UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
March 9, 2012
JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
GARY EMMIT WILLIAMS, ET AL.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable John A. Kronstadt, United States District Judge
CIVIL MINUTES -- GENERAL
Present: The Honorable JOHN A. KRONSTADT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Andrea Keifer Not Reported Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Attorneys Present for Plaintiff: Attorneys Present for Defendants: Not Present Not Present
Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS) ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE SUBJECT MATTER
The Court has received the Notice of Removal filed by Defendant, Gary Williams ("Williams"). Dkt. 1.
On October 28, 2011, Plaintiff JP Morgan Chase Bank, National Association ("JP Morgan") brought an unlawful detainer action ("Action") against Williams in the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside. Notice of Removal, Exh. A, Dkt. 1. On January 11, 2012, Williams removed the Action to this Court. Dkt. 1. He argues that this Court has subject matter jurisdiction over the Action based on federal question jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1331, because he asserts a defense to the Action under a federal law -- the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009, 12 U.S.C. § 5220, 42 U.S.C. § 1437f.
As a court of restricted jurisdiction, see Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994), this Court must determine the issue of subject matter jurisdiction before reaching the merits of a
See Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 94 (1998). Federal courts have original jurisdiction over "all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States."
28 U.S.C. § 1331.
For a case to 'arise under' federal law, a plaintiff's well-pleaded complaint must establish either (1) that federal law creates the cause of action or (2) that the plaintiff's asserted right to relief depends on the resolution of a substantial question of federal law. Federal jurisdiction cannot hinge upon defenses or counterclaims, whether actual or anticipated.
K2 Am. Corp. v. Roland Oil & Gas, LLC, 653 F.3d 1024, 1029 (9th Cir. 2011).
The Action does not raise a federal question. Thus, JP Morgan's complaint does not contain a cause of action that arises under federal law. Although Williams purports to raise a defense arising under federal law, "the existence of a defense based upon federal law is insufficient to support jurisdiction." Wayne v. DHL Worldwide Express, 294 F.3d 1179, 1183 (9th Cir. 2002).
The party seeking to establish jurisdiction bears the burden of proving the same. Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 377. Here, the Notice of Removal does not do so. Thus, it does not establish that JP Morgan's complaint presents a cause of action "arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Accordingly, the Court issues this Order to Show Cause Re: Jurisdiction given the absence of an adequate showing of federal question jurisdiction at this time. On or before March 23, 2012, the parties are to submit any memoranda, each of which is not to exceed five pages, with respect to whether this Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this Action. Upon receiving these memoranda, the Court will determine whether a hearing on any issue raised is required or if the matter can be addressed by the Court without a hearing.
The scheduling conference, currently scheduled for March 12, 2012, is hereby vacated, and no appearance is required by any counsel or party. JP Morgan's counsel shall give telephonic notice to Williams that his appearance is not necessary on March 12, 2012.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Initials of Preparer ak
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