Willis v. Bank of America, N.A., successor by merger to BAC Home Loans Servicing, L.P.
ORDER denying Plaintiff's 5 Motion to Remand to State Court. Signed by District Judge Keith Starrett on December 19, 2013 (dsl)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
SHAVON A. WILLIS
CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:13cv217-KS-MTP
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.,
SUCCESSOR BY MERGER TO BAC
HOME LOAN SERVICING, LP
FORMERLY KNOWN AS
COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS SERVICING, LP
This cause is before the Court on Motion to Remand to State Court  filed by Shavon
A. Willis, Response thereto by Defendant, and Reply by Plaintiff. The issue for the court to
decide is whether or not this Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The fact that
the Plaintiff and Defendants are diverse is not an issue. The sole question is whether or not the
amount in controversy requirement is satisfied. Seventy-five Thousand Dollars ($75,000.00) is
the requirement set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The Plaintiff argues that the value of the house is
less than $75,000.00, and he argues that this is the question that sets the amount in controversy.
However, Plaintiff additionally asks for other actual damages, including punitive
damages and attorneys fees. It is settled law that punitive damages and attorneys fees are
included when the amount in controversy is calculated. The torts and contract actions listed by
Plaintiff include negligence, bad faith, promissory estoppel, interference with Plaintiff’s right to
reinstate the promissory note, etc. Reed v. Chase Home Finance states:
In addition to those damages sought for the balance of the
outstanding loan, Plaintiff demands an unspecified amount of
punitive damages for any conduct on behalf of Chase found to be
‘reckless; grossly negligent; willful; intentional; wanton;
unconscionable; part of a course of conduct or pattern and practice
to misinform, or deceive; and/or done with insult. See Compl. at ¶
23. ‘It is well settled that, if Mississippi Law permits punitive
damages attendant to the particular claims the plaintiff is seeking
redress for, then those damages are included in computation of the
amount in controversy....’ Conner v. First Family Financial
Services, Inc., NO. 4:01cv242, 2001 WL 31056778, at *8 (N.D.
Miss. August 28, 2002) (internal citations omitted). Reed v. Chase
Home Finance, 2010 WL 378116 at page 3 (S.D. Miss. 2010).
This Court needs to cite no further authority. The amount in controversy, agreed to by
Plaintiff in addition to the punitive and other damages sought, clearly set forth amounts that
reach the jurisdictional limits of this court. The Motion to Remand is denied.
The parties are to consult the office of Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker within ten
(10) days of the date of this order and request a scheduling order, etc.
SO ORDERED this the 19th day of December, 2013.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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