United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
TERRENCE W. BOYLE CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on plaintiffs' motion to
remand. [DE 17]. For the foregoing reasons, plaintiffs'
motion is GRANTED.
case arises from plaintiffs' experience with a
residential moving and storage company, in which the company
allegedly sold much of plaintiffs' personal property at a
public sale without giving them proper notice of the
sale-after having been unresponsive to plaintiffs' many
attempts to pay the company.
who are North Carolina citizens, filed suit in the Superior
Court of Wake County, North Carolina, naming three
defendants: (1) All My Sons Properties of Raleigh, LLC, d/b/a
All My Sons Moving and Storage, Inc., (2) SG of Raleigh, LLC,
d/b/a All My Sons Moving & Storage of Raleigh, LLC, and
(3) Kenon P. Furlong, the operations manager of SG of
naming All My Sons Properties of Raleigh, LLC as a defendant
in the complaint, plaintiffs' factual allegations are
entirely directed against "All My Sons," which
plaintiffs' define early in the complaint as a collective
reference to SG of Raleigh, LLC and defendant Furlong. DE
1-3, ¶ 3. After defining All My Sons as such, the
complaint alleges the following.
March 2017, plaintiffs contacted All My Sons to provide
packing, moving, and storage services of plaintiffs'
personal property. Id. ¶ 7. Plaintiffs were
moving residences but were going to live in a rental home in
the interim. As such, All My Sons was to move some of
plaintiffs' property into the rental home and store the
remaining property in an All My Sons' storage facility.
Id. ¶ 8.
Fall of 2017, plaintiff Alicia Morris called All My Sons
several times to notify them that she had not yet received a
bill. Id. ¶ 14. During the phone calls, she was
placed on endless hold. Id. In early 2018, Ms.
Morris again contacted All My Sons to let them know that she
was not receiving bills and that she wished to pay the
outstanding balance. Id. ¶ 15. In February
2018, she paid $2, 000 and was told that a direct draft had
been set up for future payments. Id. At that time,
in mid-February 2018, plaintiffs had an outstanding balance
of about $1, 900. Id. ¶ 16. Ms. Morris asked if
she could pay the remaining balance but was told that All My
Sons needed her to have a running balance in order to set up
a direct draft. Id.
4, 2018, All My Sons sent a certified letter to
plaintiffs' old home (from which All My Sons had moved
the plaintiffs) which stated that plaintiffs had an
outstanding debt and pursuant to a possessory lien, All My
Sons planned to sell plaintiffs' property at an auction
on or about June 9, 2018. Id. ¶ 17. The
certified letter was returned to All My Sons with a sticker
indicating that plaintiffs lived at a new address, the rental
home. Id. This certified letter was never resent to
plaintiffs' rental home address. Id. ¶ 18.
Plaintiffs received no other messages about the auction.
Id. ¶ 20.
October 1, 2018, Ms. Morris called All My Sons to get a quote
for moving plaintiffs from their rental home to their new
home. Id. ¶ 21. On October 19, 2018, plaintiffs
contracted to move their possessions from the rental home to
the new home. Id. ¶ 22. On October 31, 2018,
Ms. Morris called to see about moving the property that was
in storage to the new home. Id. ¶ 23. During
this call, All My Sons told her that they had sold all the
property at a public sale in June. Id. Plaintiffs
allege that the value of the property sold exceeded $ 1
million and was sold for just over $1, 000. Id.
¶ 24. Unable to arrange another mover, plaintiffs
allowed All My Sons to complete the move. Id. ¶
sued in North Carolina state court, bringing claims for
breach of contract, conversion, unfair and deceptive trade
practices, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and
punitive damages. Id. ¶¶ 27-54. As stated
above, the named defendants are (1) All My Sons Properties of
Raleigh, LLC, d/b/a All My Sons Moving and Storage, Inc., (2)
SG of Raleigh, LLC. d/b/a All My Sons Moving & Storage of
Raleigh, LLC, and (3) Kenon P. Furlong, the operations
manager of SG of Raleigh, LLC.
removed the case to this Court, invoking diversity
jurisdiction. Plaintiffs responded with the instant motion to
argue that this Court has subject-matter jurisdiction because
the two defendants that are North Carolina citizens-All My
Sons Properties of Raleigh and Furlong- are fraudulently
joined defendants against whom plaintiffs cannot make out a
claim. Specifically, defendants acknowledge that All My Sons
Properties of Raleigh, LLC is a North Carolina citizen, but
point out that it is merely the owner of the real estate
where SG of Raleigh, LLC's moving and storage operations
are physically located. Similarly, while Furlong is also a
North Carolina citizen, he is the operations manager of SG of
Raleigh, LLC. Defendants argue that no possible claim can be
established against these two defendants, and that the only
legitimate defendant is SG of Raleigh, LLC, the moving and
storage company with whom plaintiffs contracted. SG of
Raleigh, LLC is ...