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Martynovich v. GMAC Mortgage

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


March 29, 2010

ALEX L. MARTYNOVICH A.K.A. ALEXANDER L. MARTYNOVICH AND LEONARD L. MARTYNOVICH A.K.A. LEONID L. MARTYNOVICH, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
GMAC MORTGAGE, LLC; RESIDENTIAL FINANCE OF AMERICA; ETS SERVICES, LLC; BSM FINANCIAL, LP; AND DOES 1-50 INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Frank C. Damrell, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER

This matter is before the court on defendants GMAC Mortgage, LLC and ETS Services, LLC's ("defendants") motion to dismiss plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint. Plaintiffs had originally filed their complaint in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Sacramento, and defendants filed a Notice of Removal under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441 based on federal question jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction is a threshold inquiry before the adjudication of any case before the court. See Morongo Band of Mission Indians v. Cal. State Bd. of Equalization, 858 F.2d 1376, 1380 (9th Cir. 1988). Without jurisdiction, this court cannot adjudicate the merits of this case or order any relief. See id. ("If the district court had no jurisdiction over the subject matter, the action should have been dismissed, regardless of the parties' preference for an adjudication in federal court.").

Plaintiffs' original complaint alleged causes of action for quiet title, violation of California Civil Code § 1632, fraud, unfair debt collection, unfair business practices, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1639(h), and injunctive relief. Defendant removed the case, asserting that plaintiffs also asserted violations of federal statutes, including, inter alia, the Fair Debt Collections Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"), 12 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq., and 15 U.S.C. § 1639(h).

However, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on December 31, 2009, which is devoid of any federal claims. Specifically, plaintiff's First Amended Complaint alleges causes of action for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, deceit, violation of California Business & Professions Code § 17200 et seq., promissory estoppel, fraud by intentional misrepresentation, fraud by concealment, slander of title, quiet title, violation od the California Rosenthal Act, civil conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, and declaratory and injunctive relief.

Subject to the conditions set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c), district courts may decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims. See Acri v. Varian Associates, Inc., 114 F.3d 999, 1000 (9th Cir. 1997)(en banc). The court's decision whether to exercise supplemental jurisdiction should be informed by values of "economy, convenience, fairness, and comity." Id. at 1001 (citations omitted). Further, primary responsibility for developing and applying state law rests with the state courts. Therefore, when federal claims are eliminated before trial, district courts should usually decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction. See Carnegie-Mellon Univ. v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 350 (1988); Gini v. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept., 40 F.3d 1041, 1046 (9th Cir. 1994) ("[I]n the usual case in which federal-law claims are eliminated before trial, the balance of factors . . . will point toward declining to exercise jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims.") (quoting Schneider v. TRW Inc., 938 F.2d 986, 993 (9th Cir. 1991)). In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c), the court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiffs' remaining state law claims.*fn1

Accordingly, plaintiffs' complaint is REMANDED to the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Sacramento.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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