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William F. Harke; Sandra K. v. American Home Mortgage Servicing

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


February 8, 2012

WILLIAM F. HARKE; SANDRA K. HARKE,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION; SAND CANYON CORPORATION F/K/A OPTION ONE MORTGAGE CORPORATION, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION; WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., A NATIONAL BANKING ASSOCIATION,
DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garland E. Burrell, Jr. United States District Judge

REMAND ORDER

Defendant American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc. ("AHMS") removed this case from state court based on diversity of jurisdiction, when AHMS was the only named defendant in Plaintiffs' complaint. Plaintiffs only allege state claims in their complaint.

However, after removal Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in which they added Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ("Wells Fargo") and Sand Canyon Corporation as defendants. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 7-9.) Plaintiffs allege in their amended complaint that Plaintiffs are citizens of California, that Sand Canyon Corporation "[is] a California corporation, with its headquarters in California[,]" and that Wells Fargo "[is] a national banking association, headquartered in California." (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 5, 8 & 9.) For purposes of diversity jurisdiction, a corporation or a national banking association is a citizen of the state in which it has its principal place of business, which is "normally . . . the place where the corporation maintains its headquarters." Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 130 S. Ct. 1181, 1192 (2010); see 28 U.S.C. § 1348 (stating that national banking associations are "citizens of the States in which they are respectively located"); Am. Surety Co. v. Bank of Cal., 133 F.2d 160, 162 (9th Cir. 1943) (holding that a national banking association is located in the state in which it maintains its principal place of business); Guinto v. Wells Fargo Bank, No. CIV. S-11-372 LKK/GGH, 2011 WL 4738519 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 5, 2011) (finding lack of diversity because Wells Fargo is a citizen of California). Since the Plaintiffs, Sand Canyon Corporation, and Wells Fargo are citizens of California, the addition of these defendants defeats diversity of citizenship subject matter jurisdiction.

Therefore, this case is remanded to the California Superior Court in the County of El Dorado from which it was removed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) (prescribing that the case shall be remanded "when it appears that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction . . . ").

20120208

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