The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Andrew J. Guilford
Present: The Honorable ANDREW J. GUILFORD
Lisa Bredahl Not Present Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
Proceedings: [IN CHAMBERS] ORDER REMANDING CASE FOR LACK OF JURISDICTION
On April 24, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a state court Complaint ("Complaint") against Defendants Wachovia Mortgage, a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ("Wells Fargo") and NDEX West, LLC. ("NDEX") (collectively, "Defendants"). The Complaint alleges promissory estoppel and violation of California's Business and Professions Code § 17200, et seq. The Complaint was served on April 27, 2012. (Notice of Removal, Ex. B.) On May 17, 2012, NDEX filed a Declaration of Non-Monetary Status.
On May 29, 2012 Wells Fargo filed a Notice of Removal ("Notice"). Because Monday May 28, 2012 was a court holiday, the Notice was timely filed within the 30-day window after service of the complaint. See 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b) (allowing 30 days from service of complaint to remove).
In the Notice, Wells Fargo claims that removal is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (original federal question jurisdiction), and 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (diversity jurisdiction). But the Notice does not provide sufficient grounds for federal jurisdiction on either ground. The Court REMANDS this case back to state court.
Removal to federal court is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1441. Suits filed in state court may be removed to federal court if the federal court would have had original jurisdiction over the suit. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Remand may be ordered for lack of subject matter jurisdiction or any defect in the removal procedure. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). To protect the jurisdiction of state courts, removal jurisdiction should be strictly construed in favor of remand. Harris v. Bankers Life & Cas. Co., 425 F.3d 689, 698 (9th Cir. 2005) (citing Shamrock Oil & Gas Corp. v. Sheets, 313 U.S. 100, 108-09 (1941)).
Wells Fargo claims that removal is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (original federal question jurisdiction), and 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (diversity). The Court begins its analysis with subject matter jurisdiction.
1. SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION
Wells Fargo claims that this Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 because Plaintiffs' state court Complaint is based on the federal Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP"). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, federal courts have ...