The opinion of the court was delivered by: Present: The Honorable Jacqueline H. Nguyen
Alicia Mamer Not Reported N/A
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter/Recorder Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants: Not Present Not Present
Proceedings: ORDER REMANDING CASE TO LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT (In Chambers)
Removal to federal court is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1441, which in relevant part states that "any civil action brought in a State court of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant or the defendants." 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). However, the Court may remand a case to state court for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). "The burden of establishing federal jurisdiction is on the party invoking federal jurisdiction. United States v. Marks, 530 F.3d 799, 810 (9th Cir. 2008).
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, the Court has original jurisdiction over civil actions "arising under" federal law. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, the Court also has original jurisdiction over civil actions where there is complete diversity of citizenship and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. Morris v. Princess Cruises, Inc., 236 F.3d 1061, 1067 (9th Cir. 2001).
Defendants removed this matter to federal court on January 13, 2012. (Docket no. 1.) However, the Court lacks jurisdiction to hear this case. The Complaint's sole cause of action is for unlawful detainer, a state law claim. No federal question is presented on the face of the Complaint. Defendants predicate removal on an asserted defense arising under "Title VII of the Emergency Economic Stabilization "Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009." (Notice of Removal ¶ 2A.) However, 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. Franchise Tax Bd. v. Constr. Laborers Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 14 (1983). Further, it appears that no diversity jurisdiction exists, as the demand is limited to less than $10,000. (Compl. 1, [Notice of Removal Ex. A].)
Defendants have failed to meet their burden of establishing jurisdiction. Accordingly, the Court hereby REMANDS this case to the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County.
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