United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
BLUE ROCK PARTNERS, LLC, as agent of THE PARK AT STONEHAVEN, Plaintiff,
AMINITA STAR GUINDO, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM S. DIJFFEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Magistrate Judge Janet F.
King's Final Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) , which recommends remanding this
dispossessory action to the Magistrate Court of DeKalb
November 17, 2016, Plaintiff Blue Rock Partners, LLC, as
agent of The Park at Stonehaven (“Plaintiff”)
initiated a dispossessory proceeding against Defendant
Aminita Star Guindo (“Defendant”) in
the Magistrate Court of DeKalb County, Georgia. The Complaint
seeks possession of premises currently occupied by Defendant
and seeks past due rent, fees and costs.
December 13, 2016, Defendant, proceeding pro se,
removed the DeKalb County action to this Court by filing her
Notice of Removal and an application to proceed in forma
pauperis . Defendant appears to assert that there is
federal subject matter jurisdiction because there is in this
case a question of federal law. In her Notice of Removal,
Defendant claims that Plaintiff violated the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et
seq. (“FDCPA”), the Fair Housing Act, 42
U.S.C. § 3631 et seq., Rule 60 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment. Defendant claims further that the Court
“[has] the legal duty to abort eviction pursuant to
O.C.G.A. [§] 51-1-6 and 15 U.S.C. § 1692.”
(Notice of Removal at 1).
December 14, 2016, Magistrate Judge King granted
Defendant's application to proceed IFP. The Magistrate
Judge then considered, sua sponte, whether there is
federal subject matter jurisdiction. The Court found that
federal subject matter jurisdiction was not present and
recommended that the Court remand the case to the Magistrate
Court of DeKalb County. The Magistrate Judge found that the
Complaint filed in Magistrate Court asserts a state court
dispossessory action and does not allege federal law claims.
Because a federal law defense or counterclaim does not confer
federal jurisdiction, the Magistrate Judge concluded that the
Court does not have federal question jurisdiction over this
matter. Although not alleged in her Notice of Removal, the
Magistrate Judge also considered whether the Court has
subject-matter jurisdiction based on diversity of
citizenship. The Magistrate Judge found that Defendant failed
to allege any facts to show that the parties' citizenship
is completely diverse, or that the amount in controversy
exceeds $75, 000. The Magistrate Judge concluded that the
Court does not have diversity jurisdiction over this matter
and that this case be remanded to the state court.
December 27, 2016, Defendant filed her Objections  to the
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 (11th Cir. 1982), cert. denied, 459 U.S.
1112 (1983). 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
objections have not been asserted, the Court must conduct a
plain error review of the record. United States v.
Slay, 714 F.2d 1093, 1095 (11th Cir. 1983), cert.
denied, 464 U.S. 1050 (1984).
Objections are conclusory and do not address the Magistrate
Judge's reasons for recommending remand. See Marsden
v. Moore, 847 F.2d 1536, 1548 (11th Cir. 1988)
(“Parties filing objections to a magistrate's
report and recommendation must specifically identify those
findings objected to. Frivolous, conclusive, or general
objections need not be considered by the district
court.”). These are not valid objections, and the Court
will not consider them. The Court reviews the R&R for
Magistrate Judge found that Plaintiff's Complaint does
not present a federal question and that the parties are not
diverse. The Court does not find any plain error in these
conclusions. It is well-settled that federal-question
jurisdiction exists only when a federal question is presented
on the face of a plaintiff's well-pleaded complaint and
that the assertions of defenses or counterclaims based on
federal law cannot confer federal question jurisdiction over
a cause of action. See Beneficial Nat'l Bank v.
Anderson, 539 U.S. 1, 6 (2003); Holmes Group, Inc.
v. Vornado Air Circulation Sys., Inc., 535 U.S. 826,
830-32 (2002). The record also does not show that Plaintiff
and Defendant are citizens of different states, or that the
amount in controversy exceeds the statutory threshold of $75,
000. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a); Fed. Home
Loan Mortg. Corp. v. Williams, Nos. 1:07-cv-2864-RWS,
1:07-cv-2865-RWS, 2008 WL 115096, at *2 (N.D.Ga. Jan. 29,
2008) (“[A] dispossessory proceeding under Georgia law
is not an ownership dispute, but rather only a dispute over
the limited right to possession, title to property is not at
issue and, accordingly, the removing Defendant may not rely
on the value of the property as a whole to satisfy the amount
in controversy requirement.”).
the Court lacks both federal question and diversity
jurisdiction, the Magistrate Judge recommended that this
action be remanded to the magistrate court. See 28
U.S.C. § 1447(c) (“If at any time before final
judgment it appears that the district court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.”).