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Jones v. Gaines

United States District Court, C.D. California

June 28, 2016

LARRY JONES, Plaintiff
v.
TERRANCE GAINES, Defendant.

          Larry Jones, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

          Terrance Gaines, Defendant, Pro Se.

          ORDER REMANDING CASE TO STATE COURT

          R. GARY KLAUSNER, District Judge.

         The Court sua sponte REMANDS this action to the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, as set forth below.

         "The right of removal is entirely a creature of statute and a suit commenced in a state court must remain there until cause is shown for its transfer under some act of Congress.'" Syngenta Corp Protection, Inc. v. Henson, 537 U.S. 28, 32 (2002) (quoting Great Northern R. Co. v. Alenxander, 246 U.S. 276, 280 (1918)). Where Congress has acted to create a right of removal, those statutes are strictly construed against remnoval jurisdiction. Id .; Nevada v. Bank of America Corp., 672 F.3d 661, 667 (9th Cir. 2012); Gaus v. Miles. Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992).

         Unless otherwise expressly provided by Congress, a defendant may remove "any civil action brought in a State court of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction." 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a); Dennis v. Hart, 724 F.3d 1249, 1252 (9th Cir. 2013). The removing defendant bears the burden of establishing federal jurisdiction. Abrego Abrego v. Dow Chemical Co., 443 F.3d 676, 682 (9th Cir. 2006); Gaus, 980 F.2d at 566-67. "Under the plain terms of § 1441(a), in order properly to remove [an] action pursuant to that provision, [the removing defendant] must demonstrate that original subject-matter jurisdiction lies in the federal court." Syngenta Crop Protection, 537 U.S. at 33. Failure to do so requires that the case be remanded, as "[s]ubject matter jurisdiction may not be waived, and... the district court must remanded if it lacks jurisdiction." Kelton Arms Condo. Owner's Ass'n v. Homestead Ins. Co., 346 F.3d 1190, 1192 (9th Cri. 2003). "If at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded." 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). It is "it is elementary that the subject matter jurisdiction of the district court is not a waivable matter and may be raised at anytime by one of the parties, by motion or in the responsive pleadings, or sua sponte by the trial or reviewing court." Emrich v. Touche Ross & Co., 846 F.2d 1190, 1194 n.2 (9th Cir. 1988).

         From a review of the Notice of Removal and the state court records provided, it is evident that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the instant case, for the following reasons.

[x] No basis for federal question jurisdiction has been identified:
[x] The Complaint does not include any claim "arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 1331.[1]
[x] Removing defendant(s) asserts that the affirmative defenses at issue give rise to federal question jurisdiction, but "the existence of federal jurisdiction depends solely on the plaintiff's claims for relief and not on anticipated defenses to those claims." ARCO Envtl. Remediation, L.L.C. v. Dept. of Health and Envtl. Quality, 213 F.3d 1108, 1113 (9th Cir. 2000). An "affirmative defense based on federal law" does not "render[] an action brought in state court removable." Berg v. Leason, 32 F.3d 422, 426 (9th Cir. 1994). A "case may not be removed to federal court on the basis of a federal defense... even if the defense is anticipated in the plaintiff's complaint, and even if both parties admit that the defense is the only question truly at issue in the case." Franchise Tax Bd. v. Construction Laborers Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 14 (1983).
[x] The underlying action is an unlawful detainer proceeding, arising under and governed by the laws of the State of California.
[x] No basis for Removal under 28 U.S.C. § 1443(1).
Defendant asserts that he has performed a "civil rights removal" pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1443(1). "A petition for removal under § 1443(1) must satisfy the two-part test articulated by the Supreme Court in Georgia v. Rachel, 384 U.S. 780, 788-92, 794-804 (1966) and City of Greenwood, Miss. v. Peacock, 384 U.S. 808, 824-28 (1966). First, the petitioners must assert, as a defense to the prosecution, rights that are given to them by explicit statutory enactment protecting equal racial civil rights.' California v. Sandoval, 434 F.2d 635, 636 (9th Cir.1970). Second, petitioners must assert that the state courts will not enforce that right, and that allegation must be supported by reference to a state statute or a constitutional provision that purports to command the state courts to ignore the federal rights.' Id. " Patel v. Del Taco, Inc., 446 F.3d 996, 998-99 (9th Cir. 2006.)
Whether or not Defendant's petition for removal satisfies the first part of the § 1443(1) removal test, it clearly does not satisfy the second Like the removing defendants in Patel, he "point[s] to no formal expression of state law that prohibits [him] from enforcing [his] civil rights in state court[, ] nor do[es] [he] point to anything that suggests that the state court ...

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