United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston
BRANCH BANKING AND TRUST COMPANY, a North Carolina corporation, Plaintiff,
SERVISFIRST BANK; MBH HIGHLAND, LLC d/b/a HIGHLAND HOSPITAL; WORLD GLOBAL CAPITAL, LLC d/b/a FUNDKITE FUNDING; GREEN CAPITAL FUNDING, LLC; and MCA RECOVERY LLC, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
T. COPENHAVER, JR., SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
are (1) a motion to dismiss or alternatively transfer venue
of the interpleader complaint, filed May 30, 2019 by
defendants World Global Capital, LLC, Green Capital Funding,
LLC, and MCA Recovery, LLC (collectively the “New York
Defendants”), (2) a motion for remand, filed June 7,
2019 by defendant MBH Highland, LLC (“Highland”),
a hospital, (3) a motion to realign the parties, filed June
20, 2019 by the New York Defendants, (4) a motion for leave
to interplead and deposit interpleader funds with the court,
filed July 12, 2019 by plaintiff Branch Banking and Trust
Company (“BB&T”), and (5) a motion requesting
leave to file an amended complaint, filed July 26, 2019 by
December 11, 2019, the court granted the parties' joint
motion to stay all deadlines and trial and pretrial dates in
this case. This followed the court's memorandum opinion
and order, entered November 1, 2019, granting the New York
Defendants' motion to stay discovery pending a ruling on
certain preliminary jurisdictional motions. As discussed
therein, BB&T instituted this interpleader action in the
Circuit Court of Kanawha County, West Virginia on April 5,
2019. Compl., ECF No. 1-1 (“ECF No. 1-1”). The
underlying dispute revolves around competing claims to
certain deposit accounts opened and maintained by defendant
Highland at BB&T, with which Highland maintains its
account at the BB&T branch located at 300 Summers Street,
Charleston, West Virginia. Id. ¶¶ 9,
interpleader complaint alleges that in February 2019,
defendants World Global Capital, LLC (“WGC”) and
Green Capital Funding, LLC, (“GCF”) were each
awarded a judgment in the Supreme Court of the State of New
York against Wesley E. Mason III, Meridian Behavioral Health
Systems, LLC (“Meridian”) and its affiliates,
including Highland. ECF No. 1-1 ¶¶
10-11. On February 27, 2019 and March 1, 2019,
BB&T allegedly received two Information Subpoenas with
Restraining Notices in connection with the two New York
judgments stating that $305, 466.91 (WGC) and $834, 001.00
(GCF), respectively, remained due on the judgments plus
interest, and instructing BB&T to freeze Highland's
BB&T deposit accounts. Id. ¶¶ 12-13;
Highland's Cross-cl. ¶ 41, ECF No. 3. On March 1,
2019, BB&T also received a levy and demand on
Highland's deposit accounts, directing BB&T to remit
the sum of $876, 113.65 to GCF. ECF No. 1-1 ¶ 14. The
interpleader complaint further alleges that “BB&T
has been notified, ” by sources unidentified, that the
funds requested may not properly belong to WGC or GCF and
that ServisFirst Bank (“ServisFirst”) “may
hold a first priority perfected security interest in all
assets of [Meridian] and its affiliates, including Highland,
and has filed UCC financing statements regarding the
same.” Id. ¶ 15. BB&T instituted this
interpleader complaint as a disinterested stakeholder with no
claim to the money in Highland's deposit accounts.
Id. ¶ 22. BB&T seeks a court's
determination of the proper distribution of the funds in
these accounts among the conflicting claims of the
defendants. Id. ¶¶ 15, 20.
York Defendants' entitlement to the funds relates to two
contracts signed by Mr. Mason as “Seller, ” each
titled “Future Receivables Sale and Purchase
Agreement.” See Castro Decl., Exs. 2, 4, ECF No. 9-1.
On November 29, 2018, Mr. Mason - purportedly acting on
behalf of Meridian, Highland, and other affiliates - signed
an agreement whereby GCF agreed to pay $750, 000.00 in
exchange for Seller's right, title and interest in 25% of
future receipts from receivables, i.e., money generated from
goods and services sold, of Meridian, Highland, and other
affiliates. Id., Ex. 2. The 25% yield from the
receivables was to be remitted in daily installments of $9,
599.00 until there has been paid the sum of $1, 124, 250.00
which is designated as the “Purchased Amount.”
