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Federal National Mortgage Association v. Foster

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

February 18, 2014

Federal National Mortgage Association, Plaintiff,
v.
Dionne Foster, John Doe, and Mary Roe, Defendants.

Curt N. Trisko and Jeffrey D. Klobucar, 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. 25] to United States Magistrate Judge Jeffrey J. Keyes' December 16, 2013, Report and Recommendation ("R&R") [Doc. No. 23]. 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 October 10, 2013, in Hennepin County District Court. The litigation concerns Defendants' former property in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, which was subject to a mortgage foreclosure sale on March 22, 2013.

On October 17, 2013, Defendant Dionne Foster 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 November 25, 2013, Plaintiff moved to dismiss Defendants' counterclaims. (Mot. to Dismiss Defendants' Countercl. [Doc. No. 8].) Plaintiff also moved to sever Defendants' counterclaims. (Pl.'s Mot. to Sever Defendants' Countercl. [Doc. No. 14].) Defendants opposed both of these motions. (Mem. in Opp'n to Mot. to Sever [Doc. No. 21] and Mem. in Opp'n to Dismiss [Doc. No. 22].)

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 7 [Doc. No. 23].) 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 5-6.) Because the Magistrate Judge determined that abstention from exercising jurisdiction is appropriate, he did not address the merits of Plaintiff's pending motions. (Id. at 6.)

Defendants filed objections [Doc. No. 25] to the Magistrate Judge's R&R on December 20, 2013, and Plaintiff responded [Doc. No. 26] on January 3, 2014.

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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