, the Court VACATES its Order from April 25, 2018, and GRANTS the motion to remand.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On July 7, 2000, Ms. Fletcher allegedly purchased a residential property located at 105 Garfield Avenue, New London, Connecticut, 06320 (the “Property”). Not. of Removal, ECF No.1-4. Ms. Fletcher allegedly executed a loan of $50, 000 on December 7, 2000, from Countrywide Financial Corporation (“Countrywide”) to make renovations to the Property. Def. Pl.'s Mot. to Reopen Judgment at 4, 7, ECF No. 3. Sometime after December 2000, Ms. Fletcher allegedly began receiving mortgage notices from Countrywide seeking payment. Id. at 5. In December 2006, Ms. Fletcher allegedly received a notice of foreclosure on the Property for failure to pay the mortgage. Id. By February 2007, Ms. Fletcher alleges she reinstated her mortgage and began duly making payments. Id.

         In May 2016, Bank of Mellon commenced a foreclosure action against Ms. Fletcher in Connecticut Superior Court, Judicial District of New London. Pl.'s Mot. for Remand at 2. Ms. Fletcher removed the case to federal court on March 26, 2018. Not. of Removal. On March 26, 2018, Ms. Fletcher also filed a motion to proceed in foruma pauperis.

         On April 20, 2018, Magistrate Judge William Garfinkel granted Ms. Fletcher's motion to proceed in forma pauperis, and recommended that Ms. Fletcher's claim be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B). Recommended Ruling, ECF. No 9. Ms. Fletcher timely filed an objection to Magistrate Garfinkel's recommended ruling on May 08, 2018. Obj. to the Recommended Ruling, ECF No. 15. The Court adopted the Recommended Ruling and dismissed the case on April 25, 2018. Order Adopting Recommended Ruling, ECF No. 10. The Court now vacates its ruling adopting the recommending ruling.

         Bank of Mellon has also moved to remand this case to Connecticut Superior Court. Pl.'s Mot. to Remand.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The Court reviews de novo those portions of a magistrate judge's recommended ruling to which an objection is made. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). Those portions of the recommended ruling that go uncontested will be set aside “only for clear error.” Staggers v. Colvin, No. 3:14-CV-717 JCH, 2015 WL 4751123, at *1 (D. Conn. Aug. 11, 2015) (citing Campbell v. Astrue, 596 F.Supp.2d 446, 448 n.1 (D. Conn. 2009)). The Court “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Bank of Mellon argues the removal of this case is improper because Ms. Fletcher's removal is untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b), and she lacks a proper basis to invoke federal jurisdiction over the subject matter. Pl.'s Mot. to Remand at 5. Ms. Fletcher, on the other hand, argues that her case has been properly removed to this Court because the present foreclosure action should not have proceeded since Bank of America, as Ms. Fletcher alleges, did not comply with the terms of the settlement agreement from United States v. Countrywide Financial Corporation, No. CV1110540-PSG (AJWx), 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150263 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 28, 2011). Obj. to Mot. to Remand at 1, ECF No. 18. Ms. Fletcher, therefore, argues that the terms of the Countrywide Financial Corporation settlement agreement provide this Court jurisdiction over the present action.[1] Def.'s Mot. to Retain Jurisdiction and Enforce Settlement Agreement, ECF No.11. The Court agrees with Bank of Mellon.

         A. ...


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