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Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Miller

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


October 19, 2010

DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY AS TRUSTEE PLAINTIFF,
v.
BRAD G. MILLER ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: James V. Selna United States District Judge

Order of Remand

Defendant Brad B. Miller ("Miller") removed this action from Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Orange. No explicit basis for jurisdiction was asserted, although Miller claims there have been violations of federal law in the underlying transactions. (Notice of Removal, p. 9.) The Court ordered Miller to show cause in writing why the case should not be remanded to the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Orange for lack of jurisdiction. (Docket No. 3.) The Court has now reviewed Miller's response.

Miller ignores a fundamental premise of removal jurisdiction. The basis for federal jurisdiction must appear in the state court complaint. Federal defenses or federal counterclaims provide no basis to remove an action which does not otherwise establish federal jurisdiction. See Franchise Tax Board of State of Cal. v. Construction Laborers Vacation Trust, 643 U.S. 1, 10 (1983); Metro Ford Truck Sales, Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 145 F.3d 320, 326-27 (5th Cir. 1998).

The underlying action is an unlawful detainer action. No federal claims are asserted (28 U.S.C. § 1331). Miller's argument for diversity jurisdiction ignores the amount in controversy requirement (28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1)), and in any event, as a California resident defendant, Miller cannot remove the action. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b).

The case is remanded the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Orange for lack of jurisdiction.

20101019

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