UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
February 11, 2009
GABRIEL ANTONIO CORTEZ, PLAINTIFF,
SUNBELT RENTALS, INC. AND DOES 1 THROUGH 100, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew Senior, U.S. District Court Judge
ORDER REMANDING CASE TO STATE COURT
The Court is in receipt of Defendant's Notice of Removal. The Court hereby REMANDS this case to state court because the Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction.
28 U.S.C. § 1331 provides that district courts have original jurisdiction of actions "arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." An action only "arises under" federal law if it is a federally-created cause of action or the plaintiff's right to relief necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question of federal law. Franchise Tax. Bd. v. Construction Laborers Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 27-28 (1983). However, mere reference to federal law is not sufficient to constitute federal question jurisdiction. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Thompson, 478 U.S. 804, 807-8 (1986). Instead, a case can arise under federal law "...where vindication of a right under state law necessarily turn[s] on some construction of federal law. Franchise Tax Bd., 463 U.S. at 9. ".[I]f a federal law does not provide a private right of action, then a state law action based on its violation perforce does not raise a 'substantial' federal question." Utley v. Varian Assocs., Inc., 811 F.2d 1279, 1283 (9th Cir. 1987) (citing Merrell Dow, 478 U.S. 804).
Defendant asserts that Plaintiff's Complaint alleges that Defendant subjected Plaintiff to illegal actions, including violations of the Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Hours of Service Regulations, as codified in 49 CFR Part 395 ("the Hours of Service Regulations"). Therefore, Defendant argues that Plaintiff's claims arise under the laws of the United States because resolving the state law claims requires resolution of a substantial question of federal law.
Plaintiff brings all his claims under state law, while merely referencing federal law violations. There is no private cause of action for violation of the Federal Hours of Service Regulations, and therefore no substantial federal question raised. See Vosch v. Werner Continental, Inc., 734 F.2d 149 (3d Cir. 1984). Therefore, this Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over this case, and the case is remanded to state court.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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