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Mechanics Bank v. Volen Properties 10

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


January 7, 2013

MECHANICS BANK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
VOLEN PROPERTIES 10, LLC, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

ORDER

Plaintiff Mechanics Bank (Mechanics) originally filed this action in Sacramento County Superior Court on July 27, 2012. (Notice of Removal at 6, ECF 1.) Mechanics' complaint alleged that defendant Volen Properties 10, LLC (Volen) defaulted on a promissory note secured by real property and requested specific performance and appointment of a receiver to take possession of the property. (Id. at 7-15.) Volen removed the case to this court on October 12, 2012. (ECF 1.) On October 30, 2012, Mechanics filed a motion to remand the case to state court, to which Volen filed an opposition on November 16, 2012. (ECF 11, ECF 12, ECF 14.) Volen then withdrew its opposition to Mechanics' motion on December 21, 2012. (ECF 21.)

An action filed in state court may be removed to the district court where the state court is located if the district court has original jurisdiction over the action. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a).

Volen's Notice of Removal claims that this court has original jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, which provides that "[t]he district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States," because the United States had filed an in rem action, also in the Eastern District of California, concerning the same property. (ECF 1 at 2.) A federal court's original jurisdiction over an action depends on whether a federal issue exists on the face of a well-pleaded complaint. Franchise Tax Bd. of State of Cal. v. Constr. Laborers Vacation Trust for So. Cal., 463 U.S. 1, 10 (1983). Thus, Section 1331 cannot provide a basis for this court's jurisdiction because Mechanics' complaint contains no federal claim; it contains only a state law claim. Volen also stated that 28 U.S.C. § 1441(c), which governs removal of actions that contain both a federal claim and a claim that is not covered by the court's original or supplemental jurisdiction, or one that is made nonremovable by statute, allows removal of this action. (ECF 1 at 2.) But Section 1441(c) is not relevant to this action, as there are no federal claims, and it does not provide a basis for removal.

Because removal of this action to this court was improper, Mechanics' motion to remand is GRANTED. This case is remanded to the Sacramento County Superior Court.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

20130107

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