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Matthew C. Roberts v. First Franklin

March 16, 2012

MATTHEW C. ROBERTS
v.
FIRST FRANKLIN, N.A., ET AL.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable A. Howard Matz, U.S. District Judge

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

Present: The Honorable A. HOWARD MATZ, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

Stephen Montes Not Reported

Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No. Attorneys NOT Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys NOT Present for Defendants:

Proceedings: IN CHAMBERS (No Proceedings Held)

Before the Court is Plaintiff Matthew C. Roberts's request to reopen this case.*fn1

For the following reasons, Plaintiff's request is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Roberts filed this case on April 20, 2011, against Defendants First Franklin NA, Select Portfolio Servicing Inc., and U.S. Bank NA on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. Compl. ¶¶ 11, 12. Plaintiff's Original Complaint raised six state-law claims against Defendants related to Defendants' actions in foreclosing on Plaintiff's home.

Defendants moved to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint, Dkt. 3, and Plaintiff failed to oppose that motion. As a result, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's Original Complaint without prejudice and sanctioned Plaintiff's attorney, Curtis A. Westfall, for failing to file an opposition. Dkts. 7, 8.

On August 18, 2011, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint. That complaint raised five claims against Defendants under state law. Some of these claims were present in Plaintiff's Original Complaint and some of these claims were new.

Defendants moved to dismiss the First Amended Complaint, Dkt. 10, and Plaintiff again failed to respond to Defendants' motion. At the hearing on Defendants' motion, the Court noted that the motion was meritorious, but questioned Plaintiff as to why he failed to file an opposition. Tr. of Hearing at 3, Oct. 3, 2011. Plaintiff appeared without his attorney and his statements to the Court indicated that his attorney had, in effect, abandoned him. Tr. of Hearing at 3--6. Given this "unusual and compelling circumstance," the Court granted Plaintiff an additional opportunity to amend his complaint. Tr. of Hearing at 10. The Court directed Plaintiff to the Central District's Pro clinic for further assistance. Tr. of Hearing at 13. In addition, Court again sanctioned Plaintiff's attorney. Dkts. 13, 16.

Finally, at the hearing, the Court informed Plaintiff that his Second Amended Complaint would be his final opportunity to amend his case "because [Plaintiff] will have had ample opportunity to try to come up with a lawsuit that [he] would be entitled to pursue." Tr. of Hearing at 17.

Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint on October 25, 2011, which asserted three claims under state law for (1) unjust enrichment, (2) false assertion of ownership, and (3) declaratory relief. Two days later, on October 27, 2011, the Court ordered Plaintiff Roberts to show cause, by no later than November 10, 2011, why this case should not be dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Dkt. 18. The Court noted the probable lack of diversity jurisdiction given that (1) Plaintiff is a citizen of California and (2) Plaintiff's complaint alleges that First Franklin's principal place of business-and therefore its citizenship-is California. In addition, the Court found that it lacked federal question jurisdiction because ...


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