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Federal National Mortgage Association v. Veleda E. Brooks

March 7, 2012

FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION
v.
VELEDA E. BROOKS, ET AL.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Margaret M. Morrow

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

Present: The Honorable MARGARET M. MORROW

ANEL HUERTA N/A

Deputy Clerk Court Reporter

Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:

N/A N/A

Proceedings: Order Remanding Action to Los Angeles Superior Court for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction[5]

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On August 4, 2011, plaintiff Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae") filed an unlawful detainer action in Los Angeles Superior Court.*fn1 The complaint alleges that Fannie Mae is entitled to possession of a parcel of real property located at 5840 Haas Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90047, because it purchased the property at a foreclosure sale conducted pursuant to a deed of trust executed by defendant Veleda E. Brooks.*fn2 Brooks allegedly defaulted on the note secured by the deed of trust, which resulted in a trustee's sale of the property.*fn3 The complaint seeks restitution of the property and costs of suit.*fn4 Fannie Mae alleges expressly that it seeks damages of "up to $10,000."*fn5

Brooks removed this action, invoking the court's federal question jurisdiction. She asserts that she filed a demurrer to the complaint arguing that there had been a failure to comply with 12 U.S.C. §5220, the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act.*fn6 On January 17, 2012, the court issued an order to show cause why the case should not be remanded for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.*fn7 On January 31, 2012, Fannie Mae filed a motion to remand for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.*fn8

Brooks responded to the order to show cause on February 6, 2012.*fn9

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standards Governing Removal Jurisdiction

The right to remove a case to federal court is entirely a creature of statute. See Libhart v. Santa Monica Dairy Co., 592 F.2d 1062, 1064 (9th Cir. 1979). The removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1441, allows defendants to remove when a case originally filed in state court presents a federal question or is between citizens of different states and involves an amount in controversy that exceeds $75,000. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441(a), (b); see also 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332(a). Only state court actions that could originally have been filed in federal court can be removed. 28 ...


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