The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Gary Allen Feess
Present: The Honorable GARY ALLEN FEESS
Renee Fisher None N/A Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
Proceedings: (In Chambers)
I. INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
On September 20, 2012, Plaintiff Federal National Mortgage Association filed an unlawful detainer action in the Los Angeles County Superior Court against Defendant Irma Teresa Garcia. (Docket No. 1, [Notice of Removal ("Not.")], Ex. A [Compl.].) The action was filed as a limited jurisdiction action, seeking no more than $10,000. (Id.) Plaintiff alleges that it, as the beneficiary of Defendant's promissory note, requested a notice of default to be recorded.
¶¶ 4-5.) Defendant allegedly failed to cure the default and Defendant's property was eventually sold to Plaintiff at a trustee's sale. (Id. ¶¶ 7-8.) Defendant has since refused to quit the premises. (Id. ¶¶ 10-11.)
Defendant, in pro per, removed the action to this Court on January 17, 2013, but failed to allege this Court's subject matter jurisdiction. (Not.) Defendant appears to be invoking both federal question and diversity jurisdiction. (Id.) For the reasons set forth below, the Court concludes, sua sponte, that Defendant failed to establish this Court's subject matter jurisdiction. Accordingly, the Court REMANDS the case to Los Angeles County Superior Court.
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 ...