Name of Assigned Judge Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge Amy J. St. Eve than Assigned Judge
Defendant's motion to dismiss  is granted. Because the Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the case is remanded to the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1447(c). All pending dates and deadlines are stricken. The Clerk's Office is directed to remand this case to the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.
O[ For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices.
Before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. (R. 16.) For the following reasons, the Court grants the motion, and remands this action to the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
A. Factual Allegations in the Complaint
On or about August 23, 2002, Plaintiff Alexceon Myers and General Motors Corporation settled a state personal injury lawsuit by entering into a Structure Settlement Agreement that provided Plaintiff with certain periodic lump sum payments. (R. 1, Ex. 1, Compl. ¶¶ 9, 12 (quoting Structured Settlement Agreement ¶ 4.2).) General Motors "assigned its liability to make these payments" to Defendant MassMutual Assignment Company ("MassMutual Assignment"), which in turn funded its obligation by purchasing an annuity from Defendant Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company ("MassMutual Life"). (Id. ¶¶ 11, 13.) The agreement between General Motors and MassMutual Assignment, referred to as the "MassMutual Qualified Assignment," contains a clause that governs "[a]ny assignemnt or change of Owner." (Id. ¶ 14(a).)
Between October 15, 2007 and October 25, 2009, Plaintiff entered into twelve separate contracts with Settlement Funding LLC, a non-party to this litigation. In each of these contracts, Plaintiff assigned to Settlement Funding LLC a certain "portion of the structured settlement payments to be made under the MassMutual Qualified Assignment" in return for certain lump sum payments. (Id. ¶¶ 18-53 (describing twelve agreements).) Defendants never gave "written approval prior to any assignments." (Id. ¶ 16.) Upon petitions filed by Settlement Funding LLC, the Circuit Court of Sangamon County, Illinois approved each of these assignments pursuant to the Illinois Structured Settlement Protection Act ("SSPA"), 215 ILCS 153 et. seq.*fn1 (See Compl. ¶¶ 19, 22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 29, 31, 32, 34, 35, 37, 38, 40, 41, 43, 44, 46, 47, 49, 53.) As of October 28, 2011, Defendants have paid "[a]ll assignments of periodic payments" to Settlement Funding LLC. (Id. ¶ 54.)
On October 28, 2011, Plaintiff filed this action in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, against Defendants MassMutual Assignment, MassMutual Life, and General Motors.*fn2 In Count I, Plaintiff seeks a declaration that his assignments to Settlement Funding LLC are void under the Illinois Structured Settlement Protection Act and for lack of prior approval from Defendants. (Compl. ¶ 61.) Count II asserts a claim for breach of contract against Defendants, alleging that Defendants breached an anti-assignment clause by sending payments to Settlement Funding LLC pursuant to the twelve assignments that the state court approved.
On December 19, 2011, Defendants removed the action to this Court on the basis of diversity of citizenship between the parties. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(a), 1441, 1446. On January 11, 2012, Defendants filed the present motion to dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), and for failure to join a necessary party pursuant to Rule 12(b)(7). (R. 16.) ...