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Del Reno Capital, LLC v. Arturo Mora and Gricelda Moreno

January 31, 2013

DEL RENO CAPITAL, LLC,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
ARTURO MORA AND GRICELDA MORENO, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Gonzalo P. Curiel United States District Judge

1. DENYING MOTION TO

SHORTEN TIME

2. GRANTING MOTION TO REMAND

[Dkt. No. 3.]

ORDER

Plaintiff Del Reno Capital, LLC filed an unlawful detainer complaint in the Superior Court of San Diego against Defendants Arturo Mora and Gricelda Moreno. (Dkt. No. 1, Ex.1.) On November 26, 2012, Defendants removed the case to this Court. (Dkt. No. 1.) On November 27, 2012, Plaintiff filed an ex parte motion to shorten time for motion for remand and/or request for sua sponte ruling for untimely removal. (Dkt. No. 3.) On November 27, 2012, Defendants filed an opposition to the ex parte motion. (Dkt. No. 4.) On November 30, 2012, Plaintiff filed a reply. (Dkt. No. 5.) The Court finds the matter suitable for resolution without oral argument pursuant to Local Civil Rule 7.1(d)(1). Based on the reasoning below, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's motion to remand.

BACKGROUND

On September 5, 2012, Plaintiff filed a complaint for "unlawful detainer," pursuant to California Civil Procedure Code §§ 1161 and 1174, regarding property located at 3943 Marvin Street, Oceanside, California ("the Property"). (Compl. at 1, 8, 14.) Plaintiff claims that on August 2, 2012 it purchased the Property at a trustee sale and became the lawful owner. (Compl. at 5.) Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants have occupied the premises since the date of purchase without the consent or authorization from the Plaintiff. (Compl. at 7.) On August 29, 2012, Plaintiff served Defendants with a "3-Day Notice to Quit" and vacate the Property, to which the Defendants did not comply. (Compl. at 8, Ex. 2.) On November 26, 2012, Defendants removed the matter to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). (Dkt. No. 1, N. of Removal.) As the basis for removal, Defendants claim the case involves a federal question "because portions of California Civil Code 1166; 1179(a) violate the Equal Protection Clause of the United States and California constitutions . . . ." (Dkt. No. 1, N. of Removal.) Defendants claim they filed the removal "30 days from the discovery and receipt of federal issues." (Dkt. No. 1 at 9.)

DISCUSSION

Plaintiff asserts two grounds for remand: (1) the cause of action does not involve a claim or right arising under the Constitution, treaties, or laws of the United States; and (2) the Defendants' removal is untimely.

I. Legal Standard

Generally, there is a strong presumption against removal jurisdiction and the defendant always has the burden of establishing that removal is proper. Gaus v. Miles, 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). A defendant has thirty days from the day he learns the case is removable to remove the case to federal court. See 28 U.S.C. §1446(b). The defendant's ability to remove a case pursuant to §1446(b) is triggered by his receipt of the initial pleading that reveals a basis for removal. Harris v. Bankers Life & Cas. Co., 425 F.3d 689, 694 (9th Cir. 2005). "If no ground for removal is evident in that pleading, the case is 'not removable' at that stage." Id.

A defendant may remove a state civil action to federal court only if it could have originally been brought in federal court. Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987) (construing 28 U.S.C. §1441(a)). District courts have original jurisdiction if the parties are diverse or if the case "aris[es] under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. §1331. Whether an action arises under federal law "is governed by the well-pleaded complaint rule, which provides that federal jurisdiction exists only when a federal question is presented on the face fo the plaintiff's properly pleaded complaint." Caterpillar Inc., 482 U.S. at 392. A federal defense does not authorize removal to federal court. Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. Taylor, 481 U.S. ...


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