MARCHI v. NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE, LLC
OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Jose L. Linares on 10/4/17. (DD, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civil Action No.: 16-6044 (JLL)
NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE, LLC, as Loan
Servicer on behalf of owner/investor Freddie
LINARES, Chief District Judge.
This matter comes before the Court by way of stta sponte screening of Plaintiffs Second
Amended Complaint (ECF No. 2$ (“SAC”)). For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants
The Court presumes the parties are familiar with the factual background and the allegations
asserted in the SAC based on the parties’ own involvement in this case as well as this Court’s
Opinions dated December 5,2016 and August 31, 2017. (ECF Nos. 9,25). Accordingly the Court
will set forth a brief procedural background.
On September 2$, 2016, pro se Plaintiff filed an action against Defendant Nationstar
Mortgage, LLC for breach of contract, asserting diversity jurisdiction. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiffs
Complaint was dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on December 5, 2016. (ECF Nos.
This background is derived from Plaintiffs Second Amended Complaint. which the Court must accept as mae at
this stage of the proceedings. SceAlston v. Countrvwidefth. Coip., 585 F.3d 753, 758 (3d Cir. 2009).
9, 10). Specifically, the Complaint was dismissed as it failed to meet the amount in controversy
requirement set forth in 2$ U.S.C.
1332(a). (Id.; id.). Plaintiff was granted leave to file a First
Amended Complaint and filed same on April 24, 2017. (ECF No. 17 (“FAC”)).
Plaintiffs FAC was dismissed by this
the same exact reasons that Plaintiffs
original Complaint was dismissed. (ECF No. 25). Specifically, Plaintiffs FAC failed to properly
allege damages greater than $75,000. (Id. at 4). This Court granted Plaintiff leave to file a Second
Amended Complaint and directed him to remedy the amount in controversy deficiency that was
contained in both the original Complaint and the FAC. (Id. at 4-5). Plaintiff had until September
28, 2017 to file his SAC. (ECF No. 24). Failure to do so would result in dismissal of Plaintiffs
case “with prejudice.” (Id.) (emphasis in original).
On September 29, 2017, this Court dismissed Plaintiffs case, as it had not received
Plaintiffs SAC as required by the August 31, 2017 Opinion and Order. However, on October 3,
2017, this Court received Plaintiffs SAC. (ECF No. 2$). The date stamp indicates that Plaintiffs
SAC was received by the Court on September 29, 2017. (Id.). This Court has chosen to review
Plaintiffs late SAC to ascertain whether jurisdiction is properly alleged.
The Court first notes that Plaintiffs SAC is untimely. This Court provided Plaintiff with
2$ days to file a Second Amended Complaint, yet Plaintiffs SAC was received thereafier. Hence,
this matter should remain closed with prejudice as untimely. Moreover, even if Plaintiffs SAC
was timely, it would have to be dismissed as it still fails to properly allege the requisite amount in
controversy necessary for diversity jurisdiction.
Under Rule 12(b)(l) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a Defendant may move to
dismiss a complaint for lack of subject rnatterjurisdiction. fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1). The plaintiff,
as the party asserting jurisdiction, bears the burden to establish the federal court’s authority to hear
the matter. Packard v. Provident Nat’! Bank, 994 f.2d 1039. 1045 (3d Cir. 1993). Pursuant to 28
§ 1332, this Court may hear actions where Plaintiff alleges complete diversity and the
amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.00. 2$ U.S.C.
§ 1332(a). The Court must look to the face
of the pleadings and the proofs to determine whether the plaintiff meets this amount by a “legal
certainty.” St. Paul Mercury Indem. Co. v. Red Cab Co., 303 U.S. 283, 289 (1938). A Court is
without subject matter jurisdiction if a plaintiff fails to allege the requisite amount in controversy.
See, e.g., °iof’/ Cleaning & Innovative Bldg. Sen’s. v. Kennedy funding, Inc., 2009 WL 1651131,
at *14 (D.N.J. June 12, 2009).
Here, Plaintiffs SAC must, once again, be dismissed as he has failed to properly allege the
requisite amount in controversy required by 28 U.SC.
§ 1332(a). The SAC contains the same exact
allegations as the FAC. (See SAC cf FAC). Plaintiff, again, asserts that the amount in controversy
amount is met because “market value of the property was, and is, in excess of $75,000.00.” (SAC
¶ 1). However, just as was the case with Plaintiffs original Complaint and his FAC, the reality is
Plaintiff is actually seeking damages totaling $27,514.66 plus statutory interest. (SAC
Apparently, Plaintiff has read this Court’s Opinions and determined that asserting a claim for
future economic loss in his “Prayer for Relief’ would be sufficient grounds for diversity
jurisdiction. (See SAC “Prayer for Relief’ cf FAC “Prayer for Relief’).
However, even if said valuation of the property was included in the SAC, Plaintiff fails to
explain how such a valuation relates to his breach of contract claim based on an increased escrow
payment. As discussed, without the necessary amount of controversy, this Court is without subject
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s untimely SAC fails to confer subject matter
jurisdiction upon this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
For the aforementioned reasons, the Court dismisses the SAC as untimely and for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction with prejudice. An appropriate Order accompanies this Opinion.
JOSE L. LINARES
Chief Judge, United States District Court
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