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Essenmacher v. Holifield

United States District Court, Central District of California

January 20, 2015

Todd Essenmacher
v.
Charles Holifield, et al.

PRESENT: HONORABLE JOHN F. WALTER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

PROCEEDINGS (IN CHAMBERS): ORDER REMANDING ACTION TO RIVERSIDE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT

On November 10, 2014, Plaintiff Todd Essenmacher ("Plaintiff) filed a Complaint for Unlawful Detainer against Defendant Charles Holifield and Roxann Holifield ("Defendants") in Riverside County Superior Court. On January 13, 2015, Defendants filed a Notice of Removal, alleging that this Court has jurisdiction.

Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having subject matter jurisdiction only over matters authorized by the Constitution and Congress. See Bender v. Williamsport Area School District, 475 U.S. 534, 541 (1986). "Because of the Congressional purpose to restrict the jurisdiction of the federal courts on removal, the statute is strictly construed, and federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance." Duncan v. Stuetzle, 76 F.3d 1480, 1485 (9th Cir. 1996) (citations and quotations omitted). There is a strong presumption that the Court is without jurisdiction unless the contrary affirmatively appears. See Fifty Associates v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, 446 F.2d 1187, 1190 (9th Cir. 1990). As the party invoking federal jurisdiction, Defendants bear the burden of demonstrating that removal is proper. See, e.g., Gaus v. Miles, 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992); Emrich v. Touche Ross & Co., 846 F.2d 1190, 1195 (9th Cir. 1988).

Defendants fail to meet their burden of demonstrating that removal is proper. Plaintiffs Complaint alleges one claim for unlawful detainer under state law. While Defendants allege in their Notice of Removal that the claim arises under federal law, "[a]n unlawful detainer action does not raise a question arising under federal law and so, once removed, must be remanded for lack of jurisdiction." Cooper v. Washington Mut. Bank, 2003 WL 1563999, *2 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 19, 2003) (internal citation omitted). Accordingly, there is no federal question jurisdiction presented by Plaintiffs action.

For the foregoing reasons, this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this action. Accordingly, this action is REMANDED to Riverside County Superior Court for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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