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:
Proceedings: (In Chambers)
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION
INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
On February 22, 2012, Plaintiff HSBC Bank, N.A. brought this action in Los Angeles Superior Court against Miguel H. Lopez, Sr.; Dolores R. Lopez; Maria Lopez; Juan Alberto Lopez; Sandra Lopez; and all persons claiming any legal or equitable right, title, estate lien or interest in the property at 457 Benrud Street, Duarte, California 91010 (the "Property"). (Docket No. 1, Not., Ex. 1 [Compl.].) On June 25, Defendant Miguel H. Lopez, Sr. removed the action to this Court, alleging subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1332. (Not. ¶¶ 3, 8--14.) However, for the reasons set forth below, the Court cannot presently determine that subject matter jurisdiction exists on either basis. In addition, the Court is unable to determine whether all properly served Defendants have consented to removal under 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(2)(A). Accordingly, Defendant is ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE as to why this case should not be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and as to whether the procedural requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(2)(A) has been satisfied.
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 ...