The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dolly M. Gee, United States District Judge
Present: The Honorable DOLLY M. GEE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
VALENCIA VALLERY NOT REPORTED
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter
Attorneys Present for Plaintiff(s) Attorneys Present for Defendant(s)
None Present None Present
Proceedings: IN CHAMBERS-ORDER REMANDING ACTION TO VENTURA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
On June 17, 2011, Plaintiff The Bank of New York Mellon filed a complaint in Ventura County Superior Court for unlawful detainer against Defendants William and Lisa Horne and Does "I" through "X." Plaintiff seeks possession of real property and restitution for Defendants' use and occupancy of the property in the amount of $147.35 per day starting on June 7, 2011. (Compl. at 3-4.) Defendants removed the case to this Court on October 3, 2011, asserting subject matter jurisdiction on the basis of a federal question, 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and civil rights issues, id. § 1443(1).
"The burden of establishing federal subject matter jurisdiction falls on the party invoking removal." Marin Gen. Hosp. v. Modesto & Empire Traction Co., 581 F.3d 941, 944 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing Toumajian v. Frailey, 135 F.3d 648, 652 (9th Cir. 1998)). There is a "strong presumption against removal jurisdiction," and courts must reject it "if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance." Geographic Expeditions, Inc. v. Estate of Lhotka ex rel. Lhotka, 599 F.3d 1102, 1107 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992) (per curiam)) (internal quotation marks omitted).
The complaint raises no federal question. Federal jurisdiction cannot rest upon an actual or anticipated defense or counterclaim. Vaden v. Discover Bank, __ U.S. __, 129 S.Ct. 1262, 1272, 173 L.Ed.2d 206 (2009). Nor does the complaint reveal a basis for diversity jurisdiction. The amount in controversy is well below the $75,000 jurisdictional threshold for diversity jurisdiction. The caption of the underlying state court complaint clearly states that the amount of damages sought by Plaintiff does not exceed $10,000.
The final removal statute that Defendants invoke, 28 U.S.C. § 1443(1), permits a defendant to remove an action "[a]against any person who is denied or cannot enforce in [state court] a right under any law providing for the equal civil rights of citizens of the United States, or of all persons within the jurisdiction thereof."
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT ...