UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
June 28, 2012
DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY AS TRUSTEE FOR MORGAN STANLEY ABS CAPITAL I INC, TRUST 2006-WMC,
J. ALEJANDRO MARCHENA; LETICIA LUCIA MONTANO; LUIS ENRIQUE ARMAS, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Jeffrey T. Miller United States District Judge
ORDER REMANDING ACTION TO STATE COURT
On June 26, 2012, Defendants filed a Notice of Removal of Plaintiff's unlawful detainer action.
The court sua sponte remands this action to state court. See Maniar v. FDIC, 979 F.2d 782, 785 (9th Cir. 1992) (the court may sua sponte remand an action to state court).
Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. "Without jurisdiction the court cannot proceed at all in any cause. Jurisdiction is power to declare the law, and when it ceases to exist, the only function remaining to the court is that of announcing the fact and dismissing the cause." Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Environment, 523 U.S. 83, 94 (1998) (quoting Ex parte McCardle, 74 U.S. (7 Wall.) 506, 514, 19 L.Ed. 264 (1868)). Accordingly, federal courts are under a continuing duty to confirm their jurisdictional power and are even "obliged to inquire sua sponte whenever a doubt arises as to [its] existence. . . ." Mt. Healthy City Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ. v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274, 278 (1977) (citations omitted).
The state court complaint alleges that Plaintiff purchased the property under a power of sale provision contained in the deed of trust executed by Defendants J. Alejandro Marchena, Leticia Lucia Montano, and Luis Enrique Armas. (Compl. ¶5). The complaint specifically limits the amount of damages to an amount not to exceed $10,000. (Compl. at p.1). As the court has diversity jurisdiction only over civil actions "where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000," 28 U.S.C. §1332(a), the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to entertain the underlying action. See Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987) ("Only state-court actions that originally could have been filed in federal court may be removed to federal court by the defendant.").*fn1
In sum, the court remands the action to state court and instructs the Clerk of Court to close the file. The court also denies the motion to proceed in forma pauperis without prejudice as moot.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
cc: All parties