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Michael Sapir, As Trustee of the Sapir Family Trust v. Home Depot U.S.A.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT PRIORITY SEND CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


January 17, 2012

MICHAEL SAPIR, AS TRUSTEE OF THE SAPIR FAMILY TRUST
v.
HOME DEPOT U.S.A., INC., ET AL.

PROCEEDINGS (IN CHAMBERS): ORDER REMANDING ACTION TO LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable John F. Walter, United States District Judge

JS-6

CIVIL MINUTES -- GENERAL

Shannon Reilly

Courtroom Deputy

ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR PLAINTIFFS:

None

None Present

Court Reporter

ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR DEFENDANTS:

None

On November 15, 2011, Plaintiff Michael Sapir as trustee of the Sapir Family Trust ("Plaintiff") filed a First Amended Complaint against Defendant Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. ("Defendant") in Los Angeles County Superior Court. On December 15, 2011, Defendant filed a Notice of Removal of Civil Action to United States District Court for the Central District of California ("Notice of Removal"), alleging that this Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)..

Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having subject matter jurisdiction only over matters authorized by the Constitution and Congress. See Bender v. Williamsport Area School , 475 U.S. 534, 541 (1986). "Because of the Congressional purpose to restrict the jurisdiction of the federal courts on removal, the statute is strictly construed, and federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance." Duncan v. , 76 F.3d 1480, 1485 (9th Cir. 1996) (citations and quotations omitted). There is a strong presumption that the Court is without jurisdiction unless the contrary affirmatively appears. See Fifty Associates v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, 446 F.2d 1187, 1190 (9th Cir. 1990). As the party invoking federal jurisdiction, Defendant bears the burden of demonstrating that removal is proper. See, e.g., Gaus v. Miles, 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992); Emrich v. Touche , 846 F.2d 1190, 1195 (9th Cir. 1988).

Diversity jurisdiction founded under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) requires that (1) all plaintiffs be of different citizenship than all defendants, and (2) the amount in controversy exceed $75,000. "A trust has the citizenship of its trustee or trustees." Johnson v. Columbia Properties Anchorage, LP, 437 F.3d 894, 899 (9th Cir. 2006). Moreover, some courts have held that "the citizenship of both the trustee and the beneficiary should control in determining the citizenship of a trust." Emerald Investors Trust v. Guant Parsippany Partners, 492 F.3d 192, 205 (3rd Cir. 2007); see also PDP La Initials of Deputy Clerk sr Mesa LLC v. LaSalle Medical Office Fund II, 2010 WL 3988598, at *3 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 12, 2010). In its Notice of Removal, Defendant fails to allege the citizenship of the trustee or beneficiaries of the Accordingly, Defendant has failed to satisfy its burden of establishing that diversity jurisdiction exists. This action is REMANDED to Los Angeles County Superior Court for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Initials of Deputy Clerk sr

20120117

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