Olekanma v. Ngide et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER Remanding Complaint to the Circuit Court for Prince George's County, Maryland. Signed by Judge Paul W. Grimm on 3/28/2017. (ah4s, Deputy Clerk) Modified on 3/29/2017 (c/m 3/29/2017 ah4s, Deputy Clerk).
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
LINUS NGIDE, et al.,
Case No.: PWG-17-707
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff Samuel Olekanma, who is proceeding without counsel, filed suit in the Circuit
court for Prince George’s County, Maryland against Defendants Linus Ngide and Adeley Ngide,
alleging state statutory violations, breach of warranty of habitability, breach of the covenant of
quiet enjoyment, nuisance, and negligence with regard to an apartment that he rented from them.
Compl., ECF No. 2. He filed a Motion for Habitability and Negligence, ECF No. 3, and a
Motion to Transfer Case to the Criminal Division, ECF No. 4. He then removed the case to this
Court. ECF No. 13.
The statutes providing for removal of state actions to federal court only allow “the
defendant,” not the plaintiff, to remove the action. See 28 U.S.C. § 1446(a) (providing that “[a]
defendant or defendants desiring to remove any civil action from a State court shall file in the
district court of the United States . . . a notice of removal . . . , together with a copy of all
process, pleadings, and orders served upon such defendant or defendants in such action”
(emphasis added)); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1443 (providing that “the defendant” may remove
certain “civil actions or criminal prosecutions, commenced in a State court” that implicate the
defendant’s civil rights (emphasis added)). Thus, Plaintiff’s removal to this Court was improper.
See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1443, 1446(a).
Further, even if properly removed, this case would be subject to dismissal for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. Federal “district courts . . . have original jurisdiction of all civil
actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States,” 28 U.S.C. § 1331,
as well as jurisdiction over claims involving completely diverse litigants and an amount in
controversy exceeding $75,000, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1).
Plaintiff asserts federal question
jurisdiction, but states that 28 U.S.C. § 1331 is the statute at issue in this case. Notice of
Removal 4, ECF No. 1. This statute governs the Court’s jurisdiction; it does not provide a cause
of action. Moreover, in his Complaint, Plaintiff identifies only causes of action under state law,
see Compl., such that this Court does not have federal question jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331. And, Plaintiff and both Defendants are Maryland resident, see Notice of Removal 2,
such that this Court does not have diversity jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1).
“[I]t is well established that this Court may remand a case for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction sua sponte.” Ford v. Shields, No. RDB-17-204, 2017 WL 1104667, at *1 (D. Md.
Mar. 23, 2017); see also Wisconsin Dep’t of Corr. v. Schacht, 524 U.S. 381, 389 (1998)) (“The
presence of the nondiverse party automatically destroys original jurisdiction: No party need
assert the defect. No party can waive the defect or consent to jurisdiction.”). Therefore, I will
remand Plaintiff’s Complaint to the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Accordingly, it is, this 28th day of March, 2017, hereby ORDERED that
1. Olekanma’s Complaint IS REMANDED to the Circuit Court for Prince George’s
2. The Clerk SHALL MAIL a copy of the Memorandum and Order to Olekanma; and
3. The Clerk SHALL CLOSE this case.
Paul W. Grimm
United States District Judge
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