Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Yelverton v. Edmundson

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

March 30, 2017

STEPHEN THOMAS YELVERTON, Plaintiff,
v.
PHYLLIS Y. EDMUNDSON and YELVERTON FARMS, LTD., Defendants. STEPHEN THOMAS YELVERTON, Plaintiff,
v.
YELVERTON FARMS, LTD. Defendant.

          ORDER

          JAMES C. FOX, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the court is the motion to dismiss the amended complaint filed by Yelverton Farms, Ltd. ("Defendant"). [DE-22, No. 5I16-CV-31-F].[1] On February 21, 2017, United States Magistrate Judge Robert B. Jones, Jr. issued a Memorandum and Recommendation ("M&R") recommending the court grant Defendant's motion. [DE-75, No. 5:15-CV-134-F]. Plaintiff objected and Defendant responded thereto [DE-76, -77]. For the reasons stated below, the court ADOPTS the M&R and ALLOWS Defendant's motion.[2]

         I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A district court may "designate a magistrate judge ... to submit... proposed findings of fact and recommendations for the disposition" of a variety of motions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). The court then must "make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made." Id. § 636(b)(1). Upon review of the record, "the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." Id.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff raises six objections, claiming that: (1) the District Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction Jo act on the merits of Plaintiffs claims;[3] (2) Plaintiff is an assignee of claims and stock rights in Yelverton Farms, Ltd.; (3) the court improperly took judicial notice of rulings from other courts; (4) a fiduciary relationship exists between Plaintiff and Yelverton Farms, Ltd.; (5) Plaintiff adequately pleaded all elements of defamation; and (6) Plaintiff adequately pleaded all elements of interference with contract.

         1. Objection One

         Plaintiff first argues that operation of the Burford abstention doctrine in this case precludes the court's subject matter jurisdiction. Accordingly, Plaintiff contends "this proceeding must be referred to the North Carolina Business Court, or other state courts, for resolution on the merits, without any rulings on the merits by the District Court." Obj. M&R [DE-76] ¶ 4.

         Plaintiffs arguments on this point reflect a misapprehension of both the nature of Burford abstention and the authority of this court. Under the Burford doctrine, "[a] federal court may abstain from hearing a case or claim over which it has jurisdiction to avoid needless disruption of state efforts to establish coherent policy in an area of comprehensive state regulation." Friedman v. Revenue Mgmt. of N.Y., Inc., 38 F.3d 668, 671 (2nd Cir. 1994) (quoting Burford v. Sun Oil Co., 319 U.S. 315, 332 (1943)). Thus, a court dismissing a claim pursuant to Burford is not deprived of jurisdiction, but declines to exercise the jurisdiction it has. Regardless of the existence or lack of subject matter jurisdiction, however, federal courts do not possess the authority to "refer" cases to state courts.

         2. Objection Two

         Plaintiff next argues that the magistrate judge's conclusion is erroneous with regard to Plaintiffs standing as an assignee of claims and his stock ownership.[4] In its October 12, 2016 Order (the "October 2016 Order"), the court discussed these topics and concluded that Plaintiff had no ownership in Yelverton Farms, Ltd. stock. [DE-67]. The same rationale and conclusion apply here. Because Plaintiff was not a Yelverton Farms, Ltd. stockholder, he lacks standing and his claims for judicial receivership, liquidation, and dissolution of the corporation must be dismissed.

         3. Objection Three

         The court acknowledges but declines to discuss Plaintiffs third objection. The court addressed similar arguments in the October 2016 Order. [DE-67] at 9. The same rationale and conclusion apply here. The magistrate judge did not improperly take judicial notice of rulings from other courts.

         4. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.