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Federal National Mortgage Association v. Von Grewe

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

February 18, 2014

Federal National Mortgage Association, Plaintiff,
v.
Gerald Von Grewe, Gretchen R.L. Harvey, Sheila M. Smith-Von Grewe, John Doe, and Mary Roe, Defendants.

Kalli L. Ostlie and Wendy Oien Sanchez, Shapiro & Zielke, LLP, for Plaintiff.

William B. Butler, Butler Liberty Law, LLC, for Defendants Gerald Von Grewe, Sheila M. Smith-Von Grewe, John Doe, and Mary Roe.

Gretchen R.L. Harvey, pro se Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Objection [Doc. No. 30] to United States Magistrate Judge Jeffrey J. Keyes' December 16, 2013, Report and Recommendation ("R&R") [Doc. No. 28]. On sua sponte consideration of remand, the Magistrate Judge recommended that this 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 September 19, 2013, in Hennepin County District Court. The litigation concerns Defendants' former property in Maple Plain, Minnesota, which was subject to a mortgage foreclosure sale on July 3, 2012.

On October 2, 2013, Defendants Gerald Von Grewe and Sheila M. Smith-Von Grewe 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 October 29, 2013, Plaintiff moved both for summary judgment and to dismiss Defendants Gerald Von Grewe and Sheila M. Smith-Von Grewe's counterclaim. (Pl.'s Combined Mot. for Summ. J. and Mot. to Dismiss Defs.Von Grewes' Countercl. [Doc. No. 7].) Defendants opposed Plaintiff's summary judgment motion. (Mem. in Opp'n to Summ. J. Mot. [Doc. No. 23].)

On December 16, 2013, the Magistrate Judge sua sponte considered remand and recommended that this action be remanded to Minnesota state district court. (Dec. 16, 2013, Report and Recommendation at 1 [Doc. No. 28].) 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 3.) 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 6.) Because the Magistrate Judge determined that abstention from exercising jurisdiction is appropriate, he did not address the merits of Plaintiff's pending motion. (Id. at 6-7.)

Defendants filed objections [Doc. No. 30] to the Magistrate Judge's R&R on December 19, 2013, and Plaintiff responded [Doc. No. 31] on December 20, 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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