The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Margaret M. Morrow
Present: The Honorable MARGARET M. MORROW
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants: N/A N/A
Proceedings: Order Remanding Action to Los Angeles Superior Court for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Plaintiff SOCAL FUND 1, LLC ("SoCal Fund") filed this complaint for unlawful detainer in Los Angeles Superior Court on April 11, 2012, against defendant Maria Jimenez-Ortiz and fictitious defendants.*fn1 Defendant filed her answer on or about May 7th, 2012.*fn2 Defendant then removed this action on June 26, 2012, invoking various bases of jurisdiction.*fn3
The complaint alleges that on June 27, 2011, plaintiff's predecessor in interest became the owner of real property located at 657 Wilber Place, Montebello, CA 90640 by purchasing it at a foreclosure sale.*fn4 Since the date of the sale, defendants allegedly have occupied this property without the consent or authorization of the purchaser.*fn5 On March 28, 2012, SoCal Fund allegedly caused to be served on defendants a written notice that defendant quit and deliver up possession of the premises.*fn6 Defendant has failed and refused to quit and deliver up possession.*fn7 This unlawful detainer action followed.
Plaintiff alleges that plaintiff is being damaged in the sum of at least $66.67 per day for defendant not delivering the property from April 3, 2012 to the date of entry of judgment.*fn8 Plaintiff also seeks restitution and possession of the premises, plaintiff's costs of suit, and other and further relief the court deems just and proper.*fn9
A. Legal Standard Regarding Removal Jurisdiction
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 ...