The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Margaret M. Morrow
Present: The Honorable MARGARET M. MORROW
ANEL HUERTA N/A 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 Reo Seastone LP is a limited partnership formed and existing under California law.*fn1
Plaintiff filed this unlawful detainer action in Los Angeles Superior
Court against defendant Tammie
E. Gladney and Does 1 through 20 on March 14, 2012.*fn2
Seastone claims ownership of the real property located at
11464 Esther St., Norwalk, CA 90650 ("the property").*fn3
Gladney is allegedly a former resident of the
On February 8, 2012, Seastone allegedly became the owner of the property after purchasing it at a non-judicial foreclosure trustee's sale held in complaint with California Civil Code § 2924. The title of the premises pursuant to the foreclosure sale was allegedly duly perfected in the plaintiff's name on February 28, 2012.*fn5 Seastone alleges that defendants have occupied the premises since the foreclosure sale without its consent.*fn6
On March 7, 2012, Seastone served defendants with a written notice requiring them to vacate the property within three (3) days of service. According to the complaint, although more than three days have elapse since the service of the notice, Gladney and the unnamed defendants have failed to vacate the property and continue to be in possession of the property without Seastone's permission or consent.*fn7 Seastone seeks possession of the property as well as damages in the amount of $30 per day (the alleged reasonable daily rental value) for each day from March 13, 2012 that Gladney and the unnamed defendants remain in possession of the property.*fn8 Seastone also seeks the costs incurred in pursuing this action.*fn9
Gladney filed a notice of removal on July 13, 2012 attempting to invoke the court's jurisdiction based on federal question and civil rights violations.*fn10
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 ...