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Kononov v. Expedia Home Loans

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


May 26, 2010

LARISA KONONOV, PLAINTIFF,
v.
EXPEDIA HOME LOANS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This action arises out of a mortgage loan transaction in which Plaintiff Lisa Kononov ("Plaintiff") refinanced her home in November 2006. Presently before the Court is a Motion by Defendant MortgageIT, Inc. ("Defendant") to Dismiss the claims alleged against it in Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Defendant also filed a motion to strike.*fn1

Defendant removed this case from Superior Court, County of Sacramento to federal court, Eastern District of California on the basis of federal question jurisdiction after Plaintiff's original Complaint made reference to possible violations of the Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq. ("TILA") and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 12 U.S.C. § 2605 et seq. ("RESPA").

However, Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint does not formally allege causes of action under federal law. Although Plaintiff references TILA, RESPA, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act ("ECOA"), Plaintiff only refers to them as a predicate harm for finding liability under the California Business and Professions Code § 17200, a state law claim. (First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 86 & 88-89.)

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, "general federal-question jurisdiction [] is applicable only when the plaintiff sues under a federal statute that creates a right of action in federal court." Williams v. United Airlines, Inc., 500 F.3d 1019, 1022 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing Merrell Dow Pharms. Inc. v. Thompson, 478 U.S. 804, 807-12 (1986)). "'Arising under' federal jurisdiction only arises...when the federal law does more than just shape a court's interpretation of state law; the federal law must be at issue." Int'l Union of Operating Eng'rs v. County of Plumas, 559 F.3d 1041, 1045 (9th Cir. 2009) (emphasis previously added). Here, the state law cause of action, does not turn on construction of federal law. Id. Rather, it is influenced by an application of the federal law to the state law claim. Id.

Accordingly, the Court acknowledges Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint as being comprised entirely of state law claims. With only state law claims alleged, this Court ceases to have subject matter jurisdiction over the suit. The Court need not address the merits of Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Docket No. 18) as those issues are now moot. In addition, Defendant's Motion to Strike (Docket No. 21) is moot.

For the reasons stated above, Plaintiff's suit is REMANDED to Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento. The Clerk is directed to close the file.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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