United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
Michael L. Brown United States District Judge
the Court is Defendant's Notice of Removal. (Dkt. 1-1).
Defendant seeks to remove a dispossessory action originally
filed on August 15, 2017 in the Magistrate Court of Clayton
County by Defendant's landlord and the landlord's
agents seeking possession of the premises, past due rent, and
other fees including late fees, utility fees, insurance fees,
and court fees. Because the Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over this dispossessory action, the Court must
remand the action to the Magistrate Court of Clayton County,
Defendant Tammy Randolph's fourth attempt to remove this
dispossessory matter to federal court from the Magistrate
Court of Clayton County, Georgia (see Case No.
1:17-cv-03538, removed on September 14, 2017, remanded on
September 18, 2017, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction;
Case No. 1:17-cv-03748, removed on September 26, 2017,
remanded on October 31, 2017, for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction; and Case No. 1:17-cv-04438, removed on November
8, 2017, remanded on February 7, 2018, for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction). In Case No. 1:17-cv-03748, District
Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr. cautioned Defendant that further
attempts to remove this dispossessory proceeding to this
Court may result in sanctions or fines. See Dkt. 4
at 2. And in the most recent case, the Court again cautioned
Defendant that further attempts to remove the dispossessory
proceeding to this Court may result in sanctions against her.
See Doc. 7, Order Case No. 1:17-cv-04438. As this is
Defendant's fourth removal attempt, and as Defendant has
now been twice warned not to improperly remove this action,
the Court will impose a surety bond pre- condition to any
further attempt by Defendant to improperly remove the
Defendant's most recent notice of removal, Defendant asks
the Court to “please supply [her] with information on
how why [sic] this case has been remanded and how to
proceed moving forward as [she hasn't] received any
correspondence thus far.” Doc. 1-1 at 1. The dockets in
each previous removal action clearly indicate that Defendant
was mailed a copy of this Court's orders remanded her
cases back to the Magistrate Court of Clayton County.
See Clerk's certificate of mailing dated
September 18, 2017 in Case No. 1:17-cv-03538; Clerk's
certificate of mailing dated November 1, 2017 in Case No.
1:17-cv-03748; and Clerk's certificate or mailing dated
February 8, 2018 in Case No. 1:17-cv-04438. The dockets
reflect that the orders were mailed to Defendant at the
address she listed on the civil cover sheets: 6305 Meadow
Circle, College Park, Georgia, 30349, which is the same
address that is shown on the dispossessory complaint in the
Magistrate Court of Clayton County. See Doc. 1-1 at
2. Each order explained in detail that the cases must be
remanded because Defendant had failed to show that this Court
has either federal question jurisdiction or diversity
jurisdiction over the Clayton County dispossessory action
that Defendant keeps removing to this Court.
reasons stated in those orders, this Court still lacks
subject matter jurisdiction over the Clayton County
dispossessory action. Accordingly, for the reasons discussed
in those orders, and as set forth below for the edification
of the Defendant, this action must be remanded for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, which means that
federal courts only have the power to provide a forum for
some, not all, disputes. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1447(c), a district court must remand any action that has
been improperly removed if the district court finds that it
lacks subject matter jurisdiction. Accordingly, this Court
must examine Defendant's notice of removal to determine
whether the claims raised in the Magistrate Court of Clayton
County can properly be removed to this Court.
removal to be proper, a defendant must demonstrate that the
action is based on diversity jurisdiction or that the action
contains a federal question, i.e., one or more claims arising
under the Constitution, treaties, or laws of the United
States. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441(a) &
(b), 1331(a), 1332. The party seeking removal bears the
burden of establishing federal jurisdiction. See Friedman
v. N.Y. Life Ins. Co., 410 F.3d 1350, 1353 (11th Cir.
2005). Here, the underlying case is a state dispossessory
action, which is based solely on state law and contains no
federal question on the face of the complaint. Thus, removal
based on federal question jurisdiction is improper. See
Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987).
Potential defenses or counterclaims, even if based on federal
statutes, also do not provide a basis for removal. See
id. at 393; Hudson Ins. Co. v. Am. Elec. Corp.,
957 F.2d 826, 830 n.4 (11th Cir. 1992).
there is no diversity jurisdiction. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332, federal district courts have original
jurisdiction for all civil actions where the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000 and is between citizens of
different states. According to the civil cover sheet that
Defendant completed, all parties are citizens of Georgia and
are not diverse for jurisdictional purposes. See
Dkt. 1-2 at 1. Nor has Defendant shown that the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000. Accordingly, the Defendant has
failed to meet her burden of establishing that this Court has
subject matter jurisdiction over the underlying dispossessory
the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, it must remand
the action to the Magistrate Court of Clayton County.
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
the action shall be REMANDED to the
Magistrate Court of Clayton County, Georgia for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. Because this is Defendant's
fourth time removing this dispossessory action, and because
Defendant has ignored the warnings of this Court in removing
this dispossessory action yet again, the Court additionally
ORDERS that, as a pre-condition to filing
any subsequent attempted removal of the present action
pending in the Magistrate Court of Clayton County, Defendant
must post with this court a $10, 000 cash or corporate surety
bond to secure any subsequent award of attorney's fees
and sanctions against the removing parties in the event
another frivolous and ungrounded removal of this action is
attempted. If Defendant does not post such a bond, the clerk
is DIRECTED to bring the filing to the
undersigned along with an order for summary remand and for
sanctions. See, e.g., Matthew v. Country Wide Home
Loans, 2007 WL 4373125, at *1 (N.D.Ga. Dec. 11, 2007)
Clerk is DIRECTED to close this case.
IS SO ORDERED.