United States District Court, D. Maryland
THEODORE D. CHUANG JUDGE
April 11, 2016, Plaintiffs Rodney Ryan Graves ("Mr.
Graves") and DeAlva Simmons Graves ("Ms.
Graves"), who are self-represented, filed a Complaint
against Defendanss Samuel 1. White, William A. White, Eric D.
White, Samuel 1. White, P.C, and Judge
Cynthia Callahan of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County,
Maryland. Plaintiffs allege that Defendanss committed various
constitutional and civil rights violations in connection with
state court foreclosure proceedings in which all parties were
involved. Presently pending before the Court are
Plaintiffs' Emergency Motion for Issuance of Summons and
Emergency Motion for Hearing on Docket Entries 2, 3, and 4.
For the reasons that follow, the Court lacks jurisdiction
over Plaintiffs' Complaint. The Complaint is therefore
DISMISSED, and the Motions are DENIED AS MOOT.
State Court Proceedings
to the Maryland Judiciary Case Search website, of which this
Court takes judicial notice pursuant to Federal Rule of
Evidence 201, on April 26, 2013, a foreclosure action was
filed against Ms. Graves in the Circuit Court for Montgomery
County, Maryland. See O'Sullivan, v. Graves, No.
376661V (Montgomery Cty. Cir. Ct. Apr. 26, 2013),
attorney at the Virginia Beach, Virginia law firm of Samuel
I. White, P.C. is counsel for the plaintiffs in the
foreclosure action. At several points during the state court
proceeding,, Plaintiffs filed joint motions, even though Ms.
Graves was the only named party in the action.
December 1, 2014, the sale of the Property was reported. On
January 8, 2015, Ms. Graves filed exceptions to the
foreclosure, and on January 26, 2015, she filed a motion for
an injunction. On March 30, 2015, the circuit court
(Callahan, J.) denied both the exceptions and the motion.
April 10, 2015, the circuit court (Callahan, J.) issued an
order ratifying the sale of the property. An auditor's
report of the property was issued on June 1, 2015, to which
Ms. Graves filed exceptions on June 18, 2015. The circuit
court (Debelius, J.) entered a final order of ratification on
the auditor's report on June 25, 2015. On March 15, 2016,
OWB REO, LLC, which the circuit court docket lists as an
"other party" to the litigation, id, filed
a motion for judgment awarding possession. On April 8, 2016,
Ms. Graves filed her opposition to the motion along with a
motion to strike. On April 18, 2016, the circuit court
granted OWB REO, LLC's motion, and on June 7, 2016, Ms.
Graves was evicted from the Property.
liberally, the Complaint alleges violations of the United
States Constitution and Maryland Declaration of Rights
arising from a foreclosure action in the Circuit Court for
Montgomery County relating to a property located on Heather
Avenue in Takoma Park, Maryland ("the Property"..
The Complaint asserts claims against Judge Callahan, who
presided over some of the foreclosure proceedings, and
against Samuel I. White, William A. White, Eric D. White, and
Samuel I. White, P.C. ("the Samuel I. White, P.C.
Defendants"), who Plaintiffs claim "initiated a
wrongful foreclosure." See Compl. at 9, ECF No.
respect to Judge Callahan, Plaintiffs dispute her finding
that Mr. Graves had no standing to appear on his or Ms.
Graves's behalf in the foreclosure action and note that
they filed a grievance against Judge Callahan with the
Commission on Judicial Disabilities,, which the Commission
dismissed. Plaintiffs allege that Judge Callahan exceeded her
authority in rendering this decision and "intentionally
disregarded [Plaintiffs]] protected constitutional and civil
Rights 'because of their race and color'"
Id. at 7.
the Samuel I. White, P.C. Defendants, Plaintiffs claim that
they wrongfully purchased the Property. Plaintiffs allege
that the Samuel I. White, P.C. Defendants initiated a
wrongful foreclosure action against Ms. Graves, that the
alleged foreclosure purchase was not a "true arm's
length transaction"" and that they lacked authority
to delegate a substitute trustee to institute foreclosure.
Id. at 9. Plaintiff also take issue with the
veracity of an affidavit submitted by an attorney, as well as
the existence of a legal contract and the enforcement of
default in the foreclosure action. In sum, Plaintiffs'
claims arise from various actions and inactions taken during
and in relation to the foreclosure action.
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear the
Graves' claims. Federal courts are courts of limited
jurisdiction and generally may hear only claims that arise
under federal law or meet the requirements for diversity
jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331,
1332 (2012); Exxon Mobil Corp v. Allapattah Servs.,
Inc., 545 U.S. 546, 552 (2005). "[A] federal court
is obliged to dismiss a case whenever it appears the court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction"" Lovern v.
Edwards, 190 F.3d 648, 654 (4th Cir. 1999); Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(h)(3). "Determining the question of subject matter
jurisdiction at the outset of the litigation is often the
most efficient procedure"" Lovern, 190
F.3d at 654.
preliminary matter, the Graves have alleged that this Court
has diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1332.
However, the parties in this case are not diverse; Plaintiffs
have alleged that both they and Judge Callahan are residents
of Maryland. See 28 U.S.C. §1332(a)(1).