The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Gary Allen Feess
Present: The Honorable GARY ALLEN FEESS
Renee Fisher None N/A Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
Proceedings: (In Chambers)
ORDER RE: MOTION TO REMAND
I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
On March 15, 2011, Plaintiffs Marcos Silva and Maria Loro ("Plaintiffs") filed this suit against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ("Wells Fargo"); Cal-Western Reconveyance Corporation ("Cal-Western"); New Century Mortgage Corporation ("New Century"); and U.S. Bank National Association ("U.S. Bank") in Los Angeles County Superior Court. (Docket No. 1, Not. of Removal, Ex. 1 [Compl.].) Plaintiffs assert state-law claims for wrongful foreclosure and for violations of the California Unfair Competition Law ("UCL"), as well as a claim for declaratory relief. (Compl. ¶¶ 23--70.)
On April 14, 2011, Defendants Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank ("Removing Defendants") removed the case to this Court on the purported basis of diversity jurisdiction. (Not. ¶ 1.) In the Notice of Removal, Removing Defendants contend that Plaintiffs are citizens of California, that Wells Fargo is a citizen of South Dakota, and that U.S. Bank is a citizen of Ohio. (Id. ¶¶ 6--8.) Removing Defendants contend that the states of citizenship of the other two defendants, Cal-Western and New Century, are irrelevant for purposes of determining whether diversity of citizenship exists in this case. (Id. ¶¶ 9--10.) First, Removing Defendants explain that Cal-Western is not a real party in interest, but rather is merely the trustee on Plaintiffs' Deed of Trust. (Id. ¶ 9.) Indeed, Removing Defendants note, Cal-Western filed a Declaration of Non-Monetary Status in Superior Court. (Id.) As such, Removing Defendants contend, Cal- Western's citizenship is irrelevant. (Id.) Second, Removing Defendants contend that New Century's citizenship can be disregarded because it was "apparently named for the sole purpose of defeating diversity." (Id. ¶ 10.) According to Removing Defendants, "[t]here are no allegations of wrongdoing or liability asserted against New Century anywhere in Plaintiff's Complaint." (Id.)
On May 25, 2011, Plaintiffs moved to remand this case to state court on the ground that the Notice of Removal does not establish that diversity jurisdiction exists in this case. (Docket No. 7.) For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS the motion.
STANDARD FOR REMOVAL UNDER 28U.S.C.§1441
Defendants may remove any action filed in state court over which federal district courts have original jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Generally speaking, the two ways a party may bring a case within the jurisdiction of the federal courts are: (1) diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332; and (2) federal question under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. William W. Schwarzer, et al., California Practice Guide: Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial § 2:2, at 2A-1 (2006). Federal courts have jurisdiction on the basis of diversity of citizenship where the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 and where the matter is between citizens of different states. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). "Diversity jurisdiction under 28 ...