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Parkview Edge Properties, LLC v. Dumlao

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

November 13, 2014

PARKVIEW EDGE PROPERTIES, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
JUDITH E. DUMLAO; TOMMY U. DUMLAO SR; and DOES 1 to 10, Defendants.

ORDER (1) DIRECTING THE CLERK OF THE COURT REASSIGN THIS ACTION TO A DISTRICT COURT JUDGE, AND (2) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SANCTIONS REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND [Re: ECF No. 9, 11]

LAUREL BEELER, Magistrate Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Parkview Edge Properties, LLC ("Parkview") filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against Judith E. Dumlao, Tommy U. Dumlao, and Does 1 to 10 ("Defendants"), in Alameda County Superior Court on September 3, 2014. See Notice by Elaine Altares Escobal, Complaint, ECF No. 4 at 11.[1] Ms. Escobal, who is proceeding pro se and presumably is one of the Doe Defendants, removed this action to federal court based on diversity and federal-question jurisdiction. See Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1, ¶¶ 4-15. In response, Parkview moves to remand this action back to state court, arguing that this court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over this action because (1) Ms. Escobal is a California resident and may not remove this action to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction, (2) the amount in controversy is less than $75, 000, and (3) Ms. Escobal alleges federal defenses to justify removal of this case to federal district court. See Motion to Remand, ECF No. 9. Parkview also asks the court to declare Defendants vexatious litigants, based on Ms. Escobal's prior, meritless removal of Parkview's complaint, and to sanction them in an amount equal to the attorneys' fees and costs incurred by Parkview to file the instant motions. See Motion for Sanctions, ECF No. 11; see also Parkview Edge Properties, LLC v. Dunlao, et al., No. C14-04396 MMC, Dkt. No. 8 (Oct. 31, 2014). Based on its review of the complaint, notice of removal, and Parkview's motions, the court agrees with Parkview that it lacks jurisdiction over this action. The court disagrees, however, that sanctions are warranted at this time. Because Defendants have not consented to or declined the court's jurisdiction, the court DENIES Parkview's motion for sanctions, ORDERS the Clerk of the Court to reassign this action to a district court judge, and RECOMMENDS that the newly-assigned district court judge grant Parkview's motion to remand.[2]

STATEMENT

In the complaint, Parkview alleges that its predecessor in interest purchased the property at 30286 Oakbrook Road Hayward, California ("Property") at a foreclosure sale. Compl., ECF No. 1, ¶¶ 4, 8. On August 8, 2014, ownership of the Property was transferred to Parkview. Id., ¶4. Since the date of the Property's sale, "Defendants have occupied [the Property] without [Parkview's] consent or authorization." Id., ¶ 10. Parkview served "Defendants a written notice... demanding [they] quit and deliver up possession of the [Property] within [three] days" pursuant to California Civil Code section 1161a. Id., ¶ 12. Parkview alleges that "Defendants have failed and refused, and continue[] to fail and refuse, to quit and deliver up possession of [the Property]." Id., ¶ 13.

Parkview seeks damages of $150 per day based upon a thirty-day month or $4, 500 per month from September 3, 2014 to the date of entry of judgment or when Parkview recovers the Property. Id. at 12-13.

On November 4, 2014, Ms. Escobal removed the action from state court, invoking diversity of citizenship and federal question as the basis for jurisdiction. Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1, ¶¶ 4-15. In the notice of removal, she asserts that there is "complete diversity of citizenship, " because Parkview "is acting as trustee to U.S. Bank National Association[, ]" which "is not a citizen of California" and she "is a citizen of California." Id., ¶¶ 5-6. Also, she alleges that the amount in controversy "exceeds the jurisdictional prerequisite of $75, 000.00, exclusive of interests and costs." Id., ¶ 8.

She alleges that this court has federal-question jurisdiction over this case because of the following:

• it is part of the whole debt collection process and Parkview is a debt collector under title 15, section 1692 of the United States Code;

• possible discrimination under title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968;

• the "[c]ourt has both personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction to hear this case pursuant to [title 28, sections 1334 and 157(b)(2)] of the United States Code[;]"

• it involves a Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process right issue;

• it raises an issue regarding the "hardship standard of rules of the United States Supreme Court in relation to [her] property rights... [;]"

• the construction of the Pooling and Service Agreement of the U.S. Bank National Association ...


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