United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
W. THRASH, JR. United States District Judge.
a dispossessory action. It is before the Court for a
frivolity determination. A claim is frivolous “where it
lacks an arguable basis either in law or in
fact.” A complaint may be dismissed for failure
to state a claim on which relief may be granted when it
appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of
facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to
Defendant filed in this Court a pleading entitled in part
Motion to Vacate and Set Aside Wrongful Eviction and
Dispossessory [Doc. 3]. The Clerk has docketed this as a
removal of the state court dispossessory action. Pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1447, if at any time before final judgment
it appears that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over an action that has been removed from a state court, this
Court must remand the action. The Court must therefore examine
the Defendant's Motion to determine whether this Court
has jurisdiction over the claims involved in the state court
action. “In removal cases, the burden is on the party
who sought removal to demonstrate that federal jurisdiction
Defendant alleges that the Plaintiff's dispossessory
action violated her rights under the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth
Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. Thus, it
appears that the Defendant is alleging that this Court has
jurisdiction based upon a federal question. However, the
Defendant's pleading does not appear to contend that the
Plaintiff has asserted any federal claims in the subject
state court action. Instead, the Defendant is claiming
certain defenses under federal law, specifically alleging
that the underlying state court action violates federal law.
After reviewing the record, the Court has determined that the
Defendant has not established federal question jurisdiction.
28 U.S.C. § 1331, “[t]he district courts shall
have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under
the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United
States.” Under 28 U.S.C. § 1441, a defendant
may remove a civil action to a district court on the basis of
such federal question jurisdiction. The Supreme Court has held
that the presence or absence of federal question jurisdiction
is governed by the “well-pleaded complaint” rule.
That rule provides that federal jurisdiction exists only when
a federal question is presented on the face of the state
court plaintiff's properly pleaded
complaint. The Defendant, however, does not contend
that the Plaintiff has asserted any federal claims in this
case, and a review of the record reveals that the Plaintiff
has asserted no federal claims.
the Defendant's pleading indicates that the
Plaintiff's action in the Magistrate Court of Gwinnett
County is a dispossessory action to remove the Defendant as a
tenant after her failure to pay rent. An eviction or
dispossessory action is a process governed by state law that
does not typically implicate federal law. The Defendant has
not identified any federal question that the Plaintiff's
state court eviction action raises. To the extent that the
Defendant is attempting to remove this action by asserting
defenses or counterclaims which invoke federal statutes, that
basis of removal is also improper. Under the well-pleaded
complaint rule, federal defenses and counterclaims are not
sufficient to confer jurisdiction on this Court to hear an
action removed from a state court.
review of the record reveals that the Defendant also cannot
remove this case on the basis of diversity of citizenship.
Diversity between parties does not provide a basis for
removal to federal court if any of the properly joined
defendants is a citizen of the state in which the action is
brought. The Defendant states that she is a
resident of Atlanta, Georgia, and does not allege citizenship
in any other state. Thus, this action may not be removed on
the basis of diversity jurisdiction.
the Court notes that the relief the Defendant seeks is an
injunction against the state court proceedings. Under the
Anti-Injunction Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2283, this Court cannot
enjoin a state court action for eviction. The Anti-Injunction
Act is “an absolute prohibition against enjoining State
Court proceedings, unless the injunction falls within one of
three specifically defined exceptions.” “The
three excepted circumstances are (i) the express provisions
of another act of Congress authorizing such an order; (ii)
necessity in aid of the federal court's jurisdiction; and
(iii) the need to protect or effectuate the federal
court's judgments.” None of those exceptions
applies in this case. This prohibition against injunctions
applies whether the movant seeks to enjoin the parties to the
action or the state court itself. In this case, the
Defendant seeks to enjoin the Plaintiff from proceeding with
a dispossessory action already filed in state court. This
Court is, however, “absolutely prohibited” by the
Anti-Injunction Act from granting such relief. This action is
DISMISSED. The Defendant's Emergency Motion for
Injunctive Relief [Doc. 3] is DENIED. SO ORDERED, this 28 day
of September, 2017.
 Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S.
319, 325 (1989).
 Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S.
232, 236 (1974).
 See 28 U.S.C. §
Kirkland v. Midland Mortg.
Co., 243 F.3d 1277, 1281 n.5 (11th Cir. ...