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Park v. Wells Fargo Bank

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


November 22, 2010

KENNETH PARK, ET AL.
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., 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, County of Los Angeles for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

"Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction" and "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 Marinduque v. Placer Dome, Inc., 582 F.3d 1083, 1087 (9th Cir. 2009). If a defendant fails to meet its burden of establishing the Court has subject matter jurisdiction, the suit is remanded back to state court. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).

Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. claims the Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, otherwise known as diversity jurisdiction. (Docket No. 1 ("Notice of Removal").) Subject matter jurisdiction based on diversity requires complete diversity of citizenship between the parties. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).

Defendant Wells Fargo, N.A. did not establish that the Court has diversity jurisdiction because it failed to establish co-Defendant NDeX West, LLC's citizenship. Limited liability companies are treated like partnerships for diversity purposes. Johnson v. Columbia Props. Anchorage, LP, 437 F.3d 894, 899 (9th Cir. 2006). A partnership is a citizen of all of the states of which its members are citizens. Id. Wells Fargo alleges that NDeX West's sole member is the National Default Exchange, LP, but it does not allege the citizenship of National Default Exchange's members. Because the citizenship of NdeX has not been properly alleged, Wells Fargo has not met its burden in establishing diversity. Because of this failure, the Court REMANDS the action to the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20101122

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