United States District Court, N.D. California, San Francisco Division
Parkside Commons Apartments, Plaintiff, represented by Kevin
A. Harris, Harris Rosales & Harris & Scott Michael Harris,
Harris, Rosales & Harris.
F. Johnson, Defendant, Pro Se.
D. Warren, Defendant, Pro Se.
ORDER DIRECTING REASSIGNMENT; REPORT & RECOMMENDATION
TO REMAND [Re: ECF No. 1].
BEELER, Magistrate Judge.
plaintiff landlord filed an unlawful-detainer case against
the defendants in the Superior Court of California, County of
Alameda, on March 17, 2016. (ECF No. 1 at 6-8.) The tenant
defendants removed the action from state court, asserting
federal-question jurisdiction. (Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1
at 1-3.) The undersigned gave the parties until June 27, 2016
to consent to or decline magistrate jurisdiction. (ECF No.
10.) No party has consented. ( See generally
case is before the court for a sua sponte review
under 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915. Because the unlawful-detainer
complaint presents only a state claim on its face, and
because the requirements for diversity jurisdiction are not
met, the court finds no basis for federal jurisdiction. (
See ECF No. 1 at 6-10.) The court accordingly
directs the clerk of court to reassign this case to a
district judge, and recommends that the newly assigned
district judge remand the case back to the California state
court from which it was removed.
Sua sponte jurisdictional screening
defendants are pro se and are proceeding in
forma pauperis. (ECF No. 3, 4.) A complaint filed by any
person proceeding in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C.
Â§ 1915(a) is subject to a mandatory and sua sponte
review and dismissal by the court to the extent that it is
frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. Â§
1915(e)(2)(B); Calhoun v. Stahl, 254 F.3d 845, 845
(9th Cir. 2001); Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122,
1126-27 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc). Furthermore, federal
courts have a duty to examine their subject-matter
jurisdiction whether or not the parties raise the issue.
See United Investors Life Ins. Co. v. Waddell &
Reed, Inc., 360 F.3d 960, 966 (9th Cir. 2004) ("[A]
district court's duty to establish subject matter
jurisdiction is not contingent upon the parties'
arguments.") (citing Mitchell v. Maurer, 293
U.S. 237, 244 (1934)); Attorneys Trust v. Videotape
Computer Prods., Inc., 93 F.3d 593, 594-95 (9th Cir.
1996) (lack of subject-matter jurisdiction may be raised at
any time by either party or by the court sua sponte
); Thiara v. Kiernan, 2006 WL 3065568, *2 (N.D. Cal.
Oct. 25, 2006) ("A district court has an independent
obligation to examine whether removal jurisdiction exists
before deciding any issue on the merits.")
case has been removed, the court may remand for lack of
subject-matter jurisdiction at any time before final
judgment. See 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1447(c) ("If at any
time before final judgment it appears that the district court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be
remanded."). "The court may - indeed must - remand
an action sua sponte if it determines that it lacks
subject matter jurisdiction." Canterbury Lots 68,
LLC v. De La Torre, 2013 WL 781974, *1 (C.D. Cal. Feb.
28, 2013) (citing Kelton Arms Condo. Owners Ass'n v.
Homestead Ins. Co., 346 F.3d 1190, 1192 (9th Cir. 2003)
("[T]he district court must remand if it lacks
jurisdiction.")). For the reasons given below, the court
lacks subject-matter jurisdiction and this action must be
remanded to the Superior Court of Alameda County.
removing defendants do not claim that this case exhibits
diversity jurisdiction. (ECF No. 1 at 1-3.) The civil cover
sheet that they filed upon removing the case to this court
does not give the parties' citizenship and does not
indicate the amount in controversy. (ECF No. 1-1.) The
disputed sum in the state-court complaint is $3, 605.91, and
"does not exceed $10, 000." (ECF No. 1 at 6, 8.)
From the addresses that appear on their filings, the
defendants reside in ...