The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Margaret M. Morrow
Present: The Honorable MARGARET M. MORROW
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
Proceedings: Order Remanding Action to Superior Court for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction
On August 26, 2011, plaintiff Bank of America, N.A. filed an unlawful detainer action against Jaime Engler and certain fictitious defendants in Riverside Superior Court.*fn1 The complaint involves a post-foreclosure eviction, and states that the amount of damages sought does not exceed $10,000.*fn2
On September 13, 2011, Engler removed the action to this court.*fn3 In his notice of removal, Engler asserts that the court has subject matter jurisdiction because Bank of America's complaint "implicates constitutional and statutory violations including but not limited to, securities laws, fair debt collection practices, conspiracy against rights, civil rights violations and what may be discrimination which are believed to be matters within original federal jurisdiction."*fn4 The unlawful detainer claim, Engler asserts, is "a federal claim in disguise and is for all practical purposes a security transaction."*fn5 The notice of removal also suggests that the state law claims may be preempted by federal law, and that the sale of Engler's property raises unfair competition and antitrust concerns.*fn6 According to Engler, the court has subject matter jurisdiction "pursuant to 28 [U.S.C. §§] 1331, 1337(a), and 1345, and 15 U.S.C. §§ 45(a), §§ 45(a) 1692 et seq."*fn7
Engler also alleges that, contrary to the allegation in Bank of America's complaint, the amount in controversy is significantly more than $75,000, because he "has paid over $10,000.00 in costs and other fees, not including insurance and tax payments, [that h]e also made more than $69,085.00 worth of improvements to the property and [that he] made an estimated $62,000.00 in payments."*fn8
On September 27, 2011, Bank of America moved to remand the case to state court.*fn9 Engler did not oppose the motion. The court finds the matter suitable for decision without oral argument under Rule 78 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 7-15. The December 5, 2011 hearing is therefore vacated and taken off calendar.
A. Defendant's Failure to File Timely ...