Wright et al v. Barnes et al
ORDER that the deadlines for responding to the motions to dismiss are suspended pending resolution of the issues stated herein; pltfs, in their response to the motions to dismiss, are directed to brief the issue of subject matter jurisdiction on or before 10/18/11; any response will be due 11/1/11, and any reply will be due 11/8/11. Signed by Chief Judge J. Leon Holmes on 9/30/11. (vjt)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
PAMELA WRIGHT; JOHN C. KENT;
NORTHARK TITLE GROUP, INC.;
and FIRST TO CLOSE, LLC
No. 1:11CV00077 JLH
JAMES A. BARNES; NICK BRAY;
NICK ROACH; JAMES BARNES AND
ASSOCIATES, INC.; and
OZARK HERITAGE BANK, N.A.
The plaintiffs commenced this action in the Circuit Court of Stone County, Arkansas,
alleging several causes of action under state law. The plaintiffs later amended the complaint
asserting that they are entitled to review certain books and records of Ozark Heritage Bank pursuant
to 12 U.S.C. § 62. Thereafter, the defendants removed the case to this Court, asserting that the Court
has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The defendants have now filed motions to dismiss the state
law claims. One of the defendants has reserved the right to seek remand of the state law claims
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(c). The time within which the plaintiffs must respond to the motions
to dismiss has not expired.
Because the Court must first ascertain whether it has subject matter jurisdiction before
deciding other issues, the Court directs that the plaintiffs, in their response to the motions to dismiss,
brief the issue of whether the issue pertaining to 12 U.S.C. § 62 is sufficiently central to the dispute
to support federal question jurisdiction. See 13D Wright, Miller, Cooper & Freer, Federal Practice
& Procedure: Jurisdiction and Related Matters § 3562 (3d ed. 2008). The plaintiffs should also
brief the issue of whether, if the Court has jurisdiction, the Court should remand all matters in which
state law predominates pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(c).
The plaintiffs’ brief on this issue will be due on or before October 18, 2011. The response,
if any, from the defendants will be due on or before November 1, 2011. The reply, if any, by the
plaintiffs will be due on or before November 8, 2011.
The deadlines for responding to the motions to dismiss are suspended pending resolution of
these issues. In other words, the plaintiffs need not respond to the motions to dismiss until the Court
has decided, first, whether it has subject matter jurisdiction and, if so, whether to remand the issues
in which state law predominates. If the Court concludes that it has subject matter jurisdiction and
should not remand the issues on which state law predominates, the Court will set new deadlines for
the plaintiffs’ responses to the motions to dismiss.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 30th day of September, 2011.
J. LEON HOLMES
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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