United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER REMANDING ACTION
D. WRIGHT, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
22, 2016, Defendants Maria Camacho and Santiago Camacho
(“Defendants”) removed this action to federal
court based on federal question jurisdiction. (ECF No. 1,
Notice.) After reviewing Defendants’ Notice of Removal,
it is clear that no federal question jurisdiction exists, and
therefore this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
Consequently, the Court summarily REMANDS this unlawful
detainer action to state court because Defendants improperly
removed it to federal court.
courts have subject matter jurisdiction only as authorized by
the Constitution and Congress. U.S. Const. art. III, §
2, cl. 1; see also Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of
Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). A suit filed in state
court may be removed to federal court only if the federal
court would have had original jurisdiction over the suit. 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a). Federal courts have original
jurisdiction where an action arises under federal law,
id. § 1331, or where each plaintiff’s
citizenship is diverse from each defendant’s
citizenship and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000,
id. § 1332(a).
removal statute is strictly construed against removal, and
“[f]ederal jurisdiction must be rejected if there is
any doubt as to the right of removal in the first
instance.” Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564,
566 (9th Cir. 1992). The party seeking removal bears the
burden of establishing federal jurisdiction. Durham v.
Lockheed Martin Corp., 445 F.3d 1247, 1252 (9th Cir.
2006). The court may remand the action sua sponte
“[i]f at any time before final judgment it appears that
the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.”
28 U.S.C. § 1447(c); see also United Inv’rs
Life Ins. Co. v. Waddell & Reed Inc., 360
F.3d 960, 967 (9th Cir. 2004).
22, 2016, Defendants, having been sued in what appears to be
a routine unlawful detainer action in California state court,
lodged a Notice of Removal of that action to this Court.
stated, this action could not have been originally filed in
federal court because the complaint does not competently
allege facts supporting either diversity or federal question
jurisdiction, and therefore removal is improper. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1441(a), see Exxon Mobil Corp v. Allapattah Svcs.,
Inc., 545 U.S. 546, 563 (2005). Defendants’ Notice
of Removal only asserts that removal is proper based upon
federal question jurisdiction. (Notice 2.) However, the
underlying unlawful detainer action does not raise any
federal legal question.
presence or absence of federal-question jurisdiction is
governed by the well-pleaded complaint rule, which provides
that federal jurisdiction exists only when a federal question
is presented on the face of the plaintiff’s properly
pleaded complaint.” Provincial Gov’t of
Marinduque v. Placer Dome, Inc., 582 F.3d 1083, 1091
(9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Rivet v. Regions Bank of
Louisiana, 522 U.S. 470, 475 (1998) (internal quotation
marks omitted). Plaintiff’s Complaint prays for relief
for unlawful detainer solely based on California’s
unlawful detainer laws under section 1161a of the California
Code of Civil Procedure. (Notice 8-9 (“Compl.”),
ECF No. 1.) Because a claim for unlawful detainer does not by
itself present a federal question or necessarily turn on the
construction of federal law, no basis for federal question
jurisdiction appears on the face of the
Complaint. Defendants only means of asserting federal
law are through federal defenses, which are not considered
when evaluating jurisdiction. Valles v. Ivy Hill
Corp., 410 F.3d 1071, 1075 (9th Cir. 2005) (“A
federal law defense to a state-law claim does not confer
jurisdiction on a federal court, even if the defense is that
of federal preemption and is anticipated in the plaintiffs
reasons discussed above, the Court REMANDS the action to the
Superior Court, County of Los Angeles, Case No. 16U01595, for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1447(c). The Clerk of the Court shall close the case.