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Sanders v. JGWPT Holdings, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

March 5, 2015

VALERIO SANDERS, JANEKA HICKS, KENNETH JENNINGS, and KEVIN RINCK, Plaintiffs,
v.
JGWPT HOLDINGS, INC., JGWPT HOLDINGS, LLC, J.G. WENTWORTH LLC, PEACHHI, LLC, PEACH HOLDINGS, INC., PEACHTREE FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS, LLC, PEACHTREE SETTLEMENT FUNDING LLC, SETTLEMENT FUNDING, LLC d/b/a PEACHTREE SETTLEMENT FUNDING, BRIAN P. MACK, and THE MACK LAW GROUP, P.C., Defendants

Page 768

For Valerio Sanders, Plaintiff: Eric D. Holland, LEAD ATTORNEY, Holland, Groves & Schneller, LLC, St. Louis, MO; Randall Seth Crompton, LEAD ATTORNEY, Holland, Groves, Schneller & Stolze, L.l.c., Saint Louis, MO; Ryan James Mahoney, LEAD ATTORNEY, David Cates, Cates Mahoney, LLC, Swansea, IL; Brad Lee Badgley, Brad L. Badgley, P.c., Belleville, IL.

For Janeka Hicks, Kenneth Jennings, Kevin Rinck, Plaintiffs: David Cates, LEAD ATTORNEY, Ryan James Mahoney, Cates Mahoney, LLC, Swansea, IL; Eric D. Holland, LEAD ATTORNEY, Holland, Groves & Schneller, LLC, St. Louis, MO; Randall Seth Crompton, LEAD ATTORNEY, Holland, Groves, Schneller & Stolze, L.l.c., Saint Louis, MO; Brad Lee Badgley, Brad L. Badgley, P.c., Belleville, IL.

For JGWPT Holdings, Inc., JGWPT Holdings, LLC, J.G. Wentworth, LLC, Peachhi, LLC, Peach Holdings, Inc., Peachtree Financial Solutions, LLC, Peachtree Settlement Funding LLC, Settlement Funding LLC, doing business as Peachtree Settlement Funding, Defendants: Timothy Charles Sansone, LEAD ATTORNEY, Sandberg Phoenix & Von Gontard P.c., St. Louis, MO; A. Courtney Cox, Sandberg, Phoenix et al. - Carbondale, Carbondale, IL; Anthony L. Martin, Sandberg, Phoenix et al. - St. Louis, St. Louis, MO; David Ackland Maas, Maria Teresa Pellegrini, Reed Smith Llp, Chicago, IL; Diane Green-Kelly, Michael David Richman, Reed Smith LLP, Chicago, IL; Margaret Grignon, Reed Smith - Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Mark S. Melodia, Reed Smith LLP, Princeton, NJ.

For Brian P. Mack, Mack Law Group, PC, Defendants: John Francis Grady, Lauren F. Catlin, Grady Bell LLP, Chicago, IL.

Page 769

OPINION AND ORDER

SARA L. ELLIS, United States District Judge.

Plaintiffs Valerio Sanders, Janeka Hicks, Kenneth Jennings, and Kevin Rinck bring this putative class action against certain entities that purchase portions of settlement agreements for lump sum amounts, as well as the entities' lawyers, for an alleged conspiracy to induce Plaintiffs to transfer their deferred payments and to defraud the Illinois courts into approving these transfers. Before the Court are three motions to dismiss. Defendants Brian P. Mack and The Mack Law Group, P.C. (collectively, the " Mack Defendants" ) move to dismiss [63] all claims against them in the Second Amended Complaint (" Complaint" ). Defendants JGWPT Holdings, Inc., JGWPT Holdings, LLC, J.G. Wentworth, LLC, PeachHI, LLC, Peach Holdings, Inc., Peachtree Financial Solutions, LLC, and Peachtree Settlement Funding LLC (collectively, the " JGWPT Defendants" ) similarly move to dismiss all claims [65]. Defendant Settlement Funding, LLC d/b/a Peachtree Settlement Funding (" Settlement Funding" ) moves to dismiss the claims of Plaintiffs Janeka Hicks and Ramon Rosario on behalf of Tony Cook, deceased, or to transfer their claims to the Northern District of Illinois [67]. Since this motion was filed, Plaintiff Rosario has voluntarily dismissed his claims [76] and the case has been transferred to this Court.

For the following reasons, the Court finds that it does not have subject-matter jurisdiction over this matter. The case is therefore remanded to the Circuit Court of St. Clair County, Illinois, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).

BACKGROUND

A. Procedural Background

Plaintiffs initially filed suit in the Circuit Court of St. Clair County, Illinois, Twentieth Judicial District. Defendants then removed the case to the Southern District of Illinois. Plaintiffs filed a motion to remand, which was withdrawn. The JGWPT Defendants requested and were granted a motion to transfer venue to this district, while Settlement Funding simultaneously filed, in this district, a separate motion to compel arbitration against Plaintiffs Sanders, Jennings, and Rinck based on the structured settlements and to enjoin the federal proceedings. Settlement Funding, LLC v. Sanders, No. 14 C 6266. The two cases were deemed related and assigned to this Court.

Plaintiffs have pleaded jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 1331 and the Class Action Fairness Act of ...


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