The opinion of the court was delivered by: Present: The Honorable Gary Allen Feess
Renee Fisher None N/A Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No. Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants: None None Proceedings: (In Chambers)
INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
On January 28, 2011, Plaintiff Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ("FHLM") filed an unlawful detainer complaint against Defendants Silvia Cantillano and Elva Lopez in Los Angeles County Superior Court. (Docket No. 1 [Not. of Removal], Ex. 1 [Compl.].) The Complaint alleges that Plaintiff purchased Defendants' real property in Los Angeles by virtue of a lawful foreclosure sale on January 12, 2011, and that Defendants have continued to possess the premises despite Plaintiff's multiple demands to pay rent or quit the premises. (Id. ¶¶ 11--14, Exs. A--C.) Defendants Alicia Suarez and Javier Calderon joined Cantillano and Lopez in removing the action on February 27, 2012; Defendants allege federal jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332 (diversity jurisdiction) and 1443 (civil rights removal). (Docket No. 1 [Not. of Removal] ¶¶ 12--19.) However, Defendants have failed to establish that the Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action. Accordingly, the Court REMANDS this case.
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(h)(3), "[i]f the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action." Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3). "[A] court may raise the question of subject matter jurisdiction, sua sponte, at any time during the pendency of the action . . . ." Snell v. Cleveland, Inc., 316 F.3d 822, 826 (9th Cir. 2002); see also United Investors Life Ins. Co. v. Waddell & Reed, Inc., 360 F.3d 960, 966 (9th Cir. 2004) ("Here the district court had a duty to establish subject matter jurisdiction over the removed action sua sponte, whether the parties raised the issue or not.").
The Ninth Circuit has held that courts must "strictly construe the removal statute against removal jurisdiction" and reject federal jurisdiction "if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance." Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992) (citation omitted). "The strong presumption against removal jurisdiction means that the defendant always has the burden of establishing that removal is proper." Id. (quotations and citations omitted).
1.REMOVAL JURISDICTION UNDER 28U.S.C.§§1332 AND 1441
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1441, a defendant may remove to federal court any state court action of which federal district courts have original jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1441. Federal district courts have original jurisdiction over suits, inter alia, between citizens of different states if the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). "Diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 requires complete diversity, i.e. every plaintiff ...