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Title Federal National Mortgage Association v. Stephenee Simms

November 17, 2011

TITLE FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION
v.
STEPHENEE SIMMS, ET AL.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Dolly M. Gee, United States District Judge

JS-6

CIVIL MINUTES-GENERAL

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 LOS ANGELES

COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT

On June 23, 2011, Plaintiff Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae") filed a complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court for unlawful detainer against Defendant Stephanee Simms and Does 1 through 10. Fannie Mae seeks possession of real property and restitution for Defendant's use and occupancy of the property in the amount of $60 per day starting on March 15, 2011. (Compl. at 3.) On July 27, 2011, Barbara McNight, who claims to have occupied the subject property at the time that this action commenced and asserts a right of possession therein, joined this action as a defendant by filing a declaration pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 415.46. McNight then removed the case to this Court on November 10, 2011, asserting subject matter jurisdiction on the basis of a federal question. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1441.

"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 contains no federal question on its face. McNight nonetheless contends that Fannie Mae has engaged in "artful pleading" because federal law preempts an unlawful detainer action in California. (Notice of Removal [Doc. # 1] ¶¶ 6-7.) Specifically, McNight points to the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 ("PTFA"), Pub. L. No. 111-22, § 702, 123 Stat 1632, 1660-61 (codified at 12 U.S.C. § 5220 notes). She argues that the PTFA preempts an unlawful detainer action because it is inconsistent with California law in three respects: (1) the extent to which the purchaser at a foreclosure sale takes title subject to the rights of an existing bona fide tenant; (2) the number of days notice required before a purchaser at foreclosure may evict a tenant; and (3) the conditions under which a purchaser at foreclosure can give notice of termination to a tenant. (Notice of Removal ¶ 6.)

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT ...


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