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Natures Point Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Jones

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

May 22, 2018

NATURES POINT HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
KEISHA JONES, Defendant.

          AMENDED OPINION AND ORDER [1]

          WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Magistrate Judge John K. Larkins III's Final Report and Recommendation [3] (“Final R&R”) recommending that this action be remanded to the Magistrate Court of Douglas County. Also before the Court is Defendant Keisha Jones's (“Defendant”) Application to Appeal In Forma Pauperis [7] (“IFP Application”) and Motion to Intervene with an Injunction [11] (“Motion for Injunction”).

         I. BACKGROUND

         On March 6, 2018, Defendant filed a Notice of Removal [2]. Defendant did not attach any of the original pleadings in the underlying action to her removal papers. The underlying action appears to have been filed by Plaintiff Natures Point Homeowners Association, Inc. (“Natures Point”) sometime in 2016. ([1.1] at 3-4). By January 4, 2018, Natures Point had filed a motion for contempt against Jones for failing to comply with an order of the Douglas County Superior Court, and the court had set a show cause hearing for February 28, 2018. ([1.1] at 4).

         On March 6, 2018, the Magistrate Judge issued his Final R&R concluding that this Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the removal action and recommending that this case be remanded to the Magistrate Court of Douglas County. (See generally [3]). On March 20, 2018, Defendant filed her Affidavit of Fact and Response to Final Report and Recommendation [5] (“Objections”) asserting vague, general objections regarding the Court's jurisdiction over her and claiming that statutes and codes do not apply to her.

         On March 27, 2018, Defendant filed her IFP Appeal [7]. Shortly thereafter, on March 30, 2018, Defendant filed her pro se Motion for Injunction apparently seeking a “notice of estoppel and stipulation of constitutional challenge to all Georgia state statutes and permanent injunction against Georgia state municipalities bringing claims against” her. ([11] at 5).

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         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). If no party has objected to the report and recommendation, a court conducts only a plain error review of the record. United States v. Slay, 714 F.2d 1093, 1095 (11th Cir. 1983) (per curiam).

         The Eleventh Circuit has held that “[i]t is critical that [any] objection[s] be sufficiently specific and not a general objection to the report.” Macort v. Prem, Inc., 208 Fed.Appx. 781, 784 (11th Cir. 2006). “[T]o challenge the findings and recommendations of the magistrate [judge], a party must . . . file . . . written objections which shall specifically identify the portions of the proposed findings and recommendation to which objection is made and the specific basis for objection.” Heath v. Jones, 863 F.2d 815, 822 (11th Cir. 1989); see also 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.”).

         Although Defendant filed Objections to the Final R&R, the Court finds that, even when liberally construed, Defendant fails to state any specific objection to the findings and recommendations of the Magistrate Judge or how those findings are factually or legally incorrect. The Court therefore conducts a review for plain error.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. The Final R&R

         The Magistrate Judge found that “the underlying case is a state action between a homeowner and her homeowners association apparently involving trespass on property and/or the association's restrictive covenants that does to appear to contain any federal claim and removal based on federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 is improper. ([3] at 2-3). The Magistrate Judge also concluded there is no diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) because Natures Point and Defendant are both Georgia citizens. ([3] at 3, citing [1.2] at 1). The Magistrate Judge further concluded that removal was untimely because the action was not removed within 30 days after the receipt by the defendant of a copy of the “initial pleading” on which removal is based. ([3] at 3, citing 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)). The Court finds no plain error in the Magistrate Judge's findings.

         The Magistrate Judge erred in recommending that this case be remanded to the Magistrate Court of Douglas County. Plaintiff originally filed this action in the Superior Court of Douglas County. ([1.1] at 3). ...


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