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Willis v. Chase Home Finance

United States District Court, District of Columbia

February 8, 2013

Donald WILLIS, Plaintiff,
v.
CHASE HOME FINANCE, Defendant.

Page 90

Donald Willis, Fort Worth, TX, pro se.

Jeffrey L. Tarkenton, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC, Washington, DC, for Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, District Judge.

On August 6, 2012, Plaintiff Donald Willis (" Plaintiff" ), proceeding pro se, filed this action against Chase Home Finance, alleging that Chase Home Finance subjected him to " predatory lending and mortgage fraud." Compl., ECF No. [1], ¶ 1. Presently before the Court are Plaintiff's [13] Amended Motion to Transfer, and a [6] Motion to Dismiss, or, in the Alternative, to Transfer Venue, filed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (hereinafter " Defendant" ), successor by merger to Chase Home Finance. Plaintiff's motion requests that the Court transfer the venue of this case to the " Georgia U.S. District Court." Defendant's motion seeks dismissal of Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), or, alternatively, transfer of venue to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division. Upon consideration of the parties'

Page 91

submissions [1] and the applicable authorities, the Court shall DENY Plaintiff's motion to transfer venue and GRANT Defendant's motion to transfer venue to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division. In light of the transfer of venue, the Court shall not address the substance of Defendant's motion to dismiss and shall instead DENY-WITHOUT-PREJUDICE Defendant's motion to dismiss so that Defendant may re-file it, if appropriate, upon transfer to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division.

I. BACKGROUND

On August 6, 2012, Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed this action against Chase Home Finance, alleging that Chase Home Finance subjected him to " predatory lending and mortgage fraud." Compl. ¶ 1. One week later, on August 13, 2012, Plaintiff filed a [3] motion to transfer venue, requesting that the Court transfer venue to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). On August 16, 2012, due to the utterly cursory nature of Plaintiff's submissions, the Court issued an Order denying Plaintiff's motion to transfer without prejudice, with leave to re-file " a renewed motion providing sufficient factual content to allow the Court to conclude that transfer is appropriate by no later than September 12, 2012." Order (Aug. 16, 2012), ECF No. [4], at 4. In its August 16, 2012 Order, the Court made a concerted effort to explain how Plaintiff's motion was lacking and to apprise Plaintiff of the showing required to justify a transfer of venue under § 1404(a).

On August 28, 2012, Defendant, claiming to be the successor by merger to Chase Home Finance, served and filed the motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, to transfer venue that is presently before this Court. Through its motion, Defendant seeks the dismissal of Plaintiff's Complaint in its entirety under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). In the alternative, Defendant asks the Court to transfer this action to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division.

Upon receipt of Defendant's motion to dismiss, or to transfer venue, the Court, in accordance with the instructions of the United States Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia Circuit in Fox v. Strickland, 837 F.2d 507 (D.C.Cir.1988), advised Plaintiff that he " must file an opposition to [Defendant's] motion by no later than September 14, 2012" or " the Court may treat the motion as conceded." Order (Aug. 28, 2012), ECF No. [8], at 2. However, on August 30, 2012, Plaintiff filed a [9] Notice of Appeal, appealing this Court's August 16, 2012 Order— i.e., the denial without prejudice of his motion to transfer venue. The Court subsequently issued an Order, on September 6, 2012, which found that because the Court's denial, without prejudice, of Plaintiff's motion to transfer was not even a final adjudication of the merits of Plaintiff's attempts to

Page 92

transfer this case (let alone a final, appealable order), Plaintiff's Notice of Appeal was premature and as such, did not divest this Court of jurisdiction to proceed. See Order (Sept. 6, 2012), ECF No. [11], at 2-3. Accordingly, the Court advised Plaintiff that he was still expected to comply with all orders and deadlines issued by this Court, including the deadlines for filing a renewed motion for transfer of venue and a response to Defendant's motion to dismiss, or, in the alternative, to transfer venue. Id. at 3. On December 21, 2012, the D.C. Circuit dismissed Plaintiff's ...


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