Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. v. Tyner, No. 05-2449, 2006 WL 83052 (D.S.C. Jan. 10, 2006)
In a somewhat pedestrian opinion, Honorable David C. Norton, U. S. District Judge for the District of South Carolina, ruled that a defendant in a state court case could not procedurally assert class claims as a third-party demand under Rules 14 and 19 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In this matter, Deutsche Bank initially filed a foreclosure suit in state court against Thomas and Jennifer Tyner arising out of a loan assigned to Deutsche Bank. In addition to filing an answer and counterclaim, the Tyners filed a third-party class claim against Ameriquest, the original holder of the mortgage loan. Ameriquest removed the case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 and then questioned, among other things, the validity of the third-party class claims. The Tyners subsequently moved to remand the case to state court.
Since the court held that the third-party class claims were not proper under Federal Rules 14 or 19, Judge Norton did not address specific jurisdictional issues involving CAFA. However, the court expressly noted that if the class claims were proper under Rules 14 or 19, that is, that they stemmed from facts that were “substantially the same” as the primary issues, then removal would have been appropriate pursuant to CAFA’s jurisdictional and removal rules, specifically citing 28 U.S.C. § 1453 and 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d). Moreover, Judge Norton opined that Ameriquest could not remove the action claiming diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1441 and 1332, since the original defendants — the Tyners — did not want to remove the case to federal court. Accordingly, the court dismissed the third party class claims, and remanded the case back to the state court from whence it came.