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U.S. Bank National Association v. John L. Fisher

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


September 11, 2012

U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION
v.
JOHN L. FISHER, ET AL.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable John A. Kronstadt, United States District Judge

CIVIL MINUTES -- GENERAL

Present: The Honorable JOHN A. KRONSTADT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Andrea Keifer Not Reported

Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder

Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:

Not Present Not Present

Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS) ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE SUBJECT MATTER

JURISDICTION

On July 6, 2012, Plaintiff U.S. Bank National Association ("Plaintiff") filed an action for unlawful detainer in the Superior Court for the State of California, County of Los Angeles, against Defendants John Fisher and Tanya Franklin ("Defendants"), seeking possession of the property located at 1931 Nipomo Ave., Long Beach, California (the "Property"). Compl., Notice of Removal, Exh. 1, Dkt. 1. Plaintiff alleges that it acquired the Property on July 11, 2008 at a trustee's sale following foreclosure. Id. at ¶ 5. Plaintiff seeks damages not in excess of $10,000. Id. at p.1. On August 29, 2012, Defendants removed the action to this

See Notice of Removal, Dkt. 1.

As a court of limited jurisdiction, see Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994), this Court must determine the issue of subject matter jurisdiction before reaching the merits of a see Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Env't., 523 U.S. 83, 94 (1998). Defendants seek to invoke the subject matter jurisdiction of this Court under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (diversity jurisdiction).

Diversity jurisdiction exists only where a civil action is between citizens of different states, and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Complete diversity of citizenship is required: "the citizenship of each plaintiff [must be] different from that of each defendant." Hunter v. Philip Morris USA, 582 F.3d 1039, 1043 (9th Cir. 2009). Defendants plead that they are citizens of California. Notice of Removal ¶ 5, Dkt. 1. However, Defendants do not plead Plaintiff's citizenship. Additionally, in its Complaint, Plaintiff states that the amount in controversy is limited to $10,000. Where a complaint filed in state court alleges an amount in controversy less than the $75,000 jurisdictional threshold, a removing defendant must establish with "legal certainty" that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. See Lowdermilk v. U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass'n, 479 F.3d 994, 1000 (9th Cir. 2007); Guglielmino v. McKee Food

, 506 F.3d 696, 699-701 (9th Cir. 2007). Here, Defendants have presented no argument that the amount in controversy with "legal certainty" exceeds $75,000.

Defendants state that they are "preparing for filing a civil action for more than $500,000.00 in damages against the Plaintiff" for claims arising from the foreclosure sale of the Property. Franklin Decl. ¶ 1, Dkt. 3; Fisher Decl. ¶ 1, Dkt. 4. Although in certain instances a counterclaim may suffice to meet the amount in controversy requirement, see Fenton v. Freedman, 748 F.2d 1358, 1359 (9th Cir. 1984), because Defendants have not yet brought any such claims, the possible amount of such claims cannot satisfy the amount in controversy requirement.

The party seeking to invoke the Court's jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing it. Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 377. Here, Defendants have not properly pleaded Plaintiff's citizenship, or the requisite amount in controversy, under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Accordingly, the Court issues this Order to Show Cause re Subject Matter Jurisdiction. On or before September 25, 2012, the parties are to submit any memoranda, each of which is not to exceed five pages, with respect to whether this Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action. Upon receiving these memoranda, the Court will determine whether a hearing on any issue raised is necessary or if the matter can be addressed by the Court without a hearing.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20120911

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