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NGA Investment, LLC v. Maria

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

April 23, 2014

NGA INVESTMENT, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
REUBEN BERONILLA and MARIA
v.
BERONILLA, Defendant.

ORDER REMANDING CASE (RE: DKT NOS. 5, 6)

PAUL S. GREWAL, Magistrate Judge.

Before the court is Plaintiff NGA Investment, LLC's motion to remand this case to state court.[1] Defendants Reuben Beronilla and Maria V. Beronilla have not filed a timely opposition.[2] The court finds this motion suitable for disposition on the papers pursuant to the civil local rules.[3] After considering the arguments, the court GRANTS NGA's motion.

I. LEGAL STANDARDS

The Beronillas' notice of removal alleges this court possesses federal question jurisdiction over the case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.[4] "Federal courts may exercise federal-question jurisdiction over an action in two situations. First, and most commonly, a federal court may exercise federal-question jurisdiction if a federal right or immunity is an element, and an essential one, of the plaintiff's cause of action.'"[5] "Thus, the federal question on which jurisdiction is premised cannot be supplied via a defense; rather, the federal question must be disclosed upon the face of the complaint, unaided by the answer.'"[6] Second, a federal court may have such jurisdiction if a state-law claim "necessarily" raises "a stated federal issue, actually disputed and substantial, which a federal forum may entertain without disturbing any congressionally-approved balance of federal and state judicial responsibilities."[7] Such a federal issue must be "a substantial one, indicating a serious federal interest in claiming the advantages thought to be inherent in a federal forum."[8] "The removal statute is strictly construed against removal jurisdiction."[9] "The defendant bears the burden of establishing that removal is proper."[10]

II. DISCUSSION

This unlawful detainer case is based on a single property claim grounded in state law.[11] "State law prohibits a defendant from adding unrelated claims to an unlawful detainer action."[12] "The summary character of [an unlawful detainer] action would be defeated if, by cross-complaint or counterclaim, issues irrelevant to the right of immediate possession could be introduced."[13] Because no federal claim appears on the face of the complaint and the Beronillas have failed to establish the existence of a federal question or a federal claim, removal based on federal question jurisdiction is improper.[14] Because Defendants are Carolina residents, [15] diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 1332 does not provide an alternative ground for removal.[16]

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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