United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON JUDGE.
the Court is the United States Magistrate Judge's
Report and Recommendation (Doc. 24) pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The Report and Recommendation
addresses the Motion to Remand (Doc. 3)
filed by Plaintiff Dustin Jackson. The Magistrate Judge
recommended that the Motion to Remand be granted because the
requirements for diversity jurisdiction are not met. (Doc. 24
at p. 2).
Report and Recommendation notified the parties that, pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), they had fourteen (14) days
from the date they received the Report and Recommendation to
file written objections to the proposed findings of fact,
conclusions of law, and recommendations therein. (Doc. 24 at
reasons stated herein, the Magistrate Judge's
Report and Recommendation (Doc. 24) is
ADOPTED as the Court's opinion herein.
Accordingly, Plaintiffs Motion to Remand (Doc.
3) is GRANTED.
National Trust Insurance Company and James Cagle, filed two
objections to the Report and Recommendation. When a party
objects to a magistrate judge's proposed findings and
recommendations, the Court reviews de novo the
recommendations to which an objection is made. 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1). The Court need not consider frivolous,
conclusory, or generalized objections. Battle v. United
States Parole Comm'n, 834 F.2d 419, 421 (5th Cir.
1987) (per curiam). Nor need it reiterate the findings and
conclusions of the United States Magistrate Judge.
Koetting v. Thompson, 995 F.2d 37, 40 (5th Cir.
1993) (per curiam). After its review, the Court may accept,
reject, or modify the recommendation of the magistrate judge,
receive further evidence in the case, or return the matter to
the magistrate judge with further instructions. 28 U.S.C.
Improper Joinder of Stewart Interior Contractors,
rearticulate their argument that Plaintiff fraudulently
joined Stewart Interior Contractors, LLC ("SICL")
as a defendant to the matter and that absent SICL's
presence, complete diversity exists. (Doc. 28 at p. 3) The
Court is satisfied with the Magistrate Judge's detailed
analysis of the alleged facts and law regarding this issue
and will not modify the conclusions reached.
The Law of the Case Doctrine
also aver that the Magistrate Judge failed to apply the
"law of the case" doctrine which expresses the
general practice of courts "to refuse to reopen what has
been decided." USPPS, Ltd. v. Avery Dennison
Corp., 647 F.3d 274, 282 (5th Cir. 2011) (quoting
Christianson v. Cold Indus. Operating Corp, 486 U.S.
800, 817 (1988)). Defendants attempted to remove this action
to federal court once before. The Report and Recommendation,
which addressed the first attempt at removal and was adopted
by the Court, indicated that if "SICL should obtain
dismissal of the claim brought against it in state court,
then the remaining defendants may seek to remove the action
at that time." (Doc. 34). Plaintiff initially joined
SICL to this action but SICL was dismissed on summary
judgment in state court. Defendants appear to argue that the
Magistrate Judge held "in no uncertain terms" that
removal would be proper once SICL was dismissed from the
action in state court and thus, the law of the case doctrine
precludes the Court from redeciding the issue. (Doc. 28 at p.
Court concludes that the Magistrate Judge's language that
Defendants "may seek to remove" falls short of a
conclusive holding that that dismissal of SICL would allow
Defendants to remove the case. Thus, the issue has not
"been decided," in a matter which precludes
application of the law of the case doctrine. Moreover, even
if the Magistrate Judge had held that Defendants would be
entitled to remove the case in the event that SICL was
dismissed from the case, the state court ruling in the
instant case provided no reasoning for its decision. Thus,
the Court concludes that it would be wholly inappropriate to
allow removal based on such a decision. See SE Property
Holdings, LLC v. Unified Recovery Group, LLC, 2018 WL
6267189, at *7 (E.D. La. Nov. 30, 2018) ("the law of the
case doctrine is merely a rule of practice, based upon sound
policy" (quoting Loumar, Inc. v. Smith, 698
F.2d 759, 762 (5th Cir. 1983))).
carefully considered the underlying Complaint, the instant
motions, and related filings, the Court approves the
Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation, and hereby
adopts the ...