The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Margaret M. Morrow
Present: The Honorable MARGARET M. MORROW
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
Proceedings: Order Remanding Action to Los Angeles Superior Court for Lack of
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Plaintiff U.S. Bank, N.A. as trustee, on behalf of the holders of the Terwin Mortgage Trust 2006-3 Asset-Backed Certificates Series 2006-3 ("U.S. Bank") filed this unlawful detainer action in Los Angeles Superior Court against defendants Vrezh Terastvatstryan, Nona Agayah, and fictitious defendants on February 1, 2012.*fn1 Defendants are allegedly in possession of real property located at 2228 Nella Vista Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90027 ("the property").*fn2 On July 20, 2011, a foreclosure sale was held and U.S. Bank took title to the property.*fn3 Following the sale, U.S. Bank allegedly served a notice to quit on defendants requiring them to vacate the property within three*fn4 According to the complaint, the time to deliver possession of the property has elapsed, but defendants continue in possession of the property without U.S. Bank's permission or consent.*fn5 U.S. Bank seeks possession of the property as well as damages in the amount of $50 per day (the alleged reasonable daily rental value) for each day from July 20, 2011 until defendants relinquishes the property, and the costs of this suit.*fn6 Defendant Agayan filed a notice of removal on April 2, 2012 attempting to invoke the court's jurisdiction.*fn7
Federal courts have a duty to examine their subject matter jurisdiction whether or not the parties raise the issue. See United Investors Life Ins. Co. v. Waddell & Reed, Inc., 360 F.3d 960, 966 (9th Cir. 2004) ("[A] district court's duty to establish subject matter jurisdiction is not contingent upon the parties' arguments," citing Mitchell v. Maurer, 293 U.S. 237, 244 (1934)); see also Attorneys Trust v. Videotape Computer Products, Inc., 93 F.3d 593, 594-95 (9th Cir. 1996) (lack of subject matter jurisdiction may be raised at any time by either party or by the court sua sponte); Thiara v. Kiernan, No. C06-03503 MJJ, 2006 WL 3065568, *2 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 25, 2006) ("A district court has an independent obligation to examine whether removal jurisdiction exists before deciding any issue on the merits").
Where a case has been removed, the court may remand for lack of subject matter jurisdiction at any time before final judgment. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) ("If at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded"). The court may -- indeed must -- remand an action sua sponte if it determines that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction. See Kelton Arms Condominium Owners Ass'n v. Homestead Ins. Co., 346 F.3d 1190, 1192 (9th Cir. 2003) ("[W]e have held that the district court must remand if it lacks jurisdiction," Sparta Surgical Corp. v. Nat'l Ass'n Sec. Dealers, Inc., 159 ...