Wheatley, Sr. v. American Family Insurance, et al
Memorandum and Order: Ocwen's unopposed motion to sever the parties and claims is granted in accordance with Rule 21. re 4 . Judge Jeffrey J. Helmick on 5/9/2017. (S,AL)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
Michael R. Wheatley, Sr.,
Case No. 17-cv-388
American Family Insurance, et al.,
Plaintiff Michael R. Wheatley, Sr. filed suit in state court against several Defendants
including Defendant Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC. (Doc. No. 1-1). Wheatley’s claims arise from
two separate events: (1) theft of his vehicle in May 2016; and (2) fire damage to his home in June
2016. Id. As mortgagee of Wheatley’s home, only claims relating to the house fire were asserted
against Ocwen. Id. at 8-12. Ocwen moved to sever the parties and claims under Rules 20 and 21.
(Doc. No. 4). Wheatley does not oppose the motion.
Under Rule 20 (a)(2):
Persons…may be joined in one action as defendants if:
(A) any right to relief is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative
with respect to or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences; and
(B) any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2). If the persons may not be joined as defendants under Rule 20(a)(2), the
court may “add or drop a party” or “sever any claim against a party.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 21.
Here, Wheatley’s claims regarding the house fire were asserted only against Ocwen. The
remaining claims asserted against other defendants arise from a completely separate incident that
occurred a month prior to the house fire. Wheatley has failed to establish any legal or factual
commonality shared among Ocwen and the other Defendants which would arise during the course
of the action. In fact, the complaint itself is divided into “Complaint Against American Family
Insurance” and “Complaint Against Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC.” (Doc. No. 1-1). Each section is
legally and factually independent of the other.
Because the requirements of Rule 20(a)(2) are not met, Ocwen may not be joined in the
action with the other Defendants. Ocwen’s unopposed motion to sever the parties and claims is
granted in accordance with Rule 21. (Doc. No. 4).
s/ Jeffrey J. Helmick
United States District Judge
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