Amann v. Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER. (see order for details) IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion for remand to the twenty-first judicial circuit court is DENIED. Signed by District Judge Catherine D. Perry on 10/22/2014. (CBL)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
METROPOLITAN ST. LOUIS SEWER )
DISTRICT, FEDERAL HOME LOAN )
and ST. LOUIS COUNTY,
Case No. 4:14 CV 1616 CDP
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff Laurie Amann filed suit in St. Louis County state court alleging
state law claims of negligence against defendants Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer
District, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, and St. Louis County. The
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC) removed the case to this
court citing 12 U.S.C. §1452(f). This matter is now before me on Amann’s motion
to remand this action to Missouri state court. Because 12 U.S.C. §1452(f) grants
the federal court original jurisdiction over this matter and because the FHLMC
timely removed it, I will deny plaintiff’s motion to remand.
“Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. They possess only that
power authorized by Constitution and statute.” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins.
Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). A removing party bears the burden of
proving federal subject-matter jurisdiction, and any doubts must be resolved in
favor of remand. In re Bus. Men’s Assur. Co. of Am., 992 F.2d 181, 183 (8th Cir.
1993). A defendant may remove a case to federal court “only if the action
originally could have been filed there.” Junk v. Terminex Int'l. Co., 628 F.3d 439,
444 (8th Cir.2010) (quoting In re Prempro Prods. Liab. Litig., 591 F.3d 613, 619
(8th Cir.2010)); 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a)-(b). The basis for federal jurisdiction must be
apparent from the face of the plaintiff's properly pleaded complaint. Caterpillar
Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987).
Amann asserts that there is no federal question jurisdiction in this case
because she is making only state law negligence claims against defendants.
Although Amann fails to address any of the very specific language of § 1452,
which grants federal courts’ subject matter jurisdiction in cases such as this, she
does argue that that the FHLMC is using §1452(f) to forum shop and notes that it
has litigated numerous lawsuits filed in St. Louis County. In its response to
Amann’s motion, the FHLMC argues that removal is proper here because §1452(f)
explicitly provides that removal prior to trial is proper in any litigation to which
FHLMC is a party, and such a case is “deemed to arise under the laws of the
United States.” I agree.
The FHLMC is a corporate entity that was chartered by Congress in 1970
and organized pursuant to United States statute. See 12 U.S.C. § 1451, et seq. In
pertinent part, the statute under which the FHLMC was created provides:
“…(2) all civil actions to which the [FHLMC] is a party shall be
deemed to arise under the laws of the United States, and the district
courts of the United States shall have original jurisdiction of all such
actions, without regard to amount or value; and (3) any civil or other
action, case or controversy in a court of a State, or in any court other
than a district court of the United States, to which the [FHLMC] is a
party may at any time before the trial thereof be removed by the
[FHLMC], without the giving of any bond or security, to the district
court of the United States for the district and division embracing the
place where the same is pending ….”
12 U.S.C. § 1452(f). This language clearly grants federal courts original
jurisdiction in all cases to which the FHLMC is a party, regardless of whether the
claims in the case arise under state or federal law. See Lackey v. Wells Fargo
Bank, N.A., 747 F.3d 1033, 1035 n.2 (8th Cir. 2014) (noting that because FHLMC
was a party, the district court had jurisdiction over the case even though plaintiff’s
claims were governed by Missouri law), aff’g, No. 11–01067–CV–W–DGK, 2012
WL 1144592, at *2 (W.D.Mo. April 4, 2012) (denying remand despite the absence
of federal law claims because jurisdiction in federal court was proper “due to the
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation's continued presence in the action”);
Shepard v. CitiMortgage, Inc., No. 4:12CV00129 ERW, 2012 WL 2282217 (E.D.
Mo. June 18, 2012) (case was properly removed and district court had jurisdiction
under 12 U.S.C. § 1452(f) despite plaintiff alleging only state law claims);
Peterson v. CitiMortgage, Inc., No. 11–2385 (SRN/JJG), 2012 WL 1971138, at *6
(D. Minn. June 1, 2012) (denying motion to remand and holding district court had
proper subject matter jurisdiction because FHLMC was a party to the lawsuit),
aff’d, 704 F.3d 548 (8th Cir. 2013).1
Because the FLHMC's presence is enough to confer subject matter
jurisdiction to the federal court, and because this matter was removed to federal
court prior to trial in accordance with 12 U.S.C. § 1452(f)(2), the case is properly
There is also no question that this court has supplemental jurisdiction over Amann’s
claims against the St. Louis Sewer District and St. Louis County. Those claims “derive
from a common nucleus of operative fact” and are part of the same case or controversy as
the claims against the FHLMC. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a) and McRaven v. Sanders, 577
F.3d 974, 984 (8th Cir. 2009); see also Peterson, 704 F.3d at 550 (“[t]he district court
had original jurisdiction over the claims against the FHLMC under 12 U.S.C. § 1452(f),
and exercised its supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining claims”).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion for remand to the
twenty-first judicial circuit court is DENIED.
CATHERINE D. PERRY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 22nd day of October, 2014.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?