United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
AIGP CLIFTON GLEN LLC, also known as Clifton Glen, and PROVENCE REAL ESTATE, Plaintiffs,
CALVIN BRANDON, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Magistrate Judge Alan J.
Baverman's Final Report and Recommendation 
(“R&R”), which recommends remanding this
dispossessory action to the Magistrate Court of DeKalb
AIGP Clifton Glen and Provence Real Estate
(“Plaintiffs”) initiated a dispossessory
proceeding against their tenant, Defendant Calvin Brandon
(“Defendant”) in the Magistrate Court of DeKalb
County, Georgia. The Complaint seeks possession of premises
currently occupied by Defendant, plus past due rent,
utilities, late fees and costs.
March 30, 2018, Defendant, proceeding pro se,
removed the DeKalb County Action to this Court by filing his
Notice of Removal and an application to proceed in forma
pauperis (“IFP”) . Defendant appears to
assert that there is federal subject-matter jurisdiction
based on the existence of a question of federal law. He
claims in her Notice of Removal that “Respondent”
violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692. (Notice of Removal [1.1] at 1).
April 2, 2018, Magistrate Judge Baverman issued his R&R
 recommending that the Court remand this case to state
court. Judge Baverman found that Plaintiff's underlying
pleading shows that this action is a dispossessory action,
which Defendant contends violates federal law. Noting that a
federal law defense or counterclaim alone is not sufficient
to confer federal jurisdiction, Judge Baverman concluded that
the Court does not have federal question jurisdiction over
this matter. Judge Baverman also found that Defendant is
citizen of Georgia ([1.2] at 1), which is the state the
dispossessory proceeding was brought, and that the amount in
controversy does not exceed the $75, 000 jurisdictional
threshold. Judge Baverman concluded that the Court does not
have diversity jurisdiction over this matter and that this
case is required to be remanded to state court.
are no objections to the R&R.
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).
does not object to the R&R's conclusions that
Plaintiff's Complaint does not present a federal question
and that the parties are not diverse. The Court does not find
any 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
the Court lacks both federal question and diversity
jurisdiction, this action is required to be remanded to the
state 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.”).