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Beasley v. Lang

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Western Division

May 14, 2018

TERESA BEASLEY PLAINTIFF
v.
ROBERT LANG, BEVERLY LANG, AND EF PROPERTIES, LLC DEFENDANTS

          ORDER AND OPINION

          DAVID BRAMLETTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is EF Properties, LLC's Motion to Dismiss [Doc. 50] the Cross-claim filed by Beverly and Robert Lang. For the reasons that follow, the motion will be DENIED.

         Background

         This dispute arises from Plaintiff Theresa Beasley's attempt to collect a $383, 000 judgment rendered against Beverly and Robert Lang in the Circuit Court of Lincoln County, Mississippi in October 2012.[1]

         Four years after she obtained the still-unpaid judgment, Beasley sued the Langs, their lawyer, Eduardo Flechas, and EF Properties, a limited liability company managed by Flechas.[2]

         In her Complaint, Beasley alleges that the Langs, with Flechas' help, fraudulently transferred real property to impede Beasley's efforts to collect on her judgment against the Langs. As for relief, Beasley asks that the Court (1) declare that all real property purportedly owned by the Langs or EF Properties is actually the joint property of the Langs; (2) declare that all non-exempt property owned by the Langs be sold to pay the first liens of the property, and then to pay Beasley's judgment lien; and (3) enter an order transferring title of the Langs' non-exempt property to Beasley.

         The Langs cross-claimed against EF Properties on August 30, 2017.[3] See Doc. 45. In their Cross-claim, the Langs allege that Flechas conned them into defrauding creditors like Beasley by advising the Langs to convey their real property to EF Properties. The Langs seek damages for conspiracy to defraud and unjust enrichment, and they ask the Court to impose a constructive trust and order an accounting of EF Properties.

         EF Properties moves the Court to dismiss the Langs' Cross-claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12, or to grant summary judgment in its favor under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. Because EF Properties' Motion does not require the Court to look beyond the pleadings, and involves only issues of justiciability and the applicability of statutory written-demand provisions, the Court analyzes the Motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12.

         I

         In its Rule 12 analysis, the Court accepts as true the well-pleaded allegations of the Langs' Cross-claim, and views those allegations in the light most favorable to the Langs. Gines v. D.R. Horton, Inc., 599 F.3d 812, 816 (5th Cir. 2012).

         II

         A

         EF Properties urges the Court to dismiss the Langs' Cross-claim for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Article III adversity is absent, EF Properties contends, because the Langs own an interest in EF Properties. And because the Langs' interests are not opposed to EF Properties' interests, EF Properties continues, the Langs lack constitutional standing.

         The jurisdiction of the federal courts is limited to cases and controversies. U.S. Const. art. III, § 2, cl. 2. To qualify as a case or controversy, a dispute must involve parties with adverse legal interests, and a plaintiff with standing to sue. Bauer v.Texas, 341 F.3d 352, 359 (5th Cir. 2003) (citing Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. Haworth,300 U.S. 227 (1937)). A plaintiff has standing if she shows (1) an injury-in-fact; (2) traceable to the ...


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