The opinion of the court was delivered by: Present: The Honorable Gary Allen Feess
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No. Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants: None None
Proceedings: (In Chambers)
INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
Plaintiffs Giovanna Somma, Roberto Somma, Vito Somma, & Gina Somma, individually and dba Somma Properties, filed this unlawful detainer action against Defendants Adrian Garcia and Does 1--10 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. (Docket No. 1 [Not. of Removal ("Not.")], Ex. B [Compl.].) Defendants removed the action to federal court, asserting jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. (Not. ¶ 9.) Defendants then filed a motion for a more definite statement requesting that Plaintiffs supplement their Complaint with "additional details." (Docket No. 4 [Mot. for More Definite Statement ("Mot.")] at 2.) However, because Defendants have failed to establish federal subject matter jurisdiction, the Court REMANDS the case to state court. Defendants' Motion for a More Definite Statement is DENIED as moot.
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 has the burden of establishing that removal is proper." Id. (quotations and citations omitted).
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1441, a defendant may remove to federal court any state court action arising under the Constitution, treaties, or laws of the United States. 28 U.S.C. § 1441. "Under the longstanding well-pleaded complaint rule, . . . a suit 'arises under' federal law 'only when the plaintiff's statement of his own cause of action shows that it is based upon federal law.'" Vaden v. Discover Bank, 556 U.S. 49, 50 (2009) (quoting Louisville & Nashville R.R. Co. v. Mottley, 211 U.S. 149, 152 (1908)) (alteration ...