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Morales v. GMAC Mortgage

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


June 14, 2010

MILTON MORALES
v.
GMAC MORTGAGE, LLC, ET AL.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Present: The Honorable Dale S. Fischer, United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM

Proceedings: (In Chambers) Order REMANDING Action to the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

"Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. They possess only that power authorized by [the] Constitution and statute . . . ." Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). A defendant may remove an action filed in state court to federal court if the federal court could exercise subject matter jurisdiction over the action.

28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Even so, "[t]he removal statute is strictly construed against removal jurisdiction," and, "[t]he defendant bears the burden of establishing that removal is proper." Provincial Gov't of Martinduque v. Placer Dome, Inc., 582 F.3d 1083, 1087 (9th Cir. 2009). If a defendant fails to meet its burden of establishing that federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction, the suit is remanded back to state court. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).

Here, Defendant GMAC Mortgage, LLC claims federal jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, otherwise known as diversity jurisdiction. (Docket No. 1, ("Notice of Removal") ¶ 5.) Subject matter jurisdiction based on diversity requires: (1) each plaintiff be diverse from every defendant; and (2) the amount in controversy be more than $75,000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).

Defendant did not establish that the Court has diversity jurisdiction over this case because it failed to allege its own citizenship. An LLC is a citizen of every state in which an owner or member of the LLC is a citizen. Johnson v. Columbia Props. Anchorage, , 437 F. 3d 894, 899 (9th Cir. 2006). Although Defendant claims it is a Delaware LLC with its principal place of business in Pennsylvania, (Notice of Removal ¶ 8), it has not identified the citizenship of each of its owners and members. Thus, it failed to show that it is diverse from Plaintiff. For this reason, the Court REMANDS the action to the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20100614

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