Id. Mr. Mason signed an “Affidavit of
Confession of Judgment” on November 30, 2018 that
authorized the entry of judgment against Mr. Mason, Meridian,
Highland, and other affiliates without notice in the event of
default. Id., Exs. 4-5; Highland's Cross-cl.
¶ 23, ECF No. 3.
January 22, 2019, WGC reached a similar agreement with Mr.
Mason, this time signing on behalf of Highland and other
affiliated entities, but not Meridian itself. See Castro
Decl., Ex. 2, ECF No. 9-1. Doing business as Fundkite
Funding, WGC agreed to pay $200, 000.00 in exchange for
Highland and other affiliated entities agreeing to sell 25%
of each of their future receipts from receivables and
remitting daily installments of $2, 591.00 for a total
purchased amount of $298, 000.00. Id. That same
date, Mr. Mason signed another Affidavit of Confession of
Judgment that WGC could enter in the event of default.
Id., Ex. 2-3; Highland's Cross-cl. ¶ 27,
ECF No. 3.
filed its answer and crossclaims against the New York
Defendants in the state court action on April 16, 2019,
alleging that it was not a party to either of these
agreements. See Highland's Answer & Cross-cl.
¶¶ 22, 26, ECF No. 3. Still, GCF and WGC obtained
Highland's BB&T deposit account information and began
debiting payments from its accounts. Id. Between
November 29, 2018 and February 20, 2019, GCF allegedly
debited $337, 964.00 from Highland's BB&T deposit
accounts. Id. ¶ 29. Between January 22, 2019
and February 20, 2019, WGC allegedly debited $51, 820.00 from
these accounts. Id. ¶ 30.
February 13, 2019, the New York Defendants allegedly each
received a letter from ServisFirst informing GCF and WGC that
ServisFirst has a perfected security interest in
Highland's assets that has priority over WGC's and
GCF's interests, and the New York Defendants must stop
any collection efforts or else ServisFirst will consider
these actions to be conversion. Highland's Cross-cl.
¶ 32, ECF No. 3. ServisFirst, which filed its own answer
and crossclaims, alleges that as a condition of providing
millions of dollars in financing for the operations of
Meridian and its affiliates, including Highland, it obtained
a security interest in certain assets, including
Highland's accounts. ServisFirst Cross-cl. ¶ 1, ECF
No. 18. After Meridian and its affiliates defaulted on the
loans, ServisFirst agreed to refrain from taking further
action if Meridian, MBH West Virginia, LLC (Highland's
parent entity),  and Highland agreed to conform to a budget
approved by ServisFirst and refrain from transferring funds
or assets subject to ServisFirst's security interest to
any third parties without ServisFirst's consent.
Id. ¶¶ 10-11.
receiving express warnings that their authority to access
Highland's deposit accounts was “revoked, ”
GCF and WGC collectively debited an additional $48, 760.00
between February 11 and February 14. Highland's Cross-cl.
¶¶ 33-34, ECF No. 3. After Highland and its related
parties notified BB&T directly that GCF and WGC's
account access was revoked, BB&T stopped GCF and WGC from
debiting Highland's accounts after February 14, 2019.
Id. ¶ 35. GCF and WGC then proceeded to obtain
the New York judgments. On February 20, 2019, GCF obtained
its judgment by confession, decreeing that Meridian, Mr.
Mason, and other affiliates, including Highland, owed GCF
$843, 600.00 after defaulting on the November 29, 2018
transaction. Castro Decl., Ex. 5, ECF No. 9-1. On February
21, 2019, WGC obtained a separate judgment by confession,
ruling that Highland, Mr. Mason, and other affiliates owed
WGC $308.057.91 after defaulting on the January 22, 2019
agreement. Id., Ex. 3. BB&T was subsequently
served with the two Information Subpoenas with Restraining
Notices instructing it to freeze Highland's BB&T
deposit accounts. Highland's Cross-cl. ¶¶
41-44, ECF No. 3.
