The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable R. Gary Klausner, U.S. District Judge
Present: The Honorable R. GARY KLAUSNER, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Sharon L. Williams Not Reported N/A
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS) ORDER REMANDING CIVIL ACTION TO SUPERIOR COURT
On January 10, 2012, Defendant Wells Fargo Bank NA ("Wells Fargo") removed this action from the Riverside County Superior Court to the United States District Court, Central District of California on the basis of diversity of citizenship.
Removal jurisdiction is governed by statute. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441, et seq. The Ninth Circuit has held unequivocally that the removal statute is construed strictly against removal. Ethridge v. Harbor House Rest., 861 F.2d 1389, 1393 (9th Cir. 1988). The strong presumption against removal jurisdiction means that "the defendant always has the burden of establishing that removal is proper." Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 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 (South Dakota), N.A., 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.").
Wells Fargo states that, although Defendant Cal-Western Reconveyance Corporation is a California citizen, it is fraudulently joined, and should not be considered for purposes of determining diversity jurisdiction. However, based on the face of the Complaint, it is not clear that Cal-Western was fraudulent joined. Nor has Wells Fargo met its burden of establishing fraudulent joinder. Therefore, the Court finds that the presence in this action of Cal-Western, who is undisputedly a California citizen, defeats diversity jurisdiction.
For the foregoing reasons, the above-entitled case is ordered REMANDED to the Superior Court for all further proceedings for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.