The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable VIRGINIA A. Phillips, U.S. District Judge
PRESENT: HONORABLE VIRGINIA A. PHILLIPS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Marva Dillard None Present Courtroom Deputy Court Reporter
ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR PLAINTIFFS: ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR DEFENDANTS:
PROCEEDINGS: MINUTE ORDER REMANDING ACTION TO THE CALIFORNIA SUPERIOR COURT FOR THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE (IN CHAMBERS)
On October 3, 2011, Defendants Arlene Marie Hudson and Artuo Jenkins removed the above-captioned unlawful detainer action to this Court from the California Superior Court for the County of Riverside. (See Not. of Removal (Doc. No. 1).) The Court, having reviewed Defendants' Notice of Removal, sua sponte REMANDS this action for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, for the reasons set forth below. The Court also DENIES as moot Plaintiff Deutsche Bank National Trust Company's Motion to Remand (Doc. No. 5), and sua sponte QUASHES Plaintiffs'
DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY v. ARLENE MARIE HUDSON, et al.
MINUTE ORDER of November 3, 2011
subpoena duces tecum of Glenn M. Perrell (Doc. No. 7).
Removal jurisdiction is governed by statute. See 28 U.S.C. §1441. The Ninth Circuit applies a strong presumption against removal jurisdiction, ensuring "the defendant always has the burden of establishing that removal is proper." Gaus v. , 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992) (citing Nishimoto v. Federman--Bachrach & Assocs., 903 F.2d 709, 712 n.3 (9th Cir. 1990)); see also In re Ford Motor Co./Citibank, 264 F.3d 952, 957 (9th Cir. 2001) ("The party asserting federal jurisdiction bears the burden of proving the case is properly in federal court."). "If at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded." 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c); FW/PBS, Inc. v. Dallas, 493 U.S. 215, 231 (1990) ("federal courts are under an independent obligation to examine their own jurisdiction"); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3) ("If the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.").
Defendants appear to allege the basis for removal is federal question jurisdiction, under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, because their due process rights are being violated by the state court unlawful detainer proceedings. (See Not. of Removal ¶ 3.) To remove an action based upon a federal question, however, the federal question must be presented in the complaint; here, the underlying state court action is for unlawful detainer, a California state law cause of action. See Franchise Tax Bd. v. Constr. Laborers Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 10 (1983) (holding that a defendant may not remove a case to federal court unless the basis for federal jurisdiction is apparent on the face of the complaint). Assuming, for the sake of argument, something about the unlawful detainer proceedings against Defendants violates Defendants' constitutional rights, the violation would be a defense in the proceedings, not an independent federal law claim. Existence of only a federal law defense, however, cannot confer federal question jurisdiction on the Court, and therefore may not be the basis for removal of an action. Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 393 (1987). Consequently, the ...