Goodin v. Fidelity National Title Ins. Co., 100412 FED11, 12-11439

Docket Nº:12-11439
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM:
Party Name:RICHARD B. GOODIN, SR., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. FIDELITY NATIONAL TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant-Appellee.
Judge Panel:Before BARKETT, PRYOR and FAY, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:October 04, 2012
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

RICHARD B. GOODIN, SR., Plaintiff-Appellant,



No. 12-11439

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

October 4, 2012


Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida D.C. Docket No. 3:11-cv-00149-TJC-JRK

Before BARKETT, PRYOR and FAY, Circuit Judges.


Richard B. Goodin, Sr., proceeding pro se, appeals the dismissal of his complaint and the denial of his motion for declaratory action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. On appeal, Goodin argues that his claims met the jurisdictional amount enumerated in § 1332, and the district court, therefore, should not have dismissed his complaint or denied his motion for declaratory action. Fidelity National Title Insurance Company ("Fidelity") argues that we should strike Goodin's brief because he failed to identify errors in the district court's order. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the district court's dismissal of Goodin's complaint and denial of the motion for declaratory action.


Goodin purchased a house in Hawaii, for which he obtained title insurance through Fidelity. Soon after purchasing the insurance policy, Goodin asked Fidelity to represent him in Hawaii state court lawsuits regarding a dispute over the title. Fidelity refused to represent Goodin. Nonetheless, Goodin ultimately prevailed in the state court lawsuits, and Goodin was awarded title to the property.

Goodin subsequently filed a complaint in the Federal District Court for the District of Hawaii, case number 07-cv-74-DAE-BMK, in which he sued Fidelity, three attorneys, and one law firm. Goodin alleged that: (1) Fidelity had breached its contract with Goodin by refusing to represent him; (2) two of the attorneys had committed legal malpractice; and (3) two of the attorneys and the law firm had each committed fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud when attorney Jade Lynne Ching had filed a Notice of Pendency of Action ("NOPA"), which would prevent Goodin from selling the house. Goodin alleged that the court had jurisdiction under § 1332.

At a hearing, Fidelity moved to dismiss the action before the district court in Hawaii for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. In a written order, the court dismissed the action, without prejudice, for lack of jurisdiction. The District Court of Hawaii found that Goodin's damages as to his breach of contract claim totaled $34, 705.40. That total included attorneys' fees and other costs and expenses. Goodin had not alleged any consequential damages, and neither damages for emotional distress nor punitive damages were recoverable for a breach of contract claim. Additionally, as Goodin had not lost the house, the purchase price of the house could not be considered in determining whether the jurisdictional amount had been met. Next, the court found that Ching had filed a NOPA on the property in June 2006, but the couple living in the house had filed a NOPA on the property four months earlier, in February 2006. Thus, the NOPA that Ching filed did not change any circumstances in the...

To continue reading