Debt Collector

Gotta Love: Allan Groves as Trustee for the 1435 Crescent Oak Trust

Initial Pretrial and Scheduling Conference and Order to Disclose Interested Persons. Initial Conference set for 3/3/2022 at 10:45 AM

LIT COMMENTARY POST ‘SETTLEMENT’

JAN 1, 2023

That image doesn't look good for homeowner Groves

So much for foreclosure defense lawyer Jeffrey Jackson's 'without prejudice' settlement, it's moot.

So what does that tell you? It’s another false lawsuit. Allan Groves didn’t file the lawsuit – these two sets of law firms did – Graylish/McZeal & Law Office of Victor D Walker P C – and Jeffrey Jackson, a foreclosure defense firm played along. Jackson joins the growing list of LIT Bandits.

We aver, as LIT’s been uncovering the fraud by lawyers and judges in Texas with these theft of home cases, it was dismissed, and they all agreed ex parte to allow the property to be returned to Wall St., in this case JP Morgan.

Allan Groves v. U.S. Bank, N.A.

(4:22-cv-00086)

District Court, S.D. Texas

JAN 3, 2022 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: JAN 4, 2022

New foreclosure case removed to federal court and before Judges Hittner and Bray in SDTX. Bookmark for updates.

JOINT STIPULATION OF DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Plaintiff, Allan Groves, as Trustee for the 1435 Crescent Oak Trust (“Groves”), and defendants, U.S. Bank, N.A. as Trustee on behalf of the Holders of the J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-WMC4 Asset Backed Pass-Through Certificates Series 2006-WMC4 (the “2006-WMC4 Trust”) and Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. (“SPS”) (together the “Defendants”), (all together the “Parties”), file this Joint Stipulation of Dismissal, and would show the Court:

The Parties stipulate that all of Groves’ claims against Defendants are to be dismissed without prejudice pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(ii) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Each party will bear their own costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees.

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Parties respectfully request the Court to issue a final dismissal without prejudice in this case.

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Jeffrey C. Jackson

JEFFREY C. JACKSON
Texas State Bar No. 24065485
S.D. Federal Admission. No. 1024221
JEFFREY JACKSON & ASSOC., PLLC
2500 E. T.C. Jester Blvd., Suite 285
Houston, Texas 77008
713-861-8833 (T)
713-682-8866 (F)
jeff@jjacksonllp.com

Attorney for Plaintiff
AND
 

By: /s/ Michael F. Hord Jr.

Michael F. Hord Jr.
State Bar No. 00784294
Federal I.D. No. 16035

Eric C. Mettenbrink
State Bar No. 24043819
Federal I.D. No. 569887

HIRSCH & WESTHEIMER, P.C.
1415 Louisiana, 36th Floor
Houston, Texas 77002-2772
713-220-9182 Telephone
713-223-9319 Facsimile
mhord@hirschwest.com
emettenbrink@hirschwest.com

Attorneys for Defendants

No movement since remand denied by Judge Hittner.

U.S. District Court
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS (Houston)
CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 4:22-cv-00086

Create an Alert for This Case on RECAP

Allan Groves v. U.S. Bank, N.A.
Assigned to: Judge David Hittner

Case in other court:  434th Fort Bend District Court, 21-DV-289934

Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-(Citizenship)

Date Filed: 01/10/2022
Jury Demand: Plaintiff
Nature of Suit: 220 Real Property: Foreclosure
Jurisdiction: Diversity

 

Date Filed # Docket Text
02/08/2022 7 MOTION to Remand by Allan Groves, filed. Motion Docket Date 3/1/2022. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order of Remand)(Jackson, Jeffrey) (Entered: 02/08/2022)
02/11/2022 8 NOTICE of Lis Pendens by Allan Groves, filed. (Jackson, Jeffrey) (Entered: 02/11/2022)
02/18/2022 9 NOTICE of Appearance by Charles D. Brooks on behalf of Allan Groves, filed. (Brooks, Charles) (Entered: 02/18/2022)
02/18/2022 10 Agreed JOINT DISCOVERY/CASE MANAGEMENT PLAN by Allan Groves, filed. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Scheduling and Docket Control Order)(Brooks, Charles) (Entered: 02/18/2022)
02/28/2022 11 RESPONSE in Opposition to 7 MOTION to Remand, filed by Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc., U.S. Bank, N.A.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Proposed Order ORDER)(Hord, Michael) (Entered: 02/28/2022)
03/03/2022 13 SCHEDULING ORDER. Trial Term: March/April 2023. ETT: 3 days. Jury trial. Amended Pleadings due by 3/31/2022. Joinder of Parties due by 3/31/2022 Pltf Expert Witness List due by 4/29/2022. Deft Expert Witness List due by 5/31/2022. Discovery due by 8/31/2022. Dispositive Motion Filing due by 9/30/2022. Non-Dispositive Motion Filing due by 9/30/2022. Joint Pretrial Order due by 2/28/2023.(Signed by Magistrate Judge Peter Bray) Parties notified.(jmarchand, 4) (Entered: 03/07/2022)
03/07/2022 12 REPLY to Response to 7 MOTION to Remand, filed by Allan Groves. (Jackson, Jeffrey) (Entered: 03/07/2022)
03/18/2022 14 NOTICE of Service of Plaintiff’s Rule 26(a)(1) Initial Disclosures by Allan Groves, filed. (Jackson, Jeffrey) (Entered: 03/18/2022)
04/29/2022 15 NOTICE of Service of Plaintiff’s Rule 26(a)(2) Expert Witness Designation by Allan Groves, filed. (Jackson, Jeffrey) (Entered: 04/29/2022)
05/16/2022 16 ORDER denying 7 Motion to Remand.(Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(ealexander, 4) (Entered: 05/16/2022)

