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Gregory v. Whitney

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

August 7, 2019

JEANE GREGORY, Plaintiff,
v.
RICHARD WHITNEY Attorney of Gust Rosenfeld PLC; and GUST ROSENFELD PLC, Defendants.

          ORDER

          LOUISE W. FLANAGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the court on motion (DE 10) by defendant Gust Rosenfeld PLC (“Gust Rosenfeld”) to dismiss all claims against it for lack of jurisdiction and for improper venue, or, in the alternative to transfer venue to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. Plaintiff has responded in opposition, and in this posture the issues raised are ripe for ruling.[1] For the following reasons, the motion is granted and the case is transferred to the District of Arizona.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff commenced this action pro se by complaint filed in this court on May 29, 2019, asserting claims against an Arizona attorney and his law firm, who allegedly represented plaintiff in connection with state court proceedings for sale of property in Arizona of plaintiff's deceased mother, for whom plaintiff allegedly served as executor in 2011 based upon a California will. Plaintiff proceeds on the basis of diversity of jurisdiction, asserting claims suggesting deception and malpractice on the part of defendants. Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages in the amount of $10, 000, 000.00.

         On June 24, 2019, defendant Gust Rosenfeld filed the instant motion to dismiss plaintiff's claims against it, [2] under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b), on the basis of lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue. In the alternative, defendant Gust Rosenfeld seeks an order transferring the case to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). In support of its motion, defendant Gust Rosenfeld relies upon a declaration of its general counsel, Charles W. Wirken (“Wirken”).

         Plaintiff responsed in opposition to the motion, relying upon exhibits including: 1) Arizona property records; 2) correspondence between plaintiff, her husband, and attorneys in Arizona and Californa; 3) filings in Arizona state court; 4) information about the Arizona State Bar; and 5) a portion of a last will and testament of Susana S. Sabado, resident of Santa Clara County, California.

         Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment on July 31, 2019, which is not yet ripe for ruling.

         STATEMENT OF FACTS

         The facts alleged in the complaint may be summarized as follows. Plaintiff is a resident of New Bern, North Carolina. Defendant Gust Rosenfeld is a law firm in Phoenix, Arizona. Defendant Whitney was an attorney of Gust Rosenfeld in Arizona. Plaintiff's allegations comprise the following statements:

An Arizona Legal firm of some sixty attorneys lied to and deceived me into signing documents to sell property I owned. They claimed to by ‘my attorneys' and knew what needed to be done. They were really working for other attorneys against me, my interests and my mother's estate. The documents were illegal per the Arizona Court!

(Compl. p. 4).

My California mother died leaving property in Arizona. I am Executor of her Will. Two CA lawyers attempted to sell it, illegally. They put Whitney / Rosenfeld onto me. They told me they were my attorneys, I needed to sign papers as Executor to complete a sale. The ‘sale' went through. I complained to Whitney / Rosenfeld about issues as Executor. Turned out Whitney / Rosenfeld were working for the CA lawyers, NOT for me. Summed up by Maricopa County Court - ‘ it is obvious that the intformal probate was established for the sole purpose of completing the sale of property, and absolutely beyond the powers authorized by Arizona law and the powers issued by this Court.' - Minute Entry 11/08/2011 Case PB 2011-001579 I was not the Executor! I was duped!

(Id.).

I am certain that what Whitney/Rosenfeld PLC did blow all of the tenets of the American Legal System out of the water. I am certain the actions of Whitney/Rosenfeld PLC regarding a California Will, a Will's Executory, deceiving a North Carolina woman into signing illegal documents, and walking away. I can go on and on and on emails from Whitney / Rosenfeld and subsequent words from the court prove that Whitney/Rosenfeld did absolutely nothing that JQ Public has been led to believe that the American Legal ...

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