Highland alleges in its crossclaims that it possesses a valid
claim to the deposit funds, subject to ServisFirst's
perfected security interest (Count I), the New York
Defendants violated the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign
Judgments Act (“UEFJA”), W.Va. Code §
55-14-2, by failing to domesticate the New York judgments in
West Virginia (Count II), the New York Defendants violated
the Business Registration Tax Act (Count III), MCA Recovery,
LLC violated the Collection Agency Act of 1973 (Count IV),
WGC violated the Trade Names Act, W.Va. Code § 47-8-4
(Count V), WGC and GCF committed usury by concealing that the
purported factoring transactions were in fact loan agreements
charging in excess of 18 percent interest (Count VI), unjust
enrichment/disgorgement by WGC and GCF (Count VII), and
tortious interference with business relations by the New York
Defendants (Count VIII). See Highland's Cross-cl., ECF
No. 3. ServisFirst asserts nearly identical crossclaims
against the New York Defendants, except it brings a claim of
conversion instead of usury under Count VI and brings an
additional claim of fraud against the New York Defendants.
See ServisFirst's Cross-cl., ECF No. 18.
receiving service of process on April 12, 2019, the New York
Defendants filed a notice of removal on May 8, 2019, pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1335, 1441, and 1446 et seq.
See Not. Removal, ECF No. 1 (“ECF No. 1”). The
notice mirrors the case caption from the state interpleader
action, which positions BB&T as the nominal plaintiff and
the New York Defendants, ServisFirst, and Highland as
defendants. The notice also alleges that diversity
jurisdiction exists in this case because BB&T is a
citizen of North Carolina, ServisFirst is a citizen of
Alabama, the New York Defendants are citizens of New York,
and Highland is a citizen of Tennessee. ECF No. 1 ¶ 5;
Compl. ¶¶ 1-6; 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
7, 2019, however, Highland moved to remand this case to state
court because the New York Defendants failed to obtain the
consent of either Highland or ServisFirst before removing to
federal court. Highland's Mem. Supp. Mot. Remand, ECF No.
14 (“ECF No. 14”); George Decl. ¶ 5, ECF No.
14-1. The New York Defendants maintain that removal was
proper notwithstanding the lack of unanimous consent because
they moved on June 20, 2019 to realign Highland and
ServisFirst as plaintiffs, which they believe would solve
Highland's jurisdictional concerns and properly capture
the parties' true posture in this litigation. New York
Defs.' Mot. Realign, ECF No. 25. Both Highland and
ServisFirst oppose the motion to realign the parties.
does not oppose the motion to realign the parties so long as
the court finds jurisdiction proper. See BB&T's Resp.
Mot. Realign & Mot. Stay, ECF No. 45 (“ECF No.
45”). BB&T filed a motion for leave to interplead
and deposit interpleader funds into the court on July 12,
2019, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 67 and
Local Rule 67.1. BB&T's Mot. Deposit Interpleader
Funds, ECF No. 46 (“ECF No. 46”). As a nominal
party, BB&T seeks to deposit the funds with the court and
be dismissed from this case. ECF No. 45 at 2. The New York
Defendants argue that depositing the funds in this court
would be premature until the court decides whether this
interpleader action is proper. New York Defs.' Reply to
BB&T's Resp. Mot. Realign & Mot. Stay 1-2, ECF
No. 51. The court will address each of these issues in turn.
Motion to Remand and Motion to Realign the Parties
moving to remand, Highland argues that the notice of removal
is “fatally defective” because the New York
Defendants' failed to obtain the consent of Highland and
ServisFirst, violating the “rule of unanimity”
under 28 U.S.C. § 1446(2)(A). See ECF No. 14 at 1.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. They possess only
that power authorized by Constitution and statute.”
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S.
375, 377 (1994). The Fourth Circuit has observed that it is
“obliged to construe removal jurisdiction strictly
because of the ‘significant federalism concerns'
implicated.” Md. Stadium Auth. v. Ellerbe Becket
Inc., 407 F.3d 255, 260 (4th Cir. 2005) (quoting
Mulcahey v. Colum. Organic Chem. Co., 29 F.3d 148,
151 (4th Cir. 1994)). Congress has intended that the federal
courts should “resolve all doubts about the propriety
of removal in favor of retained state court
jurisdiction.” Marshall v. Manville Sales
Corp., 6 F.3d 229, 232 (4th Cir. 1993). “If at any
time before final judgment it appears that the district court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be
remanded.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). The party seeking
removal bears the burden of establishing that the court to
which the case is removed has federal jurisdiction over it.
