United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
M. MUNLEY, JUDGE United States District Court
Dorothy Spencer and Kenneth Spencer (hereinafter
“plaintiffs”) assert a myriad of claims arising
from their purchase of a mobile home from Defendants CMH
Homes, Inc. d/b/a Clayton Homes-Bloomsburg, and CMH
Manufacturing, Inc. (collectively “CMH
Defendants”). Before the court for disposition is
plaintiffs' and Defendants RCR Construction And
Excavating, LLC, Rick Romig a/k/a Richard Romig, Ricky Romig,
and Cynthia A. Romig's (collectively “RCR
Defendants”) joint motion to remand this case to the
Court of Common Pleas of Columbia County, Pennsylvania. For
the reasons that follow, the court will grant this motion.
instant action arises from the CMH Defendants and RCR
Defendants' construction and installation of a
manufactured home. On April 11, 2012, plaintiffs purchased a
manufactured home from the CMH Defendants for $121, 603.27.
(Doc. 2, Compl. ¶ 15). Pursuant to the purchase
agreement, the CMH Defendants agreed to place the
manufactured home on top of a nine (9) foot high poured wall
foundation. (Id. ¶ 23).
to the purchase of the home, the CMH Defendants employed the
RCR Defendants to pour the wall foundation. (Id.
¶ 24). On June 8, 2012, the RCR Defendants poured the
foundation for the manufactured home. (Id. ¶
28). On June 11, 2012, the CMH Defendants delivered and set
plaintiffs' home on the foundation. (Id. ¶
moved into their new manufactured home on July 6, 2012.
(Id. ¶ 30). Shortly after moving in, plaintiffs
observed a crack in the foundation against the back wall.
(Id. ¶ 33). On July 22, 2012, plaintiffs
discussed the crack in the foundation wall with the CMH and
RCR Defendants, explaining that water had begun to seep into
the basement through this crack. (Id. ¶ 35).
months later, on May 9, 2013, plaintiffs notified the CMH
Defendants of additional issues with their home, including:
more cracks in the foundation walls and floor, improperly
fastened entry door, disconnected main support beams,
unsealed wood sub-framing, and challenges opening and closing
various doors and windows throughout the house. (Id.
on these factual allegations, plaintiffs filed a nine-count
complaint in the Court of Common Pleas of Columbia County.
(Doc. 2). Plaintiffs assert the following eight (8) state law
causes of action against the CMH Defendants and RCR
Defendants: Count I, breach of contract; Count II, unjust
enrichment; Count III, negligence; Count IV, breach of
express and implied warranties; Count V, breach of implied
warranty of fitness for a particular purpose; Count VI,
violation of Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer
Protection Law (hereinafter “UTPCPL”), 73 Pa.
Stat. § 201-1 et seq.; Count VIII, quantum
meruit; and Count IX, promissory estoppel. Plaintiffs also
assert, in Count VII, a violation of the Magnuson-Moss
Warranty Improvement Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 2301-12. On
February 17, 2017, the CMH Defendants filed a notice of
removal. (Doc. 1). Plaintiffs and the RCR Defendants filed a
joint motion to remand on March 13, 2017. (Doc. 14). The
parties briefed their respective positions and the matter is
ripe for disposition.
law provides that defendants may remove a civil action filed
in a state court if the federal court would have had original
jurisdiction over the action. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). The
removing defendants bear the burden of proving the existence
of federal jurisdiction. In re Processed Egg Prods.
Antitrust Litig., 836 F.Supp.2d 290, 294 (E.D. Pa. 2011)
(citing Dukes v. U.S. Healthcare, Inc., 57 F.3d 350,
359 (3d Cir. 1995)). Defendants must also establish that all
pertinent procedural requirements for removal have been met.
Shadie v. Aventis Pasteur, Inc., 254 F.Supp.2d 509,
514 (M.D. Pa. 2003) (citing Boyer v. Snap-On Tools
Corp., 913 F.2d 108, 111 (3d Cir. 1990)). “Because
lack of jurisdiction would make any decree in the case void
and the continuation of the litigation in federal court
futile, the removal statute should be strictly construed and
all doubts resolved in favor of remand.” Abels v.
State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 770 F.2d 26, 29 (3d Cir.
1985) (citations omitted).
remove a case from state to federal court, a defendant must
simply file a notice of removal with the federal district
court for the district and division in which the state court
action is pending. 28 U.S.C. § 1446(a). A
defendant's notice of removal must “be filed within
30 days after the receipt by the defendant, through service
or otherwise, of a copy of the initial pleading setting forth
the claim for relief upon which such action or proceeding is
based.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(1).
cases involving multiple defendants, “all defendants
who have been properly joined and served must join in or
consent to the removal of the action.” 28 U.S.C. §
1446(b)(2)(A). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has held
that the failure of all defendants to join in removal is a
defect in removal procedure, but not a jurisdictional defect.
Balazik v. Cty. of Dauphin, 44 F.3d 209, 213 (3d
Cir. 1995). As such, a party seeking to remand pursuant to a
procedural defect must file a motion to remand under 28
U.S.C. §§ 1447(c) and 1446(a). Id.
decision to enter a remand order on the basis of a defect in
removal procedure or for a lack of subject matter
jurisdiction is within the discretion of the district court,
and, whether erroneous or not, is not subject to appeal.
Cook v. Wikler, 320 F.3d 431, 437 (3d Cir. 2003)
(citing Quackenbush v. Allstate Ins. Co., 517 U.S.
706, 711-12 (1996)). The United States Supreme Court has
noted that limiting review of remand orders supports
“Congress's longstanding policy of not permitting