UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
December 14, 2011
ARCH BAY HOLDINGS, LLC - SERIES 2009 A
JUAN TORRES, AND DOES 1 THROUGH 10, INCLUSIVE
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable VIRGINIA A. Phillips, U.S. District Judge
CIVIL MINUTES -- GENERAL
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: None None
PROCEEDINGS: MINUTE ORDER REMANDING ACTION TO THE
CALIFORNIA SUPERIOR COURT FOR THE COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE (IN CHAMBERS)
On September 29, 2011, Plaintiff Arch Bay Holdings, LLC - Series 2009 A ("Plaintiff") filed a complaint for unlawful detainer ("Complaint") against Defendant Juan Torres ("Defendant") in the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside. (Not. of Removal (Doc. No. 1), Ex. A.) On December 8, 2011, Defendant removed the action on the basis of federal question jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1331. (See Not. of Removal ¶ 10.)
ARCH BAY HOLDINGS, LLC - SERIES 2009A v. JUAN TORRES, AND DOES 1 THROUGH 10, INCLUSIVE
MINUTE ORDER of December 14, 2011
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. , 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.")
Defendant alleges the basis for removal is federal question jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1331, because his defenses "arise under" of federal law. (See Not. of Removal ¶ 10.) From the face of the Complaint, however, Plaintiff's only claim is for unlawful detainer, a California state law action. See Franchise Tax Bd. v. Constr. Laborers Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 10 (1983) (defendant may not remove case to federal court unless basis for federal jurisdiction apparent on the face of the complaint). Defendant cannot establish jurisdiction by asserting a federal defense.
at 14 (holding that it is "settled law that a case may not be removed to federal court on the basis of a federal defense, . . . even if the defense is anticipated in the plaintiff's complaint, and even if both parties admit that the defense is the only question truly at issue in the case."). Accordingly, Defendant has not shown the Court's jurisdiction based on federal question under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
Defendant has not met his burden of establishing that the case is properly in federal court. Gaus, 980 F.2d at 566. Accordingly, the Court REMANDS the action to the Superior Court of California for the County of Riverside.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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