Expert Witness Designations noticed.

Feb 11, 2022: Notice of Lis Pendens filed by Jeffrey Jackson for Homeowner

ORDER for Initial Pretrial and Scheduling Conference and Order to Disclose Interested Persons. Initial Conference set for 3/3/2022 at 10:45 AM in Courtroom 703 before Magistrate Judge Peter Bray. (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(BrandisIsom, 4) (Entered: 01/11/2022)

PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO REMAND (8 FEB. 2022)

COMES NOW, Plaintiff, Allan Groves, as Trustee for the 1435 Crescent Oak Trust (“Groves”) and files this Motion to Remand this case back to the 434th District Court of Fort Bend County, Texas, and would respectfully show the Court as follows:

I. Nature and Stage of the Proceeding

1. Groves filed his original state court petition in Fort Bend County on December 28, 2021 alleging violations of Texas statutory law governing non-judicial foreclosure. Two defendants removed this case on January 10, 2022: U.S. Bank, N.A. as Trustee on behalf of the Holders of the
J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-WMC4 Asset Backed Pass-Through Certificates Series 2006-WMC4 (the “2006-WMC4 Trust”) and Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. (“SPS”) (collectively the “Removing Parties”). Dkt. No. 1.

2. This motion will show that the Removing Parties’ jurisdictional facts are not adequately alleged as to the 2006-WMC4 Trust.

II. Issues Presented

I. Did the removing parties properly allege facts to support the 2006-WMC4 Trust’s citizenship?

Answer: No

III. Argument and Authorities

A. The Removing Parties Fail to Allege Sufficient Facts to Support the Citizenship of the 2006-WMC4 Trust1.

Diversity Jurisdiction Generally3.

“Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.”1

Federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction and are authorized to entertain causes of action only where a question of federal law is involved or where there is diversity of citizenship between the parties and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.00.2

4. In a removed action, a district court is required to remand a case to state court if, at any time before final judgment, it determines that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction.3

The removing party bears the burden of showing that federal jurisdiction exists and that removal was proper.4

1 Peoples Nat’l Bank v. Office of Comptroller of the Currency of United States, 362 F.3d 333, 336 (5th Cir. 2004); accord Howery v. Allstate Ins. Co., 243 F.3d 912, 916 (5th Cir. 2003), cert. denied, 534 U.S. 993, 122 S.Ct. 459, 151 L.Ed.2d 377 (2001).

2 See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332; Grupo Dataflux v. Atlas Global Group, L.P., 541 U.S. 567,—- , 124 S.Ct. 1920, 1923 n. 1, 158 L.Ed.2d 866 (2004); Howery, 243 F.3d at 914-15; Hart v. Bayer Corp., 199 F.3d 239, 246 (5th Cir. 2000).

3 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).

4 See Manguno v. Prudential Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 276 F.3d 720, 723 (5th Cir.2002); Howery, 243 F.3d at 919; De Aguilar v. Boeing Co., 47 F.3d 1404, 1408 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 516 U.S. 865, 116 S.Ct. 180, 133 L.Ed.2d 119 (1995).

The existence of federal subject matter jurisdiction is determined at the time of removal from state court.5 Any ambiguities are construed against removal because the removal statute is strictly construed in favor of remand.6

2. The Need to Allege and Establish the Citizenship of all Defendants5.

If removal is based on diversity jurisdiction, the notice of removal must state facts asserting citizenship of the parties.

Booty v. Shoney’s, Inc. 872 F.Supp 1524, 1528 (E.D.La. 1995); see also Dart Cherokee Basin Oper. Co. v. Owens, 574 U.S. 81, 83-84, 135 S.Ct. 547, 551 (2014).

If the defendant did not establish the citizenship of the parties at the time of removal, the plaintiff may file a motion to remand arguing jurisdiction has not been established.

