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Woodard v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, C.D. California

October 8, 2014

MALINDA O. WOODARD, Plaintiff,
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., successor by merger with Wachovia Mortgage FSB formerly known as World Savings Bank, FSB;

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO SET ASIDE OR VACATE JUDGMENT OF DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE [23]

OTIS D. WRIGHT, II, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Nearly everyone has heard the popular adage that "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again." But every licensed attorney should know that when it comes to court orders and particularly judgments, this proverb does not apply. Before the Court is Plaintiff Malinda Woodard's Motion to Set Aside or Vacate Judgment of Dismissal. (ECF No. 23.) The Motion merely rehashes the meritless arguments made in Woodard's unsuccessful Motion to Remand and Opposition to Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.'s Motion to Dismiss. For the reasons discussed below, the Court DENIES Woodard's Motion to Set Aside or Vacate Judgment (ECF No. 23) and ORDERS Woodard's counsel Laleh Ensafi TO SHOW CAUSE why she should not be sanctioned for violating Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(b).[1]

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

This is a run-of-the-mill wrongful foreclosure case that was removed from state court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. ( See ECF No. 1.) After the action was removed, Wells Fargo moved to dismiss the case in its entirety. (ECF No. 8.) Woodard timely opposed the Motion to Dismiss and also brought a Motion to Remand. (ECF Nos. 12, 13.) On July 16, 2014, this Court issued an Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion to Remand and Granting Defendant Wells Fargo's Motion to Dismiss Without Leave to Amend. (ECF No. 20.) A separate judgment was issued two weeks later. (ECF No. 22.)

In the July 16, 2014 Order, the Court explained in no uncertain terms that the grounds for Woodard's Motion to Remand failed based on well-established legal principles. ( See ECF No. 20 at 3-4.) The Court even suggested in a footnote that Woodard's counsel had "skirt[ed] the line of violating Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11." ( Id. at 4 n.3.)

Woodard filed the instant Motion to Set Aside or Vacate Judgment on September 8, 2014. (ECF No. 23.) Wells Fargo timely opposed. (ECF No. 25.) Woodard did not file any reply papers.

III. LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) permits a party to seek reconsideration of a final judgment or court order. The Central District of California Local Rules elucidate the proper bases for which a party may seek reconsideration:

(a) a material difference in fact or law from that presented to the Court before such decision that in the exercise of reasonable diligence could not have been known to the party moving for reconsideration at the time of such decision, or (b) the emergence of new material facts or a change of law occurring after the time of such decision, or (c) a manifest showing of a failure to consider material facts presented to the Court before such decision.

L.R. 7-18. Additionally, "[n]o motion for reconsideration shall in any manner repeat any oral or written argument made in support of or in opposition to the original motion." Id.

IV. DISCUSSION

In the Motion, Woodard seeks to set aside or vacate the Court's dismissal with prejudice under Rule 60(b)(4), arguing that the Court's judgment is void for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Woodard goes on to rehash arguments previously made in the Motion to Remand about subject-matter jurisdiction.

If this Court did lack subject-matter jurisdiction, relief from judgment under Rule 60(b)(4) would be appropriate. See Wages v. I.R.S., 915 F.2d 1230, 1234 (9th Cir. 1990). But the Court has already considered its subject-matter jurisdiction when denying Woodard's Motion to Remand ( See ECF No. 20), and Woodard has failed to articulate a basis under Local Rule 7-18 for reconsideration of that decision. Subject-matter jurisdiction in this case is based on diversity under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Woodard is a citizen of California. Wells Fargo, as a national banking association, is a citizen of ...


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