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Harris v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

March 7, 2017

QUANNAH L. HARRIS, Plaintiff,
v.
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC; THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON TRUST CO., N.A. f/k/a THE BANK OF NEW YORK TRUST COMPANY, N.A. as successor to JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A. as Trustee for RESIDENTIAL ASSET MORTGAGE PRODUCTS, INC., MORTGAGE ASSET-BACKED PASS THROUGH CERTIFICATE SERIES 2006-RZ4; and MACKIE WOLF ZIENTZ & MANN, P, C., as Substitute Trustee Defendants.

          ORDER

          SAMUEL H. MAYS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation addressing two motions. (R. & R. on Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss and Pl.'s Mot. for Remand, ECF No. 15 (“Report”).) The first is the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC (“Ocwen”) and The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co., N.A. (“BoNY”) -- collectively, Defendants[1] -- on April 13, 2016. (ECF No. 5 (“Mot. to Dismiss”); Defs.' Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 6 (“Mem. ISO Mot. to Dismiss”).) Plaintiff Quannah Harris (“Harris”) filed an Opposition to Motion to Dismiss on May 4, 2016. (ECF No. 9 (“Opp'n to Mot. to Dismiss”).) Defendants have not filed a reply in support of the Motion to Dismiss. The Report recommends that the Motion to Dismiss be granted. (See, e.g., Report 1, 10.)

         The second motion addressed by the Report is the Motion for Remand that Harris filed on April 26, 2016. (ECF No. 8 (“Mot. for Remand”).) Defendants filed a Response in Opposition to the Motion for Remand on May 9, 2016. (ECF No. 10 (“Opp'n to Mot. for Remand”).) The Report recommends that the Motion for Remand be denied as moot. (See, e.g., Report 1, 11.)

         On February 3, 2017, Harris filed objections to the Report. (Pl.'s Obj. to the R. & R. of the Magistrate Judge [and] Mot. for Additional Time to Respond to the R. & R., ECF No. 21 (“Obj.”).) On February 24, 2017, Defendants filed a response to the objections. (Defs.' Resp. to Pl.'s Objs. to the Magistrate Judge's R. & R., ECF No. 25 (“Resp.”).)

         For the following reasons, the Report is ADOPTED, the Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED, and the Motion for Remand is DENIED AS MOOT.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On February 24, 2016, Harris filed the Complaint in the Chancery Court of Shelby County, Tennessee. (Compl. 1.) The Complaint names Defendants Ocwen, BoNY, and MWZM. (Id. ¶¶ 2-4.) The Complaint addresses a mortgage loan entered into by Harris and her husband when they purchased real property at 2840 Lennox Drive, Germantown, TN (the “Real Property”). (Id. ¶ 1.) Count I alleges “[f]raud, [m]isrepresentation, and [o]ther [m]isconduct.” (Id. at 3.) Count II alleges that Defendants have failed to make certain “required disclosures under the Truth in Lending Act [“TILA”].” (Id. at 6; see also 15 U.S.C. §§ 1601-1616.)

         On April 6, 2016, Defendants filed a Notice of Removal, removing the action to this Court. (ECF No. 1 (“Not. of Removal”).) The Notice states that this Court has jurisdiction based on federal-question jurisdiction (id. ¶¶ 6-8) and diversity jurisdiction (id. ¶ 6, 9-16).

         On April 13, 2016, Defendants filed the Motion to Dismiss. The gravamen of the Motion to Dismiss is that the Court should dismiss this action on the ground of res judicata. (Mot. to Dismiss 1-2; Mem. ISO Mot. to Dismiss 7-11.) The res judicata argument compares the present action to three previous actions filed by Harris and/or her husband, each of which sought to prevent a foreclosure of the mortgage encumbering the Real Property.[2] (Mem. ISO Mot. to Dismiss 2-6.)

         On April 20, 2016, the Court entered an Order of Referral. (ECF No. 7 (“Order of Referral”).) The Order of Referral referred to the Magistrate Judge “the management of the . . . case; all pretrial matters within the Magistrate Judge's jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) for determination; and all other pretrial matters for report and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B)-(C).” (Id. at 1.)

         On December 30, 2016, the Magistrate Judge filed the Report. On February 3, 2017, Harris filed the Objection. On February 24, 2017, Defendants filed their Response.

         II. JURISDICTION

         The Court has federal-question jurisdiction.[3] Count II of the Complaint alleges that Defendants violated TILA by failing to make disclosures required by 12 C.F.R. § 226.39(d). (Compl. 6-7; see 12 C.F.R. § 226.39(d).) The Court has federal-question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

         Count I of the Complaint alleges numerous forms of fraud and misrepresentation. (Compl. ¶¶ 5-30.) Harris alleges that Defendants violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 12 U.S.C. §§ 2601-2617. (Id. ¶¶ 13, 26.) She again alleges violations of TILA. (Id. ¶ 13.) She appears to allege violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692-1692p. (Id. ¶¶ 18-19.) These claims also give rise to federal-question jurisdiction.

         The Court has supplemental jurisdiction over Harris's state-law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367. They derive from a “common nucleus of operative fact” with the federal-law claims. United Mine Workers of Am. v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 725 (1966); Soehnlen v. Fleet Owners Ins. Fund, 844 F.3d 576, 588 (6th Cir. 2016); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).

         III. ...


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