See Doe #1 v. Blair, 819 F.3d 64, 67-68 (4th Cir. 2016); Heinen v. Northrop Grumman Corp., 671 F.3d 669, 670 (7th Cir. 2012).

“District courts have no power to overlook procedural errors relating to the notice of removal; instead, a district court must remand a case which was removed pursuant to a procedurally defective notice.”

Spoon v. Fannin Cty. Cmty. Supervision and Corr. Dep’t, 794 F.Supp.2d 703, 705-06 (E.D. Tex. 2011) (quoting Harden v. Field Mem. Cmty. Hosp., 516 F.Supp.2d 600, 606 (S.D. Miss. 2007)).

3. The Removing Parties Fail to Allege Necessary Facts to Support the 2006- WMC4 Trust’s Citizenship6.

In the notice of removal, the removing parties do not properly allege the 2006-WMC4 Trust’s citizenship. The removing parties allege the 2006-WMC4 Trust is a citizen of Ohio. Dkt. No. 1 at 3.

The removing parties rely on the citizenship of the 2006-WMC4 Trust’s trustee, U.S. Bank, N.A., without elaboration on the nature of the 2006-WMC4 Trust. Id.

7. The test for determining the citizenship of a trust depends on whether or not the trust is a business trust or traditional trust.

5 See Bissonnet Invs. LLC v. Quinlan, 320 F.3d 520, 525 (5th Cir. 2003) (citing Arnold v. Garlock, 278 F.3d 426, 434 (5th Cir. 2001)).

6 See Bosky v. Kroger Tex., LP, 288 F.3d 208, 211 (5th Cir.2002); Manguno, 276 F.3d at 723.

See Americold Realty Tr. v. Conagra Foods, Inc., —-U.S, 136 S. Ct. 1012, 1015 (2016).

A business trust is a form of business organization that is similar to a corporation that is created for profit and is managed by compensated trustees for the benefit of those who hold transferable interests.

See id.

A traditional trust is an entity commonly used for gift and estate planning purposes that involves a fiduciary relationship between multiple people. Id.

8. When a trustee is sued it its own name, the only preliminary question to be answered is whether the party is an “active trustee[ ] whose control over the assets held in [its] name[ ] is real and substantial.”

Carden v. Arkoma Assocs., 494 U.S. 185, 191 (1990); Bynane v. Bank of New York Mellon for CWMBS Inc. Asset-Backed Certificates Series 2006-24, 866 F.3d 351, 357 (5th Cir. 2017).

If the answer is in the affirmative, the citizenship of the trustee controls, and if the answer is in the negative, the citizenship of the shareholders controls. Id.

9. A trustee’s control is ‘real and substantial’ when [it] possesses certain customary powers to hold, manage, and dispose of assets for the benefit of others.”
Navarro Sav. Ass’n v. Lee, 446 U.S. 458, 464 (1980); see also Justice v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 674 F. App’x 330, 332 (5th Cir.2016).

Generally, “[i]f the trustee ha[s] exclusive authority over the property (i.e., the declaration of the trust ‘authorizes the trustees to take legal title to trust assets, to invest those assets for the benefit of the shareholders, and to sue and be sued in their capacity as trustees’), … court[s] will look to the citizenship of the trustee alone to determine jurisdiction.”

Ouzenne v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Tr. Co. for Soundview Home Loan Tr. 2006-3, Asset-Backed Certificates, Series 2006-3, No. H-16-CV-2563, 2017 WL 1437297, at *2 (S.D. Tex. 2017).

10. The Removing Parties fail to allege any specific facts to support their apparent presumption that the 2006-WMC4 Trust is a traditional trust that takes the citizenship of its trustee.

Specifically, the Removing Parties fail to allege any facts to answer the “preliminary question” of whether the trustee is an “active trustee[ ] whose control over the assets held in [its] name[ ] is real and substantial.”

Carden, 494 U.S. at 191; Bynane, 866 F.3d at 357.7

The removing parties skip this necessary step in the citizenship analysis and simply assert without supporting factual allegations that the 2006-WMC4 Trust takes the citizenship of its trustee.

When a removing party fails to allege facts sufficient to find that a trustee has real and substantial control over trust assets, remand is appropriate.

See Swoboda v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, No. 4:13-cv-02986 [Dkt. No. 138], at *8 (S.D.Tex. 2016)

(Granting remand where the “parties make no attempt to classify [the trust] as a ‘traditional trust’”).

IV. Conclusion and Request for Relief

11. It was the Removing Parties’ burden to state necessary facts asserting citizenship of all parties.

Booty, 872 F.Supp at 1528; Owens, 574 U.S. at 83-84.

Since the Removing Parties did not establish the citizenship of the 2006-WMC4 Trust in the notice of removal, jurisdiction has not been established.

