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Federal National Mortgage Association v. Willhite

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

February 18, 2014

Federal National Mortgage Association, Plaintiff,
v.
Roger A. Willhite, Alice E. Willhite, John Doe, and Mary Roe, Defendants.

Curt N. Trisko, Jeffrey D. Klobucar, Nchangnyuy K. Fondungallah, Rebecca F. Schiller, and Sarah J. B. Adam, Schiller & Adam, P.A., for Plaintiff.

William B. Butler, Butler Liberty Law, LLC, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Objection [Doc. No. 15] to United States Magistrate Judge Janie S. Mayeron's December 9, 2013, Report and Recommendation ("R&R") [Doc. No. 14]. The Magistrate Judge recommended that Plaintiff's Motion to Remand [Doc. No. 5] be granted, and the action be remanded to Minnesota state district court. For the reasons set forth below, the Court overrules Defendants' Objection and adopts the R&R.

II. BACKGROUND

The Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation thoroughly documents the factual and procedural background of this case, and the Court incorporates it here by reference. Briefly stated, Plaintiff Federal National Mortgage Association brought this eviction action against Defendants on June 11, 2013 in Isanti County District Court. The litigation concerns Defendants' former property in Cambridge, Minnesota, which was subject to a mortgage foreclosure sale on October 11, 2011.

On June 21, 2013, Defendants removed this case to federal district court, asserting that this Court has original jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1345 because Plaintiff is a federal agency under 12 U.S.C. § 1452(f). (Notice of Removal [Doc. No. 1].) On July 10, 2013, Plaintiff moved to remand this case to state court. (Mot. to Remand to State Court [Doc. No. 5].) On July 30, 2013, Defendants opposed Plaintiff's motion. (Mem. in Opp'n to Mot. to Remand [Doc. No. 10].)

On December 9, 2013, the Magistrate Judge recommended that Plaintiff's Motion to Remand be granted, and the action be remanded to Minnesota state district court. (Dec. 9, 2013, Report and Recommendation at 6 [Doc. No. 14].) Without deciding whether this case was properly removed under 28 U.S.C. § 1441 and 28 U.S.C. § 1345, the Magistrate Judge concluded that abstaining from exercising jurisdiction is appropriate. (Id. at 5.) Considering principles of comity, federalism, and judicial economy, the Magistrate Judge found abstention appropriate because this eviction action is "fundamentally a matter of state law, " and there was neither a federal interest in retaining the proceedings or a federal right at stake, nor any apparent prejudice with the case going forward in state court. (Id. at 5-6.)

Defendants filed objections [Doc. No. 15] to the Magistrate Judge's R&R on December 17, 2013, and Plaintiff responded [Doc. No. 17] on December 23, 2013.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

A party "may file and serve specific written objections to a magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations." D.Minn. LR 72.2(b)(1). The district court will review de novo those portions of the R&R to which an objection is made, and it "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b)(3); D.Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3). ...


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