United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
W. GRIMM, District Judge.
Elsie William-Jumbo executed a promissory note to obtain a
$576, 000 loan, secured by a lien on her real property at
8110 River Park Drive, Bowie, MD 20715 (the
"Property"). Deed of Trust, ECF No. 55. OneWest
Bank, FSB was the secured party and loan servicer with regard
to Defendant's mortgage loan on the Property. Notice of
Intent to Foreclose, ECF No. 57. Defendant defaulted on her
loan payments, id., and Carrie M. Ward, Howard N.
Bierman, Jacob Geesing, Pratima Lele, Tayyaba C. Monto, and
Joshua Coleman, as Substitute Trustees, initiated a
foreclosure action against her in the Circuit Court for
Prince George's County, Maryland with regard to the
Property. Order to Docket, ECF No. 46. Defendant
filed a Notice of Constitutional Challenges, asserting that
her "Constitutional rights [had] been violated by the
special laws in the Name of Foreclosure proceedings."
ECF Nos. 17, 22.
who is proceeding pro se, removed to this Court
after the Property was sold at a foreclosure sale and the
state court ratified the foreclosure sale and the final
accounting of the sale. ECF No. 11. I must determine whether
this Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this
foreclosure proceeding or whether it should be remanded to
state court, as Plaintiff requests. Neither Plaintiff nor the
Substitute Trustees raised any federal questions in the state
court proceedings against Defendant, and the Notice of
Removal, ECF No. 1, and Order to Docket show that Defendant
is a Maryland resident. I conclude that this Court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction, and I remand this case.
district courts "have original jurisdiction of all civil
actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of
the United States, " pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1331, as
well those "where the matter in controversy exceeds the
sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs,
and is between-(1) citizens of different States, "
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1332(a). When a plaintiff files such
an action in state court, the action "may be removed by
the defendant... to the district court of the United States
for the district and division embracing the place where such
action is pending." 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1441(a). However,
"[a] civil action otherwise removable solely on the
basis of the jurisdiction under section 1332(a)... may not be
removed if any of the parties in interest properly joined and
served as defendants is a citizen of the State in which such
action is brought." 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1441(b)(2). "If at
any time before final judgment it appears that the district
court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be
remanded." 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1447(c).
contends that this Court has jurisdiction because a federal
question is presented; specifically, Defendant is
"[s]eeking the enforcement of Title 12 USC 952a."
Civ. Cover Sheet, ECF No. 1-1. Certainly, Defendant raised
issues under the U.S. Constitution in state court in her
Notice of Constitutional Challenges. But, neither Plaintiff
nor the Substitute Trustees presented a federal question in
state court. See Order to Docket; State Ct. Docket,
ECF No. 3. Even if Defendant had properly pleaded a
counterclaim that a federal law was violated, it would not
give rise to federal question jurisdiction, because "the
federal question must be presented by plaintiff's
complaint as it stands at the time the petition for removal
is filed.... It is insufficient that a federal question has
been raised as a matter of defense or as a
counterclaim.'" Herman v. Lincoln Nat'l Life
Ins. Co., 842 F.Supp.2d 851, 853 (D. Md. 2012) (quoting
Metro Ford Truck Sales, Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 145
F.3d 320, 326-27 (5th Cir. 1998) (citing 14 C. Wright & A.
Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure Â§ 3722, at 557)).
Moreover, it is evident from the Order to Docket and the
state court docket that this case is an in rem
foreclosure action in Prince George's County, Maryland.
See Order to Docket; State Ct. Docket. Therefore,
this Court does not have federal question jurisdiction.
See 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1331.
does this Court have diversity jurisdiction. It is undisputed
that Defendant is a Maryland citizen and the removed action
was brought in Maryland. See Notice of Removal;
Order to Docket. Therefore, Defendant could not remove this
case to federal court properly. See 28 U.S.C. Â§
put, this is an in rem foreclosure action concerning
Maryland real property brought against a Maryland resident in
Maryland, and no basis exists for federal question or
diversity jurisdiction. Because this Court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction, I will remand this case to the Circuit
Court for Prince George's County. See 28 U.S.C.
it is, this 10th day of June, 2016, hereby ORDERED that the
Clerk IS DIRECTED to remand this case to the Circuit Court
for Prince George's County, Maryland, and to close this
 Although the Substitute Trustees were the
plaintiffs in state court, Indy Mac Mortgage Services/Onewest
Bank, FSB, P.C., a division of OneWest Bank, is listed as
Plaintiff in this Court.
 Plaintiff filed a Motion to Dismiss and
Remand, ECF No. 62, which I denied without prejudice when
this case was stayed pending the outcome of the Chapter 13
bankruptcy case that Defendant filed, ECF No. 68. After the
stay terminated, Plaintiff filed a request for a pre-motion
conference, indicating that it would ...