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Williams v. Home Properties, L.P.

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

December 30, 2013

ANNISNICOLE WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
HOME PROPERTIES, L.P. et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: REMAND AND DISMISSAL

MARVIN J. GARBIS, District Judge.

The Court has before it Plaintiff's Motion to Remand [Document 6], Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Defendant LaChance for Fraudulent Joinder [Document 11], and Defendant Home Properties, L.P.'s Motion to Dismiss Count IV and Any Claim for Punitive Damages [Document 12]. The Court finds that a hearing is unnecessary.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Annisnicole Williams ("Williams") has sued Defendants Home Properties, L.P. ("Home Properties"), a New York Corporation, and Melissa LaChance ("LaChance"), a Maryland citizen. Williams asserts claims in four Counts:

Count I - Negligence
Count II - Violations of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act
Count III - Fraudulent Concealment
Count IV - Battery

The suit was filed in the Circuit Court for Frederick County, Maryland. Home Properties removed the case to this Court, asserting that diversity jurisdiction exists because of the fraudulent joinder of Defendant LaChance. By her instant motion, Williams seeks remand. Defendants seek dismissal of all claims against Defendant LaChance, dismissal of the battery claim in Count IV against Defendant Home Properties, and dismissal of all claims for punitive damages.

II. JURISDICTION

The removal statute, 28 U.S.C. ยง 1441(a), provides that:

any civil action brought in a State court of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant or the defendants, to the district court of the United States for the district and division embracing the place where such action is pending.

The diversity statute provides, in pertinent part:

The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive ...

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