MADDEN v. HOMEWARD RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE
ORDER denying 8 Motion to Remand. Signed by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on 1/23/2013. Copy Mailed. (JD)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
HOMEWARD RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE,
Case No. 1:12-cv-01453-TWP-MJD
ORDER ON MOTION TO REMAND
This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Rick Madden’s Opposition to
Defendants’ [sic] Motion to Removal [sic] for Lack of Jurisdiction (Dkt. 8). Because Mr.
Madden is essentially challenging Defendant Homeward Residential Mortgage’s (“Homeward”)
removal of his case to this Court (Dkt. 1), the Court will treat this as a Motion to Remand. For
the reasons stated below, Mr. Madden’s Motion to Remand is DENIED.
Mr. Madden filed his Complaint against Homeward in Marion Superior Court 12 on
September 7, 2012, alleging four counts: (1) unjust enrichment; (2) gross negligence; (3)
violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 App. U.S.C. §§ 501-597b (“SCRA”); and
(4) tortious interference with a contract. (Dkt. 1-1). Mr. Madden alleges as the factual basis for
all four counts actions Homeward took while servicing his home mortgage loan. Mr. Madden
alleges that Homeward violated the SCRA by initiating foreclosure proceedings and assessing
certain interest and fees while he was in active military service, and also that those same actions
give rise to his state law claims. The foreclosure actions themselves were filed in March 2008
and March 2012 in Marion Superior Court 12. Dkt. 1-1 at 2 ¶ 12, 17; Dkt. 8 at 1 ¶ 2.
Homeward timely filed its Notice of Removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b) on
October 2, 2012 (Dkt. 1), removing the case to this Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1441(c) based on
federal question and supplemental jurisdiction. Mr. Madden filed his objection to the removal
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c), arguing that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction because
he believes that the case is already pending in Marion Superior Court as part of the foreclosure
Homeward bases removal on 28 U.S.C. § 1441(c), which permits removal of civil actions
that include claims arising under the laws of the United States over which the district court has
original jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and any state law claims over which the district
court has supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367. Only state-court actions that
originally could have been filed in federal court may be removed to federal court. Caterpillar
Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 293 (1987). “The presence or absence of federal-question
jurisdiction is governed by the ‘well-pleaded complaint rule,’ which provides that federal
jurisdiction exists only when a federal question is presented on the face of the plaintiff’s properly
pleaded complaint.” Id.
Count III of Mr. Madden’s Complaint alleges violations under the SCRA, which is a federal
statute giving rise to a claim under the laws of the United States and may properly be heard in
this Court. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331. His remaining state law claims arise out of the same actions
that gave rise to his claims under the SCRA, giving the district court supplemental jurisdiction
over those claims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367. However, Mr. Madden asserts that the Court lacks
jurisdiction because an SCRA case “is only to be herd [sic] in federal court if the case is not
already being herd [sic] in another court.” Dkt. 8 at 1 ¶ 5. The SCRA states “[w]hen under this
Act . . . any application is required to be made to a court in which no proceeding has already
been commenced with respect to the matter, such application may be made to any court which
would otherwise have jurisdiction over the matter.” 50 App. U.S.C. § 512(c) (emphasis added).
Mr. Madden mistakenly believes that he filed his Complaint as part of the original foreclosure
actions, when, in fact, he filed this case subsequent to the foreclosure actions in September 2012
in Marion Superior Court 12 as an independent cause of action for damages under a separate
cause number. See Dkt. 1-1 at 2. Because there is currently no other action with respect to this
matter pending in this Court or any state court, the Court finds that it has jurisdiction over all
claims in Mr. Madden’s Complaint, and that removal by Homeward was proper.
For the reasons set forth above, Mr. Madden’s Motion to Remand (Dkt. 8) is DENIED.
Hon. Tanya Walton Pratt, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
604 East 13th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202-2732
Darren Andrew Craig
FROST BROWN TODD LLC
Michele Lorbieski Anderson
FROST BROWN TODD LLC
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