Mulcahey, 29 F.3d at 151.
28 U.S.C. § 1441(a) governs federal removal jurisdiction
and provides as follows:
[A]ny civil action brought in a State court of which the
district courts of the United States have original
jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant . . . to the
district court of the United States for the district and
division embracing the place where such action is pending.
28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Section 1446(b) adds that
“all defendants who have been properly joined and
served must join in or consent to the removal of the
action” and that each defendant “shall have 30
days after receipt by or service on that defendant of the
initial pleading or summons . . . to file the notice of
removal.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(2)(A)-(B). Federal
courts have long recognized this so-called “rule of
unanimity, ” which requires each defendant to consent
to removal. See Lapides v. Bd. of Regents of the Univ.
Sys. of Ga., 535 U.S. 613, 620 (2002); Mayo v. Bd.
of Educ. of Prince George's Cty., 713 F.3d 735, 741
(4th Cir. 2013) (“The Supreme Court has construed the
statute to include a ‘unanimity requirement,' such
that all defendants must consent to removal.”).
Griffioen v. Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Ry. Co.,
785 F.3d 1182, 1186 (8th Cir. 2015) (noting existence of rule
of unanimity prior to its codification in the 2011 amendments
to 28 U.S.C § 1446(b)). “The rule of unanimity
helps to effectuate Congress's intent in limiting removal
to prevent it from being used too broadly or casually.”
Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Harleysville Mut. Ins.
Co., 736 F.3d 255, 259 (4th Cir. 2013). This court has
explained that “[t]o allow one party, through counsel,
to bind or represent the position of other parties without
their express consent to be so bound would have serious
adverse repercussions, not only in removal situations but in
any incident of litigation.” Dorsey v. Borg-Warner
Auto., Inc., 218 F.Supp.2d 817, 820 (S.D. W.Va. 2002)
(quoting Creekmore v. Food Lion, Inc., 797 F.Supp.
505, 509 (E.D. Va. 1992)).
the lack of unanimous consent is a procedural defect, not
jurisdictional. Payne ex rel. Estate of Calzada v.
Brake, 439 F.3d 198, 203 (4th Cir. 2006) (“Failure
of all defendants to join in the removal petition does not
implicate the court's subject matter jurisdiction.
Rather, it is merely an error in the removal
process.”); Lloyd v. Cabell Huntington Hosp.,
Inc., 58 F.Supp.2d 694, 697-98 (S.D. W.Va. 1999)
(“failure of all defendants to join in the removal
notice constitutes a procedural defect, which may be waived
if not objected to within 30 days after filing of the removal
notice”). Therefore, certain exceptions apply to the
rule of unanimity. For one, nominal defendants who have
“no immediately apparent stake in the litigation either
prior or subsequent to the act of removal” need not
join in the removal. See Hartford Fire, 736 F.3d at
259-60. Courts have also applied exceptions to defendants
that were unserved or unknown at the time of removal. See
Klein v. Manor Healthcare Corp., 19 F.3d 1433 n.8
(6th Cir. 1994); Mason v. Int'l Bus. Machines,
Inc., 543 F.Supp. 444, 446 n.1 (M.D. N.C. 1982).
York Defendants ask the court to apply another exception to
this case: “parties that are aligned in interest with
the plaintiff are not required to join or consent to the
removal.” Herbalife Int'l, Inc. v. St. Paul
Fire & Marine Ins. Co., No. CIV.A. 5:05CV41, 2006 WL
839515, at *6 (N.D. W.Va. Mar. 30, 2006) (citing Smilgin
v. New York Life Ins. Co., 854 F.Supp. 464, 465- 66
(S.D. Tex. 1994) (holding that unanimous consent was not
required because non-consenting defendant “should not
be considered a ‘defendant' for the purpose of
joinder in removal” when his and “the
Plaintiffs' interest in the primary thrust of this
lawsuit are the same”)); New York Defs.' Resp. Opp.
