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HSBC Bank USA, NA v. Valencia

February 10, 2010

HSBC BANK USA, NA, AS TRUSTEE ON BEHALF OF ACE SECURITIES CORP. HOME EQUITY LOAN TRUST AND FOR THE SECURITIES CORP. HOME EQUITY LOAN REGISTERED HOLDERS OF ACE TRUST, SERIES 2007-ASAP1 ASSET BACKED PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES PLAINTIFF,
v.
ERIC VALENCIA, HILDA VALENCIA, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE: PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND (Doc. 9)

I. INTRODUCTION

Before the court is a motion to remand brought by Plaintiff HSBC Bank USA, NA, As Trustee on Behalf of Ace Securities Corp. Home Equity Loan Trust and for the Registered Holders of Ace Securities Corp. Home Equity Loan Trust, Series 2007-ASAP1 Asset Backed Pass-Through Certificates ("Plaintiff"). Defendants Eric Valencia and Hilda Valencia ("Defendants"), who removed this case, have not filed an opposition. The following background facts are taken from Plaintiff's submissions in connection with this motion and other documents on file in this case.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Procedural History

On July 21, 2009, Defendants filed a notice of removal (Doc. 1) which purports to remove an unlawful detainer action that Plaintiff filed against Defendants in Kern County Superior Court.

The notice of removal includes a copy of the state court complaint. (Doc. 1, Ex. A.) The complaint is entitled "Verified Complaint For Unlawful Detainer," and, on its face, specifically requests "less than $10,000" in recovery. (Id.) The complaint is two pages long and asserts only one state law claim for unlawful detainer. No federal claims are pled.

In their notice of removal, Defendants assert that removal is proper by virtue of federal question jurisdiction and diversity jurisdiction. With respect to diversity, in their notice of removal, Defendants state that their "current residence is that of the State of California" and "[f]rom the allegations set forth in the State Court Complaint," they "[b]elieve that the amount of controversy exceeds $75,000." (Doc. 1 at 2.)

B. Plaintiff's Motion To Remand

On November 11, 2009, Plaintiff filed its motion to remand (Doc. 9) in which Plaintiff argues that federal subject matter jurisdiction is lacking. Plaintiff contends that neither federal question nor diversity jurisdiction exist.

III. STANDARD OF DECISION

"A defendant may remove an action to federal court based on federal question jurisdiction or diversity jurisdiction." Hunter v. Philip Morris USA, 582 F.3d 1039, 1042 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1441). It is presumed, however, "that a cause lies outside [the] limited jurisdiction [of the federal courts] and the burden of establishing the contrary rests upon the party asserting jurisdiction.'" Id. (alterations in original) (internal quotation marks omitted).

"Federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance." Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). The defendant always bears the burden of establishing that removal is proper and the court "resolves all ambiguity in favor of remand." Hunter, 582 F.3d at 1042. Even absent a formal motion to remand, a "district court ha[s] a duty to establish subject matter jurisdiction over the removed action sua sponte." United Investors Life Ins. Co. v. Waddell & Reed Inc., 360 F.3d 960, 967 (9th Cir. 2004). A district court must remand a removed case if at any time before final judgment it ...


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