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Silva v. Warda

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 23, 2016

FRANK SILVA, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL S. WARDA, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH LEAVE TO AMEND

          BARBARA A. McAULIFFE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Frank Silva (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se, initiated this action on June 15, 2016. Plaintiff’s suit appears related to real property located in Turlock, California. (Doc. 1).

         DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff’s Allegations

         Plaintiff alleges: “The House was for sale for a year. Wanted me to sign paper with out a loan number Michael Warda would not give a loan number so I wouldnt sign & all Then they sold house with out my signing.” Doc. 1 at 3 (unedited text). As requested relief, Plaintiff states, “I didnt get rent for one year & wanted me to sign papers with out a loan & then came up with all these fees & I tried to go to a lawyer but would make appointed or call back with appointed.” Doc. 1 at 6 (unedited text).

         Plaintiff names Michael S. Warda, Joelle J. Wendeln (Escrow Officer), S.C. Fuel Cardlock System, Inc., and Louie A. Estrada as defendants.

         Subject Matter Jurisdiction

         Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and lack inherent or general subject matter jurisdiction. Federal courts can adjudicate only those cases in which the United States Constitution and Congress authorize them to adjudicate. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 114 S.Ct. 1673, 1677 (1994). To proceed in federal court, Plaintiff’s complaint must establish the existence of subject matter jurisdiction. Federal courts are presumptively without jurisdiction over civil actions, and the burden to establish the contrary rests upon the party asserting jurisdiction. Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 377, 114 S.Ct. at 1677. Lack of subject matter jurisdiction is never waived and may be raised by the court sua sponte. Attorneys Trust v. Videotape Computer Products, Inc., 93 F.3d 593, 594 595 (9th Cir. 1996); Demery v. Kupperman, 7356 F.2d 1139, 1149 n. 8 (9th Cir. 1984). “If the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3) (emphasis added).

         1. Diversity Jurisdiction

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, federal district courts have diversity jurisdiction over civil actions “where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000, ” and where the matter is between “citizens of different states.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1).

         Here, Plaintiff has not shown that the parties are completely diverse. The complaint indicates that Plaintiff and Defendants Warda, Wendeln, and Estrad Michael Kirby are citizens of California. Doc. 1 at 2-3. If the parties are California citizens, this destroys the requisite “complete diversity.” See Cook v. AVI Casino Enterprises, Inc., 548 F.3d 718, 722 (9th Cir. 2008). Thus, Plaintiff has failed to establish subject matter jurisdiction based on diversity.

         2. Federal Question Jurisdiction

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, federal district courts have jurisdiction over “all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.” “A case ‘arises under’ federal law either where federal law creates the cause of action or ‘where the vindication of a right under state law necessarily turn[s] on some construction of federal law.’” Republican Party of Guam v. Gutierrez, 277 F.3d 1086, 1088–89 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Franchise Tax Bd.

         v. Construction Laborers Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 8–9, 103 S.Ct. 2841, 77 L.Ed.2d 420 (1983)). The presence or absence of federal-question jurisdiction is governed by the “well-pleaded complaint rule.” Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392, 107 S.Ct. 2425, 963 L.Ed.2d 318 (1987). Under the well-pleaded complaint rule, “federal jurisdiction exists only ...


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