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Simpson v. Bank of America, N.A.

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division

October 5, 2017

CLINTON SIMPSON PLAINTIFF
v.
BANK OF AMERICA, NA; COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS SERVICING; and EMILY KAYE COURTEAU, Substitute Trustee DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Debra M. Brown UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This declaratory judgment action is before the Court on the motion for judgment on the pleadings, Doc. #18, and the motion for summary judgment, Doc. #23, filed by Bank of America, N.A.

         I

         Procedural History

         A. State Court Proceedings

         On September 15, 2016, Clinton Simpson filed a “Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief” in the Chancery Court of Sunflower County, Mississippi, against Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”); Countrywide Home Loans Servicing; and Emily Kaye Courteau. Doc. #2. Clinton[1] alleges that the defendants are engaging in foreclosure proceedings against certain property owned by him “in violation of the Defendant's own servicing standards and administrative procedures for the processing of loan modification requests pursuant to the [Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)].” Id. at ¶ 7. On these allegations, Clinton seeks:

[A] judgment declaring that the actions of the Defendants, Countrywide and Bank of America did constitute a violation of administrative servicing standards under the Home Affordable Modification Program;
[A] temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction enjoining the Defendants from proceeding with the foreclosure sale of the real property described herein …
[A] judgment awarding to Plaintiff compensatory and punitive damages, attorney's fees, expenses and costs of court; [and]
[An a]ward [of] such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

Id. at 3 (paragraph lettering omitted).

         The same day as he filed the complaint, Clinton filed a motion seeking a temporary restraining “order enjoining the Defendants from proceeding with a foreclosure sale ….” Doc. #1-1 at 13-14. Five days later, on September 20, 2016, the state court granted Clinton's motion. Id. at 20-21.

         On October 20, 2016, BANA, “with the consent and approval” of Courteau, removed the state action to this Court based on diversity jurisdiction.[2] Doc. #1.

         B. Federal Court Proceedings

         After removal, BANA and Courteau filed answers to Clinton's state court complaint. Doc. #3; Doc. #5. On March 31, 2017, following a period of discovery, BANA filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, Doc. #18, which Courteau joined on May 9, 2017, Doc. #21. On July 21, 2017, BANA filed a motion for summary judgment and an accompanying memorandum. Doc. #23; Doc. #24. Five days later, Courteau filed a joinder purporting[3] to join in both the motion and the memorandum. Doc. #25. Clinton has not responded to either motion or the joinder.

         II

         Standard ...


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