ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION
RONALD S.W. LEW, District Judge.
The Court is in receipt of Defendants and Counter-Claimants Estate of Richard C. Corrales, Sandra Corrales Favila, and Motion Graphix, Inc.'s (collectively "Counter-Claimants") Notice of Removal, which alleges federal question jurisdiction as the ground for removing this Action to federal court .
The removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1441, allows a defendant to remove a case originally filed in state court when the case presents a federal question or is an action between citizens of different states and involves an amount in controversy that exceeds $75, 000. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441(a), (b). See also 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332(a).
The Ninth Circuit "strictly construe[s] the removal statute against removal jurisdiction, " and "[f]ederal jurisdiction must be rejected 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) (citing Boggs v. Lewis , 863 F.2d 662, 663 (9th Cir. 1988), Takeda v. Northwestern Nat'l Life Ins. Co. , 765 F.2d 815, 818 (9th Cir. 1985), and Libhart v. Santa Monica Dairy Co. , 592 F.2d 1062, 1064 (9th Cir. 1979)). "The strong presumption' against removal jurisdiction means that the defendant always has the burden of establishing that removal is proper." Id . (citing Nishimoto v. Federman-Bachrach & Assocs. , 903 F.2d 709, 712 n. 3 (9th Cir. 1990), and Emich v. Touche Ross & Co. , 846 F.2d 1190, 1195 (9th Cir. 1988)).
As the party invoking federal jurisdiction in this case, Counter-Claimants have the burden of establishing the existence of subject matter jurisdiction. See Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. , 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994); In re Ford Motor Co. , 264 F.3d 952, 957 (9th Cir. 2001); Thompson v. McCombe , 99 F.3d 352, 353 (9th Cir. 1996).
The Notice of Removal alleges that removal is proper based on federal question jurisdiction. Notice of Removal ¶ 16. In particular, the Notice of Removal alleges that Counter-Claimants' first amended cross-complaint alleges causes of action arising under federal law. Id . ¶ 7.
It is well established that "a case may not be removed to federal court on the basis of a federal defense, ... even if the defense is anticipated in the plaintiff's complaint." Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams , 482 U.S. 386, 393 (1987). Similarly, "a counterclaim - which appears as part of the defendant's answer, not as part of the plaintiff's complaint - cannot serve as the basis for arising under' jurisdiction." Holmes Grou, Inc. v. Vornado Air Circulation Sys. , 535 U.S. 826, 831 (2002). "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, 60 (2009) (quoting Louisville & N.R. Co. v. Mottley , 211 U.S. 149, 152 (1908)). Because "plaintiff is the master of the complaint, ' the well-pleaded-complaint rule enables him, by eschewing claims based on federal law, ... to have the cause heard in state court.'" Id . (quoting Caterpillar , 482 U.S. at 398-99).
Plaintiff Moofly Productions, LLC's ("Plaintiff") First Amended Complaint ("FAC") alleges four state law causes of action: (1) Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage; (2) Intentional Interference with Present Contractual Relations; (3) Unfair Competition under California Business & Professions Code section 17200 et seq.; and (4) Unfair Competition under California Business & Professions Code section 17000 et seq. FAC ¶¶ 17-55. In other words, Plaintiff's FAC pleads only state-law tort claims and state law claims arising under California statute, not federal claims.
Therefore, it is ORDERED that Counter-Claimants show cause why this case is removable to federal district court. Counter-Claimants have no later than October 7, 2013, to respond, demonstrating why this case should not be remanded for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. If Plaintiff and Cross-Defendants deem it necessary to respond to Defendants' response, they have no later than October 21, 2013 to submit a response to this Court. If the Court is not in receipt of the Plaintiff and ...