United States District Court, D. Maryland
LAURA H.G. O'SULLIVAN ET AL. Plaintiffs
CYNTHIA L. ANDERSON Defendant.
J. MESSITTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
se Defendant Cynthia Anderson has removed to this Court
from the Prince George's County Circuit Court the case of
O'Sullivan v. Anderson, CAEF13-33564. Ms.
Anderson appears to be contesting the foreclosure by
Plaintiff trustees of a property located at 10016 Erion
Court, Maryland, 20721.
independent review of state court documents reveals that
there are two actions in Prince George's County that
relate to the underlying foreclosure. The first is
O'Sullivan v. Anderson, CAEF13-33564, the docket
of which indicates that foreclosure was initiated in the
Circuit Court for Prince George's County on November 8,
2013. See Docket No. 1, CAEF13-33564. On June 11,
2014, a sale of the property was reported. Docket No. 20,
CAEF13-33564. However, on October 31, 2014, Circuit
Court Judge Clarke struck the Report of Sale and stayed the
action pending a bankruptcy proceeding filed by Ms. Anderson.
Docket No. 26, CAEF13-33564. On April 10, 2017, a
voluntary dismissal of the case was entered and the case was
dismissed. Docket No. 36, CAEF13-33564.
second state court action was begun on March 17, 2016,
O'Sullivan v. Anderson, CAEF16-07619. A review
of this docket shows that the property at issue was sold on
October 2, 2017 (Docket No. 62, CAEF 16-07619), that Circuit
Court Judge Alves entered a Judgement of Possession on
January 12, 2018 (Docket No. 83, CAEF16-07619), and that a
Writ of Possession was issued on January 19, 2018 (Docket No.
91, CAEF16-07619). The sale has not yet been ratified.
See generally Docket, CAEF16-07619.
December 11, 2017, Ms. Anderson filed a Notice of Removal of
CAEF13-33564. ECF No. 1. The Clerk docketed it as a removal
case and issued a Standing Order Concerning Removal on
December 14, 2017. ECF No. 8. Although the removal appears to
have been properly served (Notice of Removal at 6; ECF No.
1), Plaintiffs never entered an appearance in the case.
January 18, 2018, this Court issued a Memorandum Order
directing the parties to submit information regarding their
positions in the case. ECF No. 11. Specifically, the Court
directed Plaintiffs to indicate whether they had been served
with a copy of the Removal Notice and what response they had
to the removal. Id. The Court also directed
Defendant to identify what constitutional claims she is
alleging that would establish federal jurisdiction, as it
clear from her pleadings that there is no diversity of
did not respond to the Court's directive, but Ms.
Anderson submitted numerous filings, including two
“Judicial Notices of Adjudicative Fact” and two
“Motions to be Heard.” ECF Nos. 12-15. Ms.
Anderson alleges, in essence, that Prince George's County
Circuit Court Judge Alves violated the Constitution by
declining to consider her constitutional challenges to
Maryland's foreclosure laws (“all State of Maryland
Statute [sic] and Special Laws used in case
(CAEF16-07619)”). ECF No. 13. According to Ms.
Anderson, Judge Alves was required to certify each of her
constitutional challenges so that the Maryland Attorney
General could intervene and present evidence that the
challenged statutes are constitutional. ECF No. 15. Because
Judge Alves did not do so, Ms. Anderson implies, she cannot
“enter a final judgment” against Ms. Anderson.
ECF No. 13.
the lack of subject matter jurisdiction may be noticed by the
district court sua sponte or by any party, the court
may enter a remand order sua sponte.”
Ellenburg v. Spartan Motors Chassis, Inc., 519 F.3d
192, 196 (4th Cir. 2008) (citations omitted). Plaintiffs have
not filed a Motion to Remand or a Motion to Dismiss in this
case; indeed, they have not entered any sort of appearance.
However, what pleadings the Court does have demonstrate that
it lacks subject matter jurisdiction, and it is entitled to
remand this case on its own volition.
grounds on which a federal court has subject matter
jurisdiction over a case are if the case concerns a question
of federal law under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 or if there is
diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. There
is no diversity of citizenship here as required by §
1332, as both Plaintiffs and Defendant are from Maryland.
there a federal question at issue. A case is only properly
removed from state court if the plaintiff's
complaint establishes that the case arises under federal law.
Franchise Tax Bd of State of Cal. V. Construction
Laborers Vacation Trust for Southern California, 463
U.S. 1, 10 (1983). Ms. Anderson has not shown that Plaintiff
trustees' foreclosure action against her contains any
federal question for the Court to consider, and simply
alleging that there may be constitutional issues does not
overcome this deficiency. Furthermore, even if Ms. Anderson
could establish federal jurisdiction as the defendant, she
has not established that she has any cognizable
constitutional claims. The record shows that Ms. Anderson
filed numerous motions and notices of judicial fact in
CAEF16-07619, presumably to challenge the constitutionality
of the Maryland foreclosure laws, and that both Judge Clarke
and Judge Alves considered and denied those motions. The
correct avenue for Ms. Anderson to dispute those rulings is
through direct appeal to the Maryland State Court of Special
Appeals, not by way of a collateral attack in federal court.
above reasons, the Notice of Removal (ECF No. 1) case is
STRICKEN and the Clerk of the Court is
directed to CLOSE this case.
separate Order will issue.