UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
November 15, 2012
THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, ETC.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Dale S. Fischer, United States District Judge
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
Present: The Honorable DALE S. FISCHER, United States District Judge
Debra Plato Not Present Deputy Clerk Court Reporter Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants: Not Present Not Present Proceedings: (In Chambers) Order REMANDING Case to Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles; Order to Show Cause re Sanctions
This unlawful detainer case was removed from state court on October 22, 2012, based on diversity and federal question jurisdiction. Diversity jurisdiction does not exist because the amount in controversy does not exceed $75,000. The complaint on its face is limited to damages of $45.37 per day until judgment. At that rate, it would take approximately 4.5 years to reach the $75,000 jurisdictional minimum. Defendant argues that ownership of the property is at issue, but it is obvious from the face of the complaint that possession, rather than ownership, is at issue.
The complaint also does not state a federal cause of action. Defendant attempts to argue that it is not raising federal defenses, but it is clear that the only possible federal law question in this matter would be a defense. Federal jurisdiction is based on the plaintiff's complaint and not on any counterclaims or defenses that a defendant might assert. See Holmes Group, Inc. v. Vornado Air Circulation Sys., Inc., 535 U.S. 826, 830-32 (2002).
The case is REMANDED to the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. Defendant's counsel is ordered to show cause, in writing, no later than November 15, 2012 why he and his firm should not be sanctioned in the amount of $500 for violation of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(b) given that there is no colorable legal or factual basis for removal of this action and the removal appears to have been taken for the purposes of delay, harassment, or to unduly raise the cost of the litigation.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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