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Alkini Lauderdale, et al v. Hom Properties

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


October 5, 2012

ALKINI LAUDERDALE, ET AL.,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
HOM PROPERTIES, L.P., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irma E. GONZALEZUnited States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING JOINT MOTION TO REMAND [Doc. No. 3]

On July 26, 2012, Plaintiffs filed this landlord-tenant action in San Diego County Superior Court, alleging various state law claims as well as claims under the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (the "Lead-Based Paint Act"), 42 U.S.C. § 852(d). [See Doc. No. 1, Ex. 2.] On September 14, 2012, Defendants removed to this Court, invoking federal question jurisdiction on the basis of the Lead-Based Paint Act claims. [Doc. No. 1 at 2-3.] On September 20, 2012, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint, omitting any claims under the Lead-Based Paint Act or other federal law. [See Doc. No. 2.] On September 28, 2012, the parties filed a joint motion to remand, stipulating that no federal questions remain as a basis for this Court's jurisdiction. [Doc. No. 3 at 2.] For the reasons below, the Court finds that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction and thus GRANTS the parties' joint motion to remand.

DISCUSSION

"A civil case commenced in state court may, as a general matter, be removed by the defendant to federal district court, if the case could have been brought there originally." Martin v. Franklin Capital Corp., 546 U.S. 132, 134 (2005) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1441). But "[i]f at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded." 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). Where, as here, removal is predicated on 28 U.S.C. § 1331, i.e., federal question jurisdiction, "a defendant may not remove a case to federal court unless the plaintiff's complaint establishes that the case 'arises under' federal law." Franchise Tax Bd. of State of Cal. v. Construction Laborers Vacation Trust for Southern California, 463 U.S. 1, 10 (1983). To "arise under" federal law, "a right or immunity created by the Constitution or laws of the United States must be an element, and an essential one, of the plaintiff's cause of action." Id. at 11.

Here, as the parties agree, [see Doc. No. 3], Plaintiff's amended complaint asserts only state law causes of action, of which no right or immunity under the Constitution or federal law is an essential element. [See Doc. No. 2.] Thus, as no federal question is essential to Plaintiff's claims, no federal question jurisdiction exists. Franchise Tax Bd. at 11. Accordingly, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and this case must be remanded. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons the Court hereby GRANTS the parties' joint motion and REMANDS this action to state court.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20121005

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