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Villegas v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

United States District Court, S.D. California

July 31, 2015

SERGIO GUERRERO VILLEGAS, Plaintiff,
v.
WELLS FARGO HOME MORTGAGE, A DIVISION OF WELLS FARGO; TICOR TITLE COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA, NBS DEFAULT SERVICES, LLC; AND DOES 1 THROUGH 10, INCLUSIVE, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT MOTION TO DISMISS [Doc. # 5]

JOHN A. HOUSTON, District Judge.

Pending before the Court is the motion to dismiss [Doc. #5] filed by Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., successor by merger to Wells Fargo Bank Southwest, N.A., f/k/a Wachovia Mortgage, FSB f/k/a World Savings Bank, FSB ("Defendant"). After a careful review of the parties' submissions, and for the reasons set forth below, this Court GRANTS Defendant's motion to dismiss.

BACKGROUND

1. Factual Background

The instant complaint, filed by Sergio Guerrero Villegas ("Plaintiff"), stems from a secured loan made by World Savings Bank, FSB to third party Maria Guadalupe Valenzuela to finance her purchase of a home located at 511 Montera Court, Chula Vista, California 91910. Maria Guadalupe Valenzuela transferred all rights to title and interest in the property to Plaintiff, who eventually defaulted on the loan. As a result of Plaintiff's default, Defendant initiated foreclosure proceedings by recording a Notice of Default on September 23, 2014. On February 6, 2015 a Notice of Trustee's Sale was recorded.

2. Procedural Background

On February 19, 2015, Plaintiff commenced this action in the San Diego County Superior Court. The case was removed to this Court on March 20, 2015. See Doc. #1. Defendant filed the instant motion to dismiss on March 26, 2015. See Doc. #3. Plaintiff filed an opposition to Defendant's motion to dismiss on April 28, 2015. See Doc. #4. Defendant filed a reply on May 4, 2015. Doc. #5. This Court subsequently took the motion under submission without oral argument. See CivLR 7.1(d.1).

DISCUSSION

Defendant moves to dismiss on the grounds that the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Instead of opposing the merits of Defendant's motion to dismiss, Plaintiff contends in opposition that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, which this Court construes as a motion to remand.

1. Motion to Remand

a. Legal Standard

The Federal Court is one of limited jurisdiction. See Gould v. Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. New York, 790 F.2d 769, 774 (9th Cir. 1986). As such, it cannot reach the merits of any dispute until it confirms it's own subject matter jurisdiction. Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Environ., 118 S.Ct. 1003, 1012 (1998). District courts must construe the removal statutes strictly against removal and resolve any uncertainty as to removability in favor of remanding the case to state court. Boggs v. Lewis, 863 F.2d 662, 663 (9th Cir. 1988). Removal jurisdiction is governed by 28 U.S.C § 1441 et seq. A state court action can only be removed if it could have originally been brought in federal court. Caterpillar, Inc. V. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987).

Here, Plaintiff's complaint was removed on diversity grounds. To establish diversity jurisdiction, there must be: (1) complete diversity among opposing parties; and (2) an amount in controversy exceeding $75, 000. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). The burden is on the party invoking the federal removal statue to demonstrate federal subject matter ...


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