Mot. Remand 2-3, ECF No. 29. Federal courts are not bound by
the alignment of the parties, but rather must “look
beyond the pleadings and arrange the parties according to
their sides in the dispute.” Jackson v. Home Depot
U.S.A., Inc., 880 F.3d 165, 172 (4th Cir. 2018) (quoting
Indianapolis v. Chase Nat'l Bank of City of
N.Y., 314 U.S. 63, 69 (1941)). It is “settled
authority in this circuit and elsewhere” that
“post-removal party realignment to create diversity is
permissible.” Lott v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 811
F.Supp.2d 1220, 1223 (E.D. Va. 2011) (citing cases).
lack of unanimous consent does not necessarily defeat
diversity jurisdiction when the defendants share adverse
interests and proper realignment would moot the issue. See
Lott, 811 F.Supp.2d at 1222 n.2 (noting that
“defendants are not required to consent to removal
given the realignment [of the] defendants as plaintiffs for
jurisdictional purposes”); Ohio Cas. Ins. Co. v.
RLI Ins. Co., No. 1:04CV483, 2005 WL 2574150, at *4
(M.D. N.C. Oct. 12, 2005) (“If a defendant is
disregarded or is realigned for jurisdictional purposes, that
defendant need not consent to removal, and the Court will
evaluate jurisdiction based on the positions of the parties
after the realignment.”). Thus, the motion to remand
would be moot if the court realigned ServisFirst and Highland
as plaintiffs rather than allowing them to defeat removal.
realignment were allowed, Highland argues that the New York
Defendants' motion to realign must be dismissed as
untimely. Highland's Reply Mot. Remand 2-3, ECF No. 31
(“ECF No. 31”). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1446(a),
the notice of removal must “contain a short and plain
statement of the grounds for removal.” Highland
interprets the New York Defendants' realignment arguments
as “new allegations of a jurisdictional basis”
barred by 28 U.S.C § 1446 and § 1653 because they
effectively seek to amend the notice of removal after the
30-day deadline. Highland argues that the New York
Defendants should have sought realignment in state court and
that the failure to even mention the need for realignment in
the notice of removal precludes realignment after the fact.
ECF No. 31 at 2.
bases this argument on Wood v. Crane Co., where the
court noted the following:
[A]fter thirty days, district courts have discretion to
permit amendments that correct allegations already present in
the notice of removal. Courts have no discretion to permit
amendments furnishing new allegations of a jurisdictional
764 F.3d 316, 323 (4th Cir. 2014) (citing Newman-Green,
Inc. v. Alfonzo-Larrain, 490 U.S. 826, 831
(1989)). Yet, this principle from Wood was based on
Newman-Green, Inc. v. Alfonzo-Larrain, 490 U.S. 826
(1989) and the proposition that “§ 1653 speaks of
amending ‘allegations of jurisdiction,' which
suggests that it addresses only incorrect statements about
jurisdiction that actually exists, and not defects in the
jurisdictional facts themselves.” Id. at 831.
Wood distinguished “new allegations of a jurisdictional
basis” from cases where “amendment is appropriate
for technical changes, such as the exact grounds underlying
diversity jurisdiction.” Wood, 764 F.3d at
323; Yarnevic v. Brink's, Inc., 102 F.3d 753,
755 (4th Cir. 1996) (finding that “[w]hile it would
have been prudent for [defendant] to file a supplemental
petition specifying the new basis for diversity within 30
days” after plaintiff moved from Ohio to Pennsylvania,
“it was not required” because complete diversity
existed either way).
Wood, the defendant had originally removed based on a federal
defense to one of the plaintiff's state tort claims, but
the case was remanded after the plaintiff had dropped the
only claim to which the federal defense applied. 764 F.3d at
318. The defendant then sought to amend its notice of removal
to add an entirely new federal defense even though the
original 30-day removal period had long since elapsed.
Id. at 318-20. The Fourth Circuit rejected the
defendant's belated effort because the failure to include
the new defense in the original notice of removal was neither
inadvertent “nor a clerical error, but instead a
strategic choice.” 764 F.3d at 324.
also compares this case to Andalusia Enterprises, Inc. v.
Evanston Insurance Co., which rejected a motion to
realign the parties that was filed after the 30-day deadline.
