United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
A. TRAUGER United States District Judge
the court are the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc.
No. 8), filed by defendants Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as
Trustee for the Certificate Holders of Park Place Securities,
Inc., asset-backed pass-through Certificates Series 2004-MCW
(“Park Place”), Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
(“Wells Fargo”) (collectively, the “Wells
Fargo defendants”), and plaintiff Terry Joe
Beasley's Motion to Remand (Doc. No. 11). The Motion to
Remand has been fully briefed and is ripe for review.
reasons set forth herein, the Motion to Remand (Doc. No. 11)
will be denied. Because the court may appropriately exercise
jurisdiction over this action, the plaintiff will be directed
to file a response to the Wells Fargo defendants' Motion
for Judgment on the Pleadings.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
filed the Complaint in this action on March 10, 2017 in the
Chancery Court for Rutherford County, Tennessee. (Doc. No.
6-1). He sues the Wells Fargo defendants and the Small
Business Administration (“SBA”).
to the allegations in the Complaint, Beasley resides in
Tennessee and owns real property known as 2009 College View
Drive, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37130 (the
“Property”). Park Place and Wells Fargo are
foreign corporations doing business in Tennessee. (Compl.
¶¶ 1-3.) The SBA is a federal agency and is the
beneficiary of a certain Deed of Trust to the Property,
recorded in the Office of the Rutherford County Register of
Deeds. The plaintiff alleges that the SBA is an
“indispensable party to this action as it has an
interest in any foreclosure proceeds over $100, 000.”
(Compl. ¶ 4.)
plaintiff previously filed suit against the Wells Fargo
defendants; that action too was removed to this court.
(Compl. ¶ 7.) The undersigned granted the
defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and
dismissed the action without prejudice, for failure to state
a claim for which relief could be granted. Beasley v.
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 2017 WL 413856 (M.D. Tenn. Jan.
31, 2017). According to the Complaint in that action, the
plaintiff borrowed $189, 000 from Ameriquest Mortgage Company
(“Ameriquest”) to purchase the Property in 2004.
At some point, Ameriquest transferred and assigned the Deed
of Trust and Note to Wells Fargo, as Trustee for Park Place.
Beasley eventually defaulted on his mortgage. In April 2016,
Wells Fargo initiated foreclosure proceedings. Those
proceedings were apparently postponed while Beasley pursued
the previous action. Id. at *1.
alleges in his current Complaint that, while the prior action
was pending and without notice to the plaintiff, his
attorney, or the SBA, the Wells Fargo defendants proceeded
with the non-judicial foreclosure sale of the Property, at
which it sold the Property for $100, 000. (Compl.
¶¶ 4, 8-9.) The actual value of the Property is
approximately $175, 000. (Compl. ¶ 10.) Wells Fargo, as
Trustee, had previously entered into a Limited Subordination
Agreement in 2009, which required any proceeds from a sale of
the Property over the amount of $100, 000 be paid to the SBA.
(See Compl. ¶ 10 and Ex. A.) At the time
Beasley acquired the Property, he had an SBA loan in place
and secured by the Property. He has continued to make
payments on the SBA loan and remains current on that loan.
(Compl. ¶ 11.)
alleges that, by proceeding with the non-judicial foreclosure
sale without notice to him or to the SBA and by selling the
Property for substantially less than fair market value, the
Wells Fargo defendants interfered with the contract between
the plaintiff and the SBA and deprived both the plaintiff and
the SBA of approximately $75, 000. (Compl. ¶ 13.)
on these factual allegations, the plaintiff asserts a claim
against the Wells Fargo defendants for “Wrongful
Foreclosure” in violation of Tennessee law, Tenn. Code
Ann. § 35-5-101 et seq., and the Tennessee
Constitution. He asserts that the Wells Fargo defendants'
actions have “caused damages to Plaintiff and to SBA
not exceeding $75, 000.” (Compl. ¶ 20.) He seeks
judgment in his favor and damages, as well as “an
injunction . . . preventing Defendants or [their] agents from
further foreclosure and eviction actions against
Plaintiff's home.” (Compl. at 6.)
Wells Fargo defendants were served with the Complaint on
March 27, 2017 and removed it to this court on April 20,
2017. (Notice of Removal ¶ 2, Doc. No. 1.) The asserted
basis for removal is diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332, because the controversy is between citizens of
different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,
Wells Fargo defendants filed an Answer on April 27, 2017.
(Doc. No. 7.) They filed their Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings (Doc. No. 8) on May 5, 2017. Rather than responding
to that motion, the plaintiff, on May 9, 2017, filed his
Motion to Remand (Doc. No. 11), arguing that this court lacks
jurisdiction because (1) the SBA did not consent to removal;
and (2) the plaintiff alleges damages of less than $75, 000,
so the amount in controversy is not met.
MOTION TO REMAND
a civil case brought in state court may be removed by a
defendant to federal court only if the action is one over
which the federal court could have exercised original
jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). A federal district
court has original jurisdiction over civil actions where the
parties are completely diverse and the amount in controversy
exceeds $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332. Here, there is no dispute that the parties are
completely diverse. The parties disagree, however, as to ...