The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable George H. King, U. S. District Judge
Presiding: The Honorable GEORGE H. KING, U. S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Beatrice Herrera N/A N/A Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendant:
Proceedings: (In Chambers) Order to Show Cause
On September 26, 2011, Defendant Ali Reza Amirjalaly ("Defendant") removed the above-titled unlawful detainer action to this Court. The Notice of Removal seems to assert that we have federal question jurisdiction because Plaintiff Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as Trustee for Carrington Mortgage Loan Trust's ("Plaintiff") Complaint necessarily confronts federal claims raised in Defendant's affirmative defenses to the Complaint. The Notice of Removal also seems to assert that we have diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
As a court of limited jurisdiction, see Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994); Finley v. United States, 490 U.S. 545, 547-48 (1989), we must determine the issue of subject matter jurisdiction before reaching the merits of a case. See Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better , 523 U.S. 83, 94 (1998). We have original jurisdiction over all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331. "In determining the presence or absence of federal jurisdiction, we apply the 'well-pleaded complaint rule,' which provides that federal jurisdiction exists only when a federal question is presented on the face of the plaintiff's properly pleaded complaint." California ex rel. Lockyer v. Dynegy, Inc., 375 F.3d 831, 838 (9th Cir. 2004) (internal quotation marks omitted). Under the "well-pleaded complaint" rule, a plaintiff is considered the master of his complaint and may ignore a federal claim and assert only a state claim in order to defeat removal. Sullivan v. First Affiliated Sec., Inc., 813 F.2d 1368, 1372 (9th Cir. 1987). Therefore, "[a] defense is not part of a plaintiff's properly pleaded statement of his or her claim," and "[t]he federal issue must be disclosed upon the face of the complaint, unaided by the answer or by the petition for removal." Dynegy, 375 F.3d at 838 (quoting Gully v. First Nat'l Bank in Meridian, 299 U.S. 109, 112 (1936)) (internal quotation marks omitted). "Nor can federal jurisdiction rest upon an actual or anticipated counterclaim." Vaden v. Discover Bank, 129 S. Ct. 1262, 1266 (2009).
Along with the Notice of Removal, Defendants attached the state court Complaint. On its face, the Complaint only alleges a claim for unlawful detainer. As discussed above, the federal claims mentioned in the Notice of Removal do not provide this Court with jurisdiction.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
Case No. CV 11-7940-GHK (AJWx)