United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Michael A. Shipp United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court upon Plaintiff Joan Marie
Hoffman's f "Plaintiff) Motion for a Temporary
Restraining Order ("TRO") and attendant application
for leave to proceed without prepayment of fees under 28
U.S.C. § 1915 ("IFP Application"). (ECF Nos.
1, 1-2, 1-3.) It appears Plaintiff moves ex parte,
as she has not included documentation evidencing service upon
Defendants J.P. Morgan Chase ("J.P. Morgan Chase"
or "Chase") and Caliber Home Loans (collectively,
"Defendants"). The Court has carefully considered
Plaintiffs submissions, and pursuant to Local Civil Rule 78,
1, decides the matter without oral argument. For the reasons
set forth below, Plaintiffs IFP Application is granted and
Plaintiffs TRO Motion is denied.
alleges her total monthly income is $1608, which includes
$1416 from retirement and $ 192 from public assistance. (IFP
Appl., ECF No. 1-3.) Plaintiff also states she currently has
$38 in her checking account, $50 in cash, and her listed
asse;S are: (1) a home in foreclosure; and (2) an automobile
that she alleges has a value of $500. The Court finds this
information sufficient to determine Plaintiff is economically
eligible to proceed in forma pauperis, and,
accordingly, grants Plaintiffs IFP Application.
threshold matter, the Court finds Plaintiff failed to
establish the Court has jurisdiction to hear this case.
Plaintiffs provided basis for jurisdiction is that the United
States Government is a plaintiff, and she seeks relief
pursuant to the New Jersey Fair Foreclosure Act, N.J.S.A.
2A:50-53 to -68. (Civil Cover Sheet, ECF No. I.) Plaintiffs
Complaint also contains general allegations of fraud.
(See generally Compl., ECF No. 1.)
the United States Government is not a party to this action,
Plaintiff does not pursue relief under federal law
(see 28 U.S.C. § 1331), and Plaintiff fails to
provide the citizenship of the parties involved (see
28 U.S.C. § 1332). Plaintiff, therefore, fails to
establish the Court has jurisdiction to hear the
matter. See, e.g., Schneller v. Cromer Chester
Med, Ctr., 387 Fed.Appx. 289, 292 (3d Cir. 2010)
("Federal courts have limited jurisdiction, and they may
only decide cases as authorized by Congress or the
arguendo, that Plaintiff could establish diversity
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, Plaintiff fails to
demonstrate she is entitled to a TRO. Preliminary injunctive
relief is "an extraordinary remedy" and
"should be granted only in limited circumstances."
Kos Pharms., Inc. v, Andrx Corp., 369 F.3d 700, 708
(3d Cir. 2004) (citation omitted). The burden is on the party
seeking the TRO to "establish every element in its
favor, or the grant of a [TRO] is inappropriate."
P.C. Yonkers, Inc. v. Celebrations the Party &
Seasonal Superstore, LLC, 428 F.3d 504, 508 (3d Cir.
2005) (quoting NutraSweet Co. v. Vit-Mar Enters.,
Inc., 176 F.3d 151, 153 (3d Cir. 1999)). This remedy
should be granted only if: (1) the plaintiff is likely to
succeed on the merits; (2) denial will result in irreparable
harm to the plaintiff; (3) granting the injunction will not
result in irreparable harm to the defendant; and (4) granting
the injunction is in the public interest. Hartmann
v.Maybee-Freud, 279 Fed.Appx. 142, 144 (3d Cir. 2008).
The standards for reviewing a preliminary injunction are the
same for a TRO. See, e.g. Winter v. Nat. Res. Def.
Council, 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008).
Plaintiff did not explicitly address any of the
aforementioned factors. The Court construes Plaintiffs
filings liberally, however, because Plaintiff is a pro
se litigant. See Haines v. Kemer, 404 U.S. 519,
520 (1972). Nonetheless, Plaintiff fails to establish the
matter is emergent or a likelihood of success on the merits.
Plaintiff seeks a stay of an eviction order,  yet, she did not
provide the Court with that order. In fact, although
Plaintiff states that the eviction will take place on May 6,
2019, Plaintiff has not provided the Court with any
documentation supporting that assertion. Rather, Plaintiff
provided the Court with an April 1, 2019, New Jersey Superior
Court, Somerset County, Chancery Division Order granting a
stay of the sheriffs eviction until April 30,
2019. (5eeTROAppl. 3.)
Plaintiffs general allegations of fraud fail to meet the
heighted pleading standard set forth under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure Rule 9(b). Fed.R.Civ.P. 9(b) ("In
alleging fraud or mistake, a party must state with
particularity the circumstances constituting fraud or
mistake."). Plaintiff claims Caliber Home Loans has
"grossly inflated" the amount she owes on her
mortgage and she has been "coerced into 'interest
only' loans." (Compl. ¶¶ 8-13.) Plaintiff
however, did not support those allegations with any
supporting facts, persuasive documentation, or legal
authority. Thus, not only is the record before the Court
deficient, but Plaintiff fails to adequately allege
violations of the New Jersey Fair Foreclosure
or fraud, generally. HI. Conclusion
The Court finds Plaintiff sufficiently demonstrated economic
eligibility to proceed in forma pauperis. The Court
also finds Plaintiff failed to establish the Court has
jurisdiction to hear the matter, and assuming Plaintiff could
establish diversity jurisdiction, Plaintiff failed to
demonstrate she is entitled to emergent injunctive relief.
IT IS on this 2nd day of May
2019, ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiffs IFP Application (ECF No. 1-3) is
2. Plaintiffs TRO Application (ECF No. 1-2} is