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Melendez v. Cosetia Group, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

February 12, 2014

EDWARD MELENDEZ; JULI MELENDEZ, Plaintiffs,
v.
COSETIA GROUP, INC.; CHASE HOME FINANCE, LLC; JPM MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A.; NORTHWEST TRUST SERVICES; MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION, INC.; DOES 1-10, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION [9]

OTIS D. WRIGHT, II, District Judge.

On November 26, 2013, Plaintiffs Edward and Juli Melendez filed this action against several home-mortgage-related defendants, ostensibly invoking this Court's diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. On January 15, 2013, Defendant JPMorgan Chase Bank filed a Motion to Dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Since Melendez has not established that this Court has subject-matter jurisdiction, the Court therefore GRANTS JPMorgan Chase Bank's Motion to Dismiss.

Federal courts, as courts of limited jurisdiction, only have jurisdiction over matters prescribed by Article III of the United States Constitution and regulations adopted by Congress. U.S. Const., art. III, § 2, cl 1. A plaintiff may premise federal jurisdiction on either a federal question-that is, a suit arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States-or diversity of citizenship. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332. For diversity jurisdiction, there must be complete diversity among adverse parties, and the amount and controversy much exceed the sum or value of $75, 000, usually exclusive of interest and costs. Id. § 1332(a).

A corporation is a citizen of its state of incorporation and the state in which it has its principal place of business. Id. § 1332(c)(1). A limited-liability company, or LLC, is a citizen of every state in which its members (owners) are citizens. Johnson v. Columbia Props. Anchorage, LP, 437 F.3d 894, 899 (9th Cir. 2006). A national banking association, as that term is used in § 1348, is a citizen of the state where the bank is "located, " i.e., the state designated in the bank's articles of association as its main office. Wachovia Bank v. Schmidt, 546 U.S. 303, 318 (2006).

Plaintiffs do not allege any federal question, so 28 U.S.C. § 1331 does not provide a basis for this Court's subject-matter jurisdiction.

Plaintiffs cannot establish federal subject-matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Diversity under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 requires that no defendant be a citizen of the same state as the plaintiff. Strawbridge v. Curtiss, 7 U.S. 267, 267 (1806). The plaintiff must prove the diversity of all adverse parties. Kokkonen v. Garudian Life Ins. Co. of America, 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). While not conclusive, domicile is prima facie evidence of state citizenship. Bey v. SolarWorld Indus. Am., Inc., 904 F.Supp.2d 1096, 1102 (D. Or. 2012). Plaintiffs' complaint establishes that they reside in California. (Compl. ¶ 6.) Defendant Cosetia Group, Inc. is a California citizen because it was incorporated in California.[1] 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1). Because the Melendezes and Cosetia Group, Inc. are California citizens, Plaintiffs have not met the diversity requirement, and they cannot establish diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

This Court has an affirmative obligation to ensure that it only acts within its delimited jurisdiction. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3) ("If the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.") Here, the Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction because there is no federal question under 28 U.S.C. §1331 and no diversity under 28 U.S.C § 1332. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS JPMorgan Chase Bank's Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 9.) The Clerk of Court shall close this case.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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