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U.S. Bank National Association v. Jorge Martinez

March 13, 2012

U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
v.
JORGE MARTINEZ, ET AL.



Priority Send Enter Closed JS-5/JS-6 Scan Only

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

PRESENT: THE HONORABLE S. JAMES OTERO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Victor Paul Cruz

Courtroom Clerk

COUNSEL PRESENT FOR PLAINTIFF: Not Present Not Present

Court Reporter

COUNSEL PRESENT FOR DEFENDANTS: Not Present

PROCEEDINGS (in chambers): ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND; ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES AND COSTS [Docket No. 6]

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff U.S. Bank, N.A.'s ("Plaintiff") Motion to Remand Case to Los Angeles County Superior Court and Request for Attorneys' Fees and Costs ("Motion"), filed on January 17, 2012. Plaintiff concurrently filed a Request for Judicial Notice ("RJN"). Plaintiff filed its Motion in response to Defendants Jorge Martinez, Manuela Bravo, Virginia Fernandez, and Rose Garcia's (collectively, "Defendants") Notice of Removal ("Notice"), filed on January 3, 2012. The Court found this matter appropriate for decision without oral argument and vacated the hearing set for February 20, 2012. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78(b). For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Request for Judicial Notice, GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion to Remand,

DENIES Plaintiff's Request for Attorneys' Fees and Costs.

BACKGROUND

On January 11, 2011, Plaintiff initiated this unlawful detainer action in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants failed to pay rent for the premises located at 160 East 79th Street, Main House, Los Angeles, California (the "Premises"). (RJN Ex. 1 ("Compl.") ¶¶ 3, 11, ECF. No. 6-1.) Proceeding pro se, Defendants removed Plaintiff's Complaint to the Central District on January 3, 2012 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441, 1443, and 1446. (Notice ¶ 4, ECF No. 1.) To support removal under § 1443, Defendants allege that "[t]he California Superior Courts of Limited Jurisdiction . . . operate based on an institutionalized predetermination of the outcome [and] reflect a pervasive state statutory program expressly designed to deny Hispanics . . . their equal constitutional rights to equal access to the Courts and to make and enforce contracts for the maintenance of interest in property." (Notice ¶ 27.) Specifically, Defendants allege that "[t]he Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Notice[s] are always in English, never bilingual, and do not so acknowledge the large Ethic/Diversity-cultured [sic] people of Los Angeles County." (Notice ¶ 28.) Thus, Defendants contend that the "Unlawful Detainer/Forcible Eviction Laws of the State of California are facially discriminatory in that they do not require translations or bilingual texts of contracts or notices," and that Defendants have therefore been denied the "guarantees to due process found in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments." (Notice ¶¶ 29-30.) Defendants claim that they "are entitled to remove because they are victims of ethnic profiling based on surnames and presumed linguistic incompetence." (Notice ¶ 35.)

Plaintiff filed the instant Motion alleging: (1) removal is untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 1446; (2) the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction under §§ 1331 and 1332(a); and (3) Defendants' sole purpose in removing was to "harass the Plaintiff and cause it to incur further litigation costs." (Mot. 4-5,7, ECF No. 6.) Plaintiff asserts that Defendants owe $12,600 for past-due rent and thirty-three dollars for each day that Defendants continue to occupy the Premises. (Compl. ¶ 12-13.) Plaintiff further argues that it is entitled to attorneys' fees and costs in the amount of seven ...


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