UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
October 12, 2011
TITLE: THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON
LINO B PUA ET AL
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Jacqueline H. Nguyen
Present: The Honorable JACQUELINE H. NGUYEN
Alicia Mamer Not Reported N/A
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter/Recorder Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
Not Present Not Present
Proceedings: ORDER REMANDING TO LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT
On October 3, 2011, Defendants removed this action to federal court from the Los Angeles Superior Court. However, the jurisdictional allegations appear defective.
Removal to federal court is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1441, which in relevant part states that "any civil action brought in a State court of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant or the defendants[.]" 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). However, the Court may remand a case to state court for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). "The burden of establishing federal jurisdiction is on the party invoking federal jurisdiction." U.S. v. Marks, 530 F.3d 799, 810 (9th Cir. 2008).
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, the Court has original jurisdiction over civil actions "arising under" federal law. "The presence or absence of federal-question jurisdiction is governed by 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." Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987). The only exception to this rule is where plaintiff's federal claim has been disguised by "artful pleading," such as where the only claim is a federal one or is a state claim preempted by federal law. Sullivan v. First Affiliated Sec., Inc., 813 F. 2d 1368, 1372 (9th Cir. 1987). Here, although Defendants allege that the claims arise under federal law, the Complaint's only cause of action is for unlawful detainer in violation of California Code of Civil Procedure § 1174(b). (Notice of Removal at 3-4.) No federal question is presented on the face of the Complaint, nor has a federal claim been disguised by artful pleading. Therefore, no federal question jurisdiction exists.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, the Court also has original jurisdiction over civil actions where there is complete diversity of citizenship and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. Morris v. Princess Cruises, Inc., 236 F.3d 1061, 1067 (9th Cir. 2001). The Complaint itself states clearly that "the demand does not exceed $10,000." (Compl. at 1.) As a result, Defendants present no basis for why the amount-in-controversy requirement is met. Therefore, no diversity jurisdiction exists.
Ultimately, because no federal question or diversity jurisdiction exists, Defendants fail to meet their burden of establishing federal jurisdiction. Accordingly, the Court hereby REMANDS this matter to the Los Angeles Superior Court.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Initials of Preparer AM
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