683 F.2d 957 (6th Cir. 1982), 80-1393, Michigan Sav. and Loan League v. Francis

Docket Nº:Plaintiffs-Appellants (80-1393),
Citation:683 F.2d 957
Party Name:MICHIGAN SAVINGS AND LOAN LEAGUE, et al.,
Case Date:July 08, 1982
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
 
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Page 957

683 F.2d 957 (6th Cir. 1982)

MICHIGAN SAVINGS AND LOAN LEAGUE, et al.,

Plaintiffs-Appellants (80-1393),

v.

Richard FRANCIS, Commissioner of the Michigan Financial

Institutions Bureau of the Department of Commerce

of the State of Michigan,

Defendant-Appellee (80-1393 & 80-1452),

v.

FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK BOARD, Defendant-Appellant (80-1452).

Nos. 80-1393, 80-1452.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

July 8, 1982

Argued Dec. 14, 1981.

Page 958

Donald S. Young, Detroit, Mich., for plaintiffs-appellants in No. 80-1393 and defendant-appellant in No. 80-1452.

Fred J. Fechheimer, Dykema, Gossett, Spencer, Goodnow & Trigg, Detroit, Mich., for plaintiffs-appellants in No. 80-1393.

Frank J. Kelley, Atty. Gen. of Mich., Lansing, Mich., for Richard Francis in both cases.

Robert Ianni, Asst. Atty. Gen., Lansing, Mich., Harold B. Shore, Federal Home Loan Bank Bd., Washington, D. C., for Richard Francis in No. 80-1393.

Harvey Simon, John E. Gunther, Federal Home Loan Bank Bd., Washington, D. C., for defendant-appellee in No. 80-1393 and defendant-appellant in No. 80-1452.

Before EDWARDS, Chief Judge, and ENGEL and KEITH, Circuit Judges.

KEITH, Circuit Judge.

The plaintiffs, a group of federally chartered savings and loan associations, and their trade association, the Michigan Savings and Loan League ("Plaintiffs") filed this action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against Richard Francis, Commissioner of the Michigan Financial Institutions Bureau ("Commissioner"). 1 Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 13, plaintiffs joined the Federal Home Loan Bank Board ("FHLBB" or "Bank Board") as defendant. Plaintiffs alleged that the Home Owners Loan Act of 1933 ("HOLA"), 12 U.S.C. § 1461 et seq. preempts the Michigan Mortgages Lending Act ("Act"), Mich.Comp.Laws Ann. § 445.1601 et seq., Michigan's antiredlining statute. Plaintiffs sought a declaratory judgment that they are exempt from the Act, and sought to enjoin the Commissioner from regulating its association members under the Act. Plaintiffs alleged jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1337.

Although named as a defendant, the Bank Board filed a cross-claim against the Commissioner, seeking the same relief as plaintiffs. The Commissioner responded by filing a cross-claim for 1) a declaratory judgment that plaintiffs were not exempt from the Act, and 2) an injunction restraining the Bank Board from advising federally chartered savings and loan associations that they were not required to comply with the Act.

The district court found that the suit did not allege a valid basis for jurisdiction within the ambit of Article 3, of the United States Constitution. Accordingly, the district court dismissed the suit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The district court also declined to consider the parties' cross-claims. We affirm Judge DeMascio's decision in Michigan Savings and Loan League v. Francis, 490 F.Supp. 892 (E.D.Mich.1980).

I

In November, 1977, Michigan enacted the Michigan Mortgages Lending Act. 2 The Act prohibits credit granting institutions from discriminating against borrowers on the basis of "racial or ethnic characteristics or trends in the neighborhood in which the real estate is located." Mich.Comp.Laws Ann. § 445.1602(1)(a). 3 The Act, inter alia,

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authorizes the Commissioner to enforce the Act by imposing fines of up to $10,000 for each violation.

Federally chartered savings and loan associations are also prohibited from redlining under 12 CFR 528 and 12 CFR 531.8. 4 In response to a request from the Plaintiffs, the Bank Board issued a written opinion advising that federal regulations 12 CFR 528 and 12 CFR 531.8 preempted the Act. Consequently, federally chartered associations are not required to comply with the Act.

On August 30, 1978, the Commissioner sent a written notice to all Michigan credit granting institutions, including the plaintiffs, indicating his intent to impose a fine against each of them, unless they complied with the Act by October 1, 1978. On October 2, 1978, the plaintiff filed the present suit.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs contend that 1) compliance with the Act and the federal regulatory scheme is impermissibly burdensome, and 2) the application of the Act to federally chartered institutions would create a direct conflict in enforcement and disclosure. The Plaintiffs also argue that the Act is invalid to the extent it seeks to regulate institutions chartered under the HOLA. Consequently, the Plaintiffs sought, inter-alia, a declaratory judgment that federal law and the Bank Board's regulations preempt state supervision and regulation of federally chartered associations.

The district court found that the actual controversy underlying the present action involved only the application of a state law, i.e., the Act. Therefore, the court concluded that there was no controversy over the applicability of federal law. The court further concluded that federal law arose only as a preemption defense raised against the enforcement of the Act. Mich. Savings, supra at 895.

Accordingly, the district court dismissed the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The district court also found that the Bank Board was improperly named as a defendant. In light of this finding, the court declined to consider the cross-claims filed by and against the Bank Board.

The Plaintiffs and the defendant Bank Board ("Appellants") have appealed.

II

JURISDICTION

On appeal, appellants maintain that the complaint states a federal claim under the "arising under" clauses of 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331(a) and 1337. Appellants also argue that Conference of Federal Savings and Loan Associations v. Stein, 604 F.2d 1256, aff'd per curiam, 445 U.S. 921, 100 S.Ct. 1304, 65 L.Ed.2d 754 (1980) mandates reversal: 1) the...

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