United States District Court, C.D. California
October 9, 2014
THE COLGATE TRUST #2333
KEITH WINTERBOWER et al.
CIVIL MINUTES -
GENERAL PROCEEDINGS: [IN CHAMBERS] ORDER REMANDING CASE
ANDREW J. GUILFORD, District Judge.
For the reasons that follow, this case is REMANDED to the California Superior Court, County of Orange.
Plaintiff The Colgate Trust #2333 filed a Complaint for unlawful detainer against Defendants Keith Winterbower, Debra Winterbower, Tracy Gaines, Robert Stallworth, and Juanita Oyague in state court, seeking to evict Defendants from foreclosed property and requesting related damages.
Defendants have filed a Notice of Removal ("Notice") to remove the unlawful detainer action to this Court. (Notice, Dkt. No. 1.) Defendants claim that this Court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, asserting federal question jurisdiction exists under the "Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009" ("PTFA").
Courts have repeatedly held that PTFA does not provide a claim for relief, and does not confer federal subject matter jurisdiction. See, e.g., Wells Fargo Bank v. Lapeen, No. C 11-01932 LB, 2011 WL 2194117, at *4 (N.D. Cal. June 6, 2011) (finding that PFTA did not provide a federal claims for relief or confer federal subject matter jurisdiction); Wescom Credit Union v. Dudley, No. CV 10-8203 GAF (SSx), 2010 WL 4916578, at *2 (C.D. Cal. Nov.22, 2010) (same); S.D. Coastline LP v. Buck, No. 10CV2108 MMA (NLS), 2010 WL 4809661, at *2-3 (S.D. Cal. Nov.19, 2010) (same); U.S. v. Lopez, No. 2:10-cv-02438 WBS KJN PS, 2010 WL 523301, at *3 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 16, 2010) (same); Zalemba v. HSBC Bank, USA, Nat. Ass'n., No. 10-cv-1646 BEN (BLM), 2010 WL 3894577, at *1 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 1, 2010) (same); Nativi v. Deutsche Bank Nat. Trust Co., No. 09-06096 PVT, 2010 WL 2179885, at *2-5 (N.D. Cal. May 26, 2010) (same); Aurora Loan Servs., LLC v. Martinez, No. C10-01260 HRL, 2010 WL 1266887, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 29, 2010) (same).
Further, federal questions conferring jurisdiction "must be disclosed on the face of the complaint, unaided by the answer or by the petition for removal." California ex rel. Lockyer v. Dynergy, Inc., 375 F.3d 831, 893 (9th Cir 2004) (quoting Gully v. First Nat'l Bank in Meridian, 399 U.S. 109, 112 (1936)). That the federal statutes here appear in the Notice, and not in Plaintiff's Complaint, is further reason that Plaintiff's action does not "aris[e] under" a federal statute.
The Court reminds Defendants that "[s]peedy adjudication is desirable [in unlawful detainer actions] to prevent subjecting the landlord to undeserved economic loss and the tenant to unmerited harassment and dispossession when his lease or rental agreement gives him the right to peaceful and undisturbed possession of the property." Lindsey v. Normet, 405 U.S. 56, 73 (1972). Improper removal of unlawful detainer cases harms the interests stated in Lindsey.
Defendants are cautioned not to improperly seek federal jurisdiction, particularly for delay. See Newman & Cahn, LLP v. Sharp, 388 F.Supp.2d 115, 119 (E.D.N.Y. 2005) (finding that a removal was "frivolous and unwarranted, " but declining to order sanctions against the removing party "because she [was] pro se, " though warning her "that the filing of another frivolous paper with the Court may result in monetary sanctions under Rule 11").
Defendants fail to establish that federal jurisdiction exists over this case. Thus, the case is REMANDED to the appropriate state court.