Ramos v. Bank of America, N.A. et al, No. 8:2011cv03022 - Document 19 (D. Md. 2011)

Court Description: MEMORANDUM OPINION (c/m to Plaintiff 11/15/11 sat). Signed by Chief Judge Deborah K. Chasanow on 11/15/11. (sat, Chambers)
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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND : CARMEN RAMOS : v. : Civil Action No. DKC 11-3022 : BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., et al. : MEMORANDUM OPINION Presently pending and ready for resolution in this case is a motion to remand filed by Plaintiff Carmen Ramos. 11). (ECF No. The relevant issues have been briefed and the court now rules pursuant to Local Rule 105.6, no hearing being deemed necessary. For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff s motion will be denied. I. Background Plaintiff Carmen Ramos, proceeding pro se, commenced this action on September 14, 2011, by filing a complaint against Defendants Bank of America, N.A., and BAC Home Loan Servicing, LP (together, Bank of America ) Montgomery County, Maryland. in the (ECF No. 2). Circuit Court for According to the complaint, Plaintiff is a Maryland resident, Defendant Bank of America, N.A., is a mortgage lender financial institution headquartered in Charlotte, NC, and Defendant BAC Home Loan Servicing, LP, is a subsidiary of Bank of America, N.A.[,] and is located in Calabasas, CA. (Id. at ¶ 1-3). Plaintiff alleges fraud, breach of contract, violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act, and related provisions under Maryland law. She seeks compensatory damages of at least one million dollars. Bank of America filed a notice of removal on October 24, 2011, asserting that removal was proper based on diversity of (ECF No. 1, at 1).1 citizenship, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. responded, on October 28, by moving to remand. Bank of America has opposed that motion. II. Plaintiff (ECF No. 11). (ECF No. 15). Analysis When the plaintiff challenges the propriety of removal, the defendant bears the burden of proving that removal was proper. See Greer v. Crown Title Corp., 216 F.Supp.2d 519, 521 (D.Md. 2002) (citing Mulcahey v. Columbia Organic Chems. Co., 29 F.3d 148, 151 (4th Cir. 1994)). On a motion to remand, the court must strictly construe the removal statute and resolve all doubts in favor of remanding the case to state court. Richardson v. Philip Morris Inc., 950 F.Supp. 700, 702 (D.Md. 1997) (internal quotation marks omitted). This standard reflects the reluctance 1 In the notice of removal, Bank of America asserts that Defendant BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, merged with and into Bank of America on June 1, 2011. (ECF No. 1, at 1-2 n. 1). Thus, Bank of America, N.A.[,] is the only defendant in this case and no other party need consent to this removal. (Id. at ¶ 5). Plaintiff has not challenged this assertion. 2 of federal courts to interfere with matters properly before a state court. Title Id. at 701. 28 U.S.C. § 1441 allows defendants to remove an action brought in a State court of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1), district courts have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interests and costs, and is between . . . citizens of different States. The requirements for diversity jurisdiction are met in this case. The jurisdictional amount minimum in of controversy $75,000, damages of least one million dollars. completely diverse. It is as clearly the exceeds complaint the seeks Moreover, the parties are undisputed that Plaintiff is a Maryland resident and that Bank of America, the sole remaining defendant, is a national banking association headquartered in Charlotte, NC. (ECF No. 2 ¶ 2). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1348, [a]ll national banking associations shall, for the purposes of all actions by or against them, be deemed citizens of the States in which they are respectively located. In Wachovia Bank v. Schmidt, 546 U.S. 303, 319 (2006), the Supreme Court of the United national States bank determined is located that, in for the purposes State § designated articles of association as its main office. 3 of 1348, in a its As the parties appear to agree, Bank of America s main office is located in North Carolina. L.P., Civil See Willis v. Countrywide Home Loans Servicing, Action No. CCB-09-1455, 2009 WL 5206475, at *3 (D.Md. 2009) ( Bank of America s articles of association clearly state that its main office is located in North Carolina. ). Because controversy the parties exceeds are $75,000, diverse this court jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332.2 and the has amount subject in matter Accordingly, removal was proper and Plaintiff s motion to remand will be denied. III. Conclusion For the foregoing will be denied. reasons, Plaintiff s motion to remand A separate order will follow. ________/s/_________________ DEBORAH K. CHASANOW United States District Judge 2 Plaintiff s argument to the contrary is based on her erroneous belief that removal was premised on federal question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. As noted, Bank of America expressly removed based on diversity of citizenship, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (ECF No. 1, at 1). To the extent that Bank of America argues that Plaintiff s motion is frivolous and requests an award of attorneys fees, presumably under Rule 11, the court declines to award such relief at this time. 4