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Quintana v. Wells Fargo Bank, National Association

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 12, 2013

MANUEL QUINTANA, an individual, Plaintiff,
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION AS TRUSTEE FOR THE CERTIFICATE HOLDERS OF STRUCTURED ASSET MORTGAGE INVESTMENTS II, INC., BEAR STERNS MORTGAGE FUNDING TRUST 2007-AR3 MORTGAGE PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2007-AR3; J.P. MORGAN CHASE BANK, M.A., a National Banking Association; EMC MORTGAGE CORPORATION, a California corporation; MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., a National Banking Association; OAKTREE FUNDING CORPORATION, a California corporation; QUALITY LOAN SERVICE CORPORATION, a California corporation; CENTURY 21 POWERHOUSE REALITY, a California corporation, Defendants.

ORDER DISMISSING CASE

DEAN D. PREGERSON, District Judge.

Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this court on November 27, 2012, and an Application for Temporary Restraining Order on November 29, 2012. The court denied the Application for Temporary Restraining Order. On March 4, 2013, the court issued an Order to Show Cause Why This Case Should Not Be Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction. Plaintiff requested an extension of time to file a supporting brief in response to the Order to Show Cause, which was granted by the court. Plaintiff's response deadline was extended from March 14, 2013, to April 17, 2013. Plaintiff filed no papers until June 14, 2013, when he filed a Request to File First Amended Complaint. The court granted that request and now dismisses the action.

This court has an independent duty to determine whether it has subject matter jurisdiction, regardless whether the parties have raised the issue. United Investors Life Ins. Co. v. Waddell & Reed Inc. , 360 F.3d 960, 966 (9th Cir. 2004). "[W]hen a federal court concludes that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the complaint in its entirety." Arbaugh v. Y&H Corp. , 546 U.S. 500, 514 (2006); Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c) ("If the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.").

District courts have original jurisdiction "of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs and is between... citizens of different States." 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). Complete diversity of citizenship is required, meaning each of the plaintiffs must be a citizen of a different state than each of the defendants. Caterpillar Inc. v. Lewis , 519 U.S. 61, 68 (1996).

Here, the court finds that both Plaintiff and Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ("Wells Fargo") are citizens of California. Several courts in this Circuit have held that a national banking association is a citizen of the state where its principal place of business is located. See, e.g., Taheny v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. , 878 F.Supp.2d 1093, (E.D. Cal. 2012); Singer v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. SACV 12-801 , 2012 WL 2847790 (C.D. Cal. July 11, 2012); Rouse v. Wachovia Mortg., FSB, No. EDCV 11-00928 , 2012 WL 174206 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 13, 2012). These courts have therefore concluded that Wells Fargo is a citizen of California. See, e.g., Taheny , 878 F.Supp.2d at 1094; Singer , 2012 WL 2847790, at *5; Rouse , 2012 WL 174206, at *14; Raifman v. Wachovia Securities, LLC, No. C 11-02885 SBA, 2012 WL 1611030 at *1 (N.D. Cal. May 8, 2012). This court agrees with these well-reasoned decisions.

Additionally, Ruzicka & Wallace, LLP, identified as a California Corporation, is a citizen of California, thus independently defeating diversity jurisdiction. (FAC ¶ 15.)

Because Plaintiff and Defendants Wells Fargo and Ruzicka & Wallace are citizens of California, the parties are not completely diverse. This court therefore lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this action under diversity jurisdiction.

Under 28 U.S.C.A. § 1331, "[t]he district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." "Under the longstanding well-pleaded complaint rule, however, 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, 60 (2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

Here, none of Plaintiff's causes of action is brought under federal law. Plaintiff references a Consent Judgment in United States of America, et al., v. Bank of America Corp., et al., United States District Court No. 12-0361 in the context of his eleventh cause of action, which alleges fraud and deceipt by Defendants under California common law. (FAC ¶¶ 20-21, 158.) Whether a federal consent decree was violated is an issue governed by federal law. Abadam v. State of Hawaii, 248 F.3d 1169 (9th Cir. 2000). Likewise, an attempt to enforce a federal consent decree is a "claim arising under' federal law." Id . Here, however, the action will not require the court to interpret or enforce the Consent Judgment, so the reference to the consent judgment does not create a federal question.

Accordingly, this matter is DISMISSED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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