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Nimle Investments LLC v. Stringer

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

June 9, 2015

NIMLE INVESTMENTS LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBIN STRINGER, and all other occupants, Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, Jr., District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Magistrate Judge Russell G. Vineyard's Final Report and Recommendation ("R&R") [3], which recommends remanding this dispossessory action to the Magistrate Court of Fulton County, Georgia. Also before the Court is Defendant Robin Stringer's ("Defendant") Objection [5] to the R&R.

I. BACKGROUND

On April 21, 2015, Plaintiff Nimle Investments LLC ("Plaintiff") initiated a dispossessory proceeding (the "Complaint") against its tenants, including Defendant, in the Magistrate Court of Fulton County, Georgia.[1] The Complaint seeks possession of the premises currently occupied by Defendant and past due rent, fees and costs. (See [1.1] at 3).

On May 12, 2015, Defendant, proceeding pro se, removed the Fulton County Action to this Court by filing a Notice of Removal and an application to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP") [1]. Defendant appears to assert that there is federal subject-matter jurisdiction based on the existence of a question of federal law. Defendant asserts a counterclaim, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, for alleged violations of her constitutional rights. (See [1.1] ¶ 3).

On May 15, 2015, the Magistrate Judge granted Defendant's application to proceed IFP and considered sua sponte whether the Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this case.

The Magistrate Judge found that Plaintiff's underlying pleading shows that this action is a dispossessory proceeding, which Defendant contends violates federal law. Because a defense or counterclaim based on federal law is not sufficient to confer federal jurisdiction, the Magistrate Judge concluded that the Court does not have federal question jurisdiction over this action. Because the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the Magistrate Judge recommended that this case be remanded to state court.

On June 1, 2015, Defendant filed her Objection to the R&R, in which she reasserts generally that the Court has federal question jurisdiction over this action.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

After conducting a careful and complete review of the findings and recommendations, a district judge may accept, reject, or modify a magistrate judge's report and recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Williams v. Wainwright, 681 F.2d 732, 732 (11th Cir. 1982) (per curiam). A district judge "shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). With respect to those findings and recommendations to which a party has not asserted objections, the Court must conduct a plain error review of the record. United States v. Slay, 714 F.2d 1093, 1095 (11th Cir. 1983) (per curiam).

Defendant has filed an objection to the R&R and the Court thus conducts a de novo review of the record.[2]

B. Analysis

Defendant appears to object to the finding in the R&R that the Court does not have federal question jurisdiction over this action. "The presence or absence of federal-question jurisdiction is governed by the well-pleaded complaint rule, ' which provides that federal jurisdiction exists only when a federal question is presented on the face of the plaintiff's properly pleaded complaint." Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987). Thus, a federal cause of action within a ...


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