Hunter v. Trustmark National Bank (JOINT ASSIGN)(MAG+)
ORDER (1) Trustmark's 19 Objections are OVERRULED; (2) ADOPTING 18 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION of the Magistrate Judge; (3) Trustmark's 2 counterclaim is DISMISSED; (4) Trustmark's 13 Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED as moot, as further set out in order. Signed by Chief Judge William Keith Watkins on 6/17/16. (djy, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
TRUSTMARK NATIONAL BANK,
) CASE NO. 2:15-CV-921-WKW
On May 26, 2016, the Magistrate Judge filed a Recommendation (Doc. # 18)
to which Defendant Trustmark National Bank timely filed objections (Doc. # 19).
After de novo consideration of those portions of the Recommendation to which
Trustmark objected, and in light of the record, the applicable law, and the arguments,
the court finds that Trustmark’s objections are due to be overruled and the
Recommendation is due to be adopted.
Trustmark objects to the Recommendation on two bases: (1) the court should
exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Trustmark’s counterclaim for a state-law
eviction claim because the court has already decided the issues which are dispositive
of Trustmark’s counterclaim and because the correct disposition of the counterclaim
is clear as a matter of state law; and (2) the court has original jurisdiction over the
counterclaim based upon diversity.
Trustmark concedes that the court is vested with discretion to decline to
exercise supplemental jurisdiction for the reasons stated in the Recommendation.
(Doc. # 19, at 4.) However, it urges the court to retain supplemental jurisdiction
because it asserts that the court has already decided issues that are dispositive of the
counterclaim and because the correct disposition of the pending counterclaim is clear
as a matter of state law.
Contrary to Trustmark’s assertion, the court has not attempted to determine
Plaintiff’s rights with respect to possession of the property as a tenant or lease-toown tenant. When the Magistrate Judge recommended dismissal of Plaintiff’s
complaint, it was because the factual allegations in the complaint did not support
Plaintiff’s claims.1 The court has not considered whether Plaintiff has recourse
under state landlord/tenant law to remain in possession of the home. By exercising
supplemental jurisdiction here, the court would be engaging in a state law eviction
action, a matter that is better suited for a state court. This objection is without merit.
Trustmark’s second objection is that the court has original jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 and that it has met the amount in controversy
requirement. For this objection, Trustmark makes essentially the same arguments
The Magistrate Judge entered a Recommendation on February 18, 2016 that
recommended granting Trustmark’s motion to dismiss. (Doc. # 9.) The Recommendation was
adopted by order on March 16, 2016. (Doc. # 10.)
that the Magistrate Judge considered and rejected.2 Defendant has failed to establish
the requisite amount in controversy, and this objection is without merit.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that:
Trustmark’s Objections (Doc. # 19) are OVERRULED;
The Recommendation (Doc. # 18) is ADOPTED;
Trustmark’s counterclaim (Doc. # 2) is DISMISSED; and
Trustmark’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Docs. # 13) is DENIED
A separate final judgment will be entered.
DONE this 17th day of June, 2016.
/s/ W. Keith Watkins
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
To the extent that Trustmark now asserts that it is prevented from conveying the title, the
counterclaim’s prayer for relief seeks possession of the property. (See Doc. # 2, at 7.)
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