487 F.Supp.2d 1290, 1293 (N.D. Ala. 2007); ECF No. 31 at 5-6.
But the facts of that case were quite distinct. The original
notice of removal in Andalusia Enterprises alleged that the
non-diverse defendant - who did not consent to the removal
and moved to remand - was fraudulently joined and/or a
nominal party. 487 F.Supp.2d at 1293. In truth, the
non-diverse defendant was neither fraudulently joined nor a
nominal party, but the tort claimant in the underlying state
action and a necessary party under Alabama law. Id.
at 1293. Thus, there was no question at the time of the
notice of removal that realignment would have been necessary
to achieve complete diversity. Inasmuch as the parties were
not diverse, the court held “that it must decline
jurisdiction when no jurisdictional basis is affirmatively
shown in the removal papers.” Id. at 1295. The
court added that “[t]he fact that realignment was not
referenced by any defendant until after the expiration of the
thirty (30) day period for removal, and then only after
motions to remand had been filed, further disinclines the
court to realign [the non-diverse defendant], especially over
vigorous opposition.” Id.
other circuits have held that the 30-day deadline is not
jurisdictional, but rather constitutes a procedural defect.
See Universal Truck & Equip. Co. v.
Southworth-Milton, Inc., 765 F.3d 103, 110 (1st Cir.
2014) (citing cases). Moreover, unlike Wood and Andalusia, no
jurisdictional defect exists here because all the parties are
diverse no matter how this case is aligned. BB&T is a
citizen of North Carolina, Highland is a citizen of
Tennessee,  ServisFirst is a citizen of Alabama, and
the New York Defendants are citizens of New York. ECF No. 1-1
¶¶ 1-6; ECF No. 1 ¶ 5. The New York Defendants
do not seek to add any claims or defenses or assert new
facts, but simply request that the court realign the parties
according to their interests in the litigation.
is little reason here to allow defendants with adverse
interests to thwart removal by withholding their consent. In
Premier Holidays International, Inc. v. Actrade Capital,
Inc., 105 F.Supp.2d 1336(N.D.Ga. 2000), the court
similarly reasoned that “no policy is served by
allowing a mislabeled ‘defendant' to defeat the
true defendants' right to remove the case by withholding
its consent.” Id. at 1341. “The joinder
requirement is designed only to insure a unanimous choice of
a federal forum by the defendants. It cannot reasonably be
understood to give a party who in reality occupies a position
in conflict with that of other defendants a veto over the
removal of the action.” Id. (quoting First
Nat. Bank of Chicago v. Mottola, 302 F.Supp. 785, 790
(N.D.Ill. 1969), aff'd sub nom. First Nat. Bank of
Chicago v. Ettlinger, 465 F.2d 343 (7th Cir. 1972)).
Inasmuch as the rule of unanimity is a procedural rather than
jurisdictional requirement, the failure to mention the need
for realignment in the notice of removal does not
automatically bar motions to realign after the 30-day
determined that the motion to realign the parties was timely,
the court next turns to how the parties should be aligned.
Under the “principal purpose test, ” the Fourth
Circuit instructs courts to follow two steps to determine the
proper alignment of the parties. U.S. Fid. & Guar.
Co. v. A & S Mfg. Co., 48 F.3d 131, 133 (4th Cir.
1995). “First, the court must determine the primary
issue in the controversy. Next, the court should align the
parties according to their positions with respect to the
primary issue. If the alignment differs from that in the
complaint, the court must determine whether complete
diversity continues to exist.” Id.
parties agree that the primary issue in this case is
determining who is entitled to the deposit funds held by
BB&T. New York Defs.' Mem. Supp. Mot. Realign 5-6,
ECF No. 26 (“ECF No. 26”); Highland's Resp.
Opp. Mot. Realign 5, ECF No. 37 (“ECF No. 37”).
However, the parties dispute how the court should position
the parties. There is no doubt that ServisFirst and
Highland's interests are aligned. ECF No. 26 at 2; ECF
No. 37 at 8. BB&T also seeks to remove itself from this
interpleader action entirely as a mere nominal plaintiff, and
therefore the court need not consider its interests for
purposes of realignment. See Tune, ...