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California Housing Finance Agency v. Jose A. Lemos

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


October 14, 2011

CALIFORNIA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOSE A. LEMOS, DEFENDANT.

ORDER

On October 7, 2011, defendant, proceeding pro se, filed a notice of removal of this unlawful detainer action from the Superior Court of the State of California for Sacramento County, along with a request to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Dckt. Nos. 1, 2. Then, on October 12, 2011, defendant filed an application for a temporary restraining order and a memorandum in support thereof on October 13, 2011.*fn1 Dckt. Nos. 3, 4.

This court has an independent duty to ascertain its jurisdiction and may remand sua sponte for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). "The burden of establishing federal jurisdiction is on the party seeking removal, and the removal statute is strictly construed against removal jurisdiction." Emrich v. Touche Ross & Co., 846 F.2d 1190, 1195 (9th Cir. 1988). "Federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance." Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). As explained below, defendant has failed to meet that burden.

Defendant's notice of removal is predicated upon the court's federal question jurisdiction. Dckt. No. 1 at 2-3. However, a review of the complaint reveals that plaintiff does not allege any federal claims; instead, plaintiff alleges only unlawful detainer under state law. Id. at 7-8 (Compl.). Therefore, because defendant has not adequately established that plaintiff's complaint alleges a federal claim,*fn2 the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and must remand the case.*fn3 See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the above-captioned case be REMANDED to the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of Sacramento. Because this court lacks jurisdiction, defendant's request to proceed in forma pauperis and defendant's application for a temporary restraining order, Dckt. Nos. 2 and 3, will not be addressed.


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