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Title Federal National Mortgage Association v. Randy Flournoy

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


March 27, 2012

TITLE FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION
v.
RANDY FLOURNOY, ET AL.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Dolly M. Gee, United States District Judge

JS-6

CIVIL MINUTES-GENERAL

Present: The Honorable DOLLY M. GEE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

VALENCIA VALLERY NOT REPORTED

Deputy Clerk Court Reporter

Attorneys Present for Plaintiff(s) Attorneys Present for Defendant(s)

None Present None Present

Proceedings: IN CHAMBERS-ORDER REMANDING ACTION TO LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT

On September 22, 2011, Plaintiff Federal National Mortgage Association filed a complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court for unlawful detainer against Defendant Randy Flournoy and Does 1 through 10. Plaintiff seeks possession of real property and restitution for Defendant's use and occupancy of the property starting on September 22, 2011. (Compl. at 2-3.) Defendant Randy Flournoy removed the case to this Court on March 20, 2012, asserting subject matter jurisdiction on the basis of diversity of citizenship, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).

"The burden of establishing federal subject matter jurisdiction falls on the party invoking removal." Marin Gen. Hosp. v. Modesto & Empire Traction Co., 581 F.3d 941, 944 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing Toumajian v. Frailey, 135 F.3d 648, 652 (9th Cir. 1998)). There is a "strong presumption against removal jurisdiction," and courts must reject it "if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance." Geographic Expeditions, Inc. v. Estate of Lhotka ex rel. Lhotka, 599 F.3d 1102, 1107 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992) (per curiam)) (internal quotation marks omitted).

The complaint does not reveal a basis for diversity jurisdiction. The amount in controversy is well below the $75,000 jurisdictional threshold. The caption of the underlying state court complaint clearly states that the amount of damages sought by Plaintiff does not exceed $10,000. Nor does the complaint support federal question jurisdiction. Plaintiff's sole cause of action for unlawful detainer arises under state law. Federal jurisdiction cannot rest upon an actual or anticipated defense or counterclaim. Vaden v. Discover Bank, 556 U.S. 49, 60, 129 S.Ct. 1262, 173 L.Ed.2d 206 (2009).

As Defendant has not established a basis for subject matter jurisdiction, this action is hereby REMANDED to Los Angeles County Superior Court.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20120327

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