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Garcia v. Citibank

April 22, 2010

DANIEL GARCIA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITIBANK, N.A.; AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE CORPORATION; MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC.; POWER DEFAULT SERVICES, INC.; AND DOES 1-250, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.



ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Daniel Garcia's ("Plaintiff's") Motion to Remand the case to state court ("Motion"). (Doc. #4). Defendants Citibank, N.A., Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, and Power Default Services, Inc. ("Defendants") oppose the motion.*fn1 Defendant American Home Mortgage Corporation ("AHMC") did not join in the opposition.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In July 2006, Plaintiff obtained a mortgage loan secured by his residential property located at 6748 Bodine Circle, Sacramento, CA, 95823 ("subject property"). The adjustable rate mortgage was in the sum of $221,000. The terms of the loan were memorialized in the promissory Note which was secured by a Deed of Trust on the subject property. AHMC was the lender.

Defendant AHMC filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on or about August 6, 2007. The bankruptcy case was ordered to be jointly administered with other affiliated bankruptcies. This bankruptcy case is still pending.

On November 6, 2009, Plaintiff filed a complaint ("Complaint") against Defendants and AHMC in Sacramento County Superior Court, State of California, Case No. 34-2009-00063274. The Complaint alleges twelve state causes of action relating to the loan transaction.

On December 4, 2009, Defendants filed a Notice of Removal to remove the state court action to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441, alleging diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Plaintiff now moves to remand to state court, alleging the Notice of Removal is procedurally defective.

II. OPINION

A. Legal Standard

A party may remove a state court action to federal court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441. Section 1441 provides that (1) a civil action brought in State court, (2) over which the district court has original jurisdiction, (3) can be removed to federal court embracing that state court action, (4) by the defendant or defendants in the state court action.

The party requesting removal bears the burden of establishing that federal jurisdiction is proper. Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992) (citations omitted). "Federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal." Id. (citing Libhart v. Santa Monica Dairy Co., 592 F.2d 1062, 1064 (9th Cir. 1979).

B. Analysis

Plaintiff argues that the Notice of Removal is procedurally defective for two reasons: (1) the district court does not have original jurisdiction because the amount in controversy does not exceed $75,000; and (2) all defendants did not join in the removal action.

1. Original Jurisdiction Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332

For removal to be proper, the district court must have original jurisdiction. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, district courts have original jurisdiction of all civil actions "where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between citizens of different States..." 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Here, Plaintiff concedes diverse citizenship. As set ...


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