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Wanda Busby v. Capital One

January 6, 2011

WANDA BUSBY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAPITAL ONE, N.A. ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ricardo M. Urbina United States District Judge

Re Document No.: 9:

MEMORANDUM OPINION

DENYING THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND;DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO JOIN AN ADDITIONAL DEFENDANT

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the court on the pro se plaintiff's motions to remand this case to the Superior Court for the District of Columbia and to join an additional defendant to the suit. Because the defendants have demonstrated that they properly removed this matter to the district court, the court denies the plaintiff's motion to remand. Furthermore, because the plaintiff's motion to join an additional defendant is improper at this juncture, the court denies the motion without prejudice.

II. FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On May 18, 2010, the plaintiff commenced this action in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia against Capital One, N.A. ("Capital One") and an attorney, David Prensky. See generally Compl. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants engaged in tortious conduct in connection with a promissory note and deed of trust executed by the plaintiff in 1996. See generally id. In her complaint, the plaintiff asserted a variety of causes of action against the defendants based on District of Columbia law, including fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and conversion. Notice of Removal ¶ 1.

On June 9, 2010, the plaintiff amended her complaint to include additional claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961 et seq. See generally Am. Compl.; Notice of Removal ¶ 4. On June 17, 2010, Capital One filed a notice of removal in this court, asserting that the district court has original jurisdiction based on the presence of a federal question and the diversity of the parties. Notice of Removal ¶¶ 10-12.

On July 16, 2010, the plaintiff moved to remand this case to the Superior Court and to join Chasen & Chasen, the law firm with which Prensky is associated, as a defendant in this action. See generally Pl.'s Mot. to Remand & Join Party ("Pl.'s Mot."). The defendants oppose both motions. See generally Capital One's Opp'n to Remand & Joinder ("Capital One's Opp'n"); Prensky's Opp'n to Remand; Prensky's Opp'n to Joinder. With the plaintiff's motions ripe for adjudication, the court turns to the applicable legal standards and the parties' arguments.

III. ANALYSIS

A. The Court Denies the Plaintiff's Motion to Remand

The plaintiff contends that this case was not properly removed from the Superior Court because (1) this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiff's claims, (2) the defendants did not provide timely written notice of removal to the plaintiff, and (3) defendant Prensky did not unambiguously consent to the removal of the action. See generally Pl.'s Mot.; Pls.' Reply. The court considers these contentions in turn.

1. The Court Has Subject Matter Jurisdiction Over the Plaintiff's Claims

The plaintiff argues that removal is improper because the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiff's claims. Pl.'s Mot. at 13-17; Pl.'s Reply at 13-20. The defendants maintain that the court has federal question jurisdiction over the plaintiff's RICO claim and may exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiff's state law claims. Capital One's Opp'n at 5-9; Prensky's Opp'n to Remand at 8-10. In addition, the defendants contend that the court has ...


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