See Blair, 819 F.3d at 67-68; Heinen, 671 F.3d at 670.

Plaintiff respectfully requests the court remand the case to the 434th District Court of Fort Bend County, Texas.

Respectfully submitted,

JEFFREY JACKSON & ASSOCIATES, PLLC

/s/ Jeffrey C. Jackson

JEFFREY C. JACKSON
Texas State Bar No. 24065485
SDTX No. 1024221
2500 E. TC Jester Blvd.,
Suite 285 Houston, Texas 77008
713-861-8833 (T)
713-682-8866 (F)
jeff@jjacksonllp.com

7 For instance, the removing parties do specify what powers U.S. Bank, N.A. has to hold, manage, and dispose of assets for the benefit of others. There are no allegations that U.S. Bank, N.A. has legal title to trust assets, the power to invest those assets for the benefit of the shareholders, or the right to sue and be sued in its capacity as trustee.

ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF

 

CERTIFICATE OF CONFERENCE

I certify that on February 8, 2022, counsel for Defendant indicated to me his client is opposed to remand of this case.

/s/ Jeffrey C. Jackson
JEFFREY C. JACKSON

 

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

The undersigned hereby certifies that a true and correct copy of the foregoing document was served upon all counsel of record via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, Facsimile and/or the Court’s CM/ECF system on February 8, 2022.

Michael F. Hord Jr.
mhord@hirschwest.com
Eric C. Mettenbrink
emettenbrink@hirschwest.com

HIRSCH & WESTHEIMER, P.C.
1415 Louisiana Street,
36th Floor Houston, Texas 77002
713-220-9182 (T)
713-223-9319 (F)

Attorneys for Defendants U.S. Bank, N.A., as Trustee on behalf of the Holders of the J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-WMC4 Asset Backed Pass- Through Certificates Series 2006-WMC4 and Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc.

/s/ Jeffrey C. Jackson
JEFFREY C. JACKSON

NOTICE of Appearance by Jeffrey C. Jackson on behalf of Allan Groves, filed. (Jackson, Jeffrey) (Entered: 01/11/2022)

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U.S. District Court
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS (Houston)
CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 4:22-cv-00086

Create an Alert for This Case on RECAP

Allan Groves v. U.S. Bank, N.A.
Assigned to: Judge David Hittner

Case in other court:  434th Fort Bend District Court, 21-DV-289934

Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-(Citizenship)

Date Filed: 01/10/2022
Jury Demand: Plaintiff
Nature of Suit: 220 Real Property: Foreclosure
Jurisdiction: Diversity
Plaintiff
Allan Groves
as Trustee for the 1435 Crescent Oak Trust
represented by Jeffrey Craig Jackson
Jeffrey Jackson & Associates, PLLC
2500 E TC Jester Blvd.
Suite 285
Houston, TX 77008
713-861-8833
Fax: 713-682-8866
Email: jeff@jjacksonllp.com
LEAD ATTORNEY
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED
V.
Defendant
U.S. Bank, N.A.
as Trustee on behalf of the Holders of the J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-WMC4 Asset Backed Pass-Through Certificates Series 2006-WMC4
represented by Michael F Hord , Jr
Hirsch Westheimer PC
1415 Louisiana
36th Floor
Houston, TX 77002-2772
713-220-9182
Fax: 713-223-9319
Email: mhord@hirschwest.com
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED
Defendant
Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. represented by Michael F Hord , Jr
(See above for address)
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED

 

Date Filed # Docket Text
01/10/2022 1 NOTICE OF REMOVAL (Filing fee $ 402 receipt number 0541-27582850) filed by U.S. Bank, N.A. as Trustee on behalf of the Holders of the J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-WMC4 Asset Backed Pass-Through Certificates Series 2006-WMC4, Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 A, # 2 B, # 3 C, # 4 C-1, # 5 C-2, # 6 C-3, # 7 D)(Hord, Michael) (Entered: 01/10/2022)
01/10/2022 2 CIVIL COVER SHEET by Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc., U.S. Bank, N.A. as Trustee on behalf of the Holders of the J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-WMC4 Asset Backed Pass-Through Certificates Series 2006-WMC4, filed.(Hord, Michael) (Entered: 01/10/2022)
01/11/2022 3 ORDER for Initial Pretrial and Scheduling Conference and Order to Disclose Interested Persons. Initial Conference set for 3/3/2022 at 10:45 AM in Courtroom 703 before Magistrate Judge Peter Bray. (Signed by Judge David Hittner) Parties notified.(BrandisIsom, 4) (Entered: 01/11/2022)
01/11/2022 4 NOTICE of Appearance by Jeffrey C. Jackson on behalf of Allan Groves, filed. (Jackson, Jeffrey) (Entered: 01/11/2022)
Gotta Love: Allan Groves as Trustee for the 1435 Crescent Oak Trust
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