United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER REMANDING TO STATE COURT
J. GUILFORD, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
26, 2016, Plaintiff filed an unlawful detainer action against
Defendants in the Orange County Superior Court. (Notice of
Removal, Ex. 1 [state court complaint.]) On January 2, 2017,
Defendant Ian Anthony Suite filed a Notice of Removal of that
action in this Court, accompanied by a request to proceed in
forma pauperis (“IFP”). See D & A
Intermediate-Term Mortgage Fund III LP v. Ian Anthony Suite,
et al., 8:17-sacv-00003-DOC-KESx. Defendant Suite's
request for IFP was denied and the matter remanded to state
court on January 5, 2017. (Id. at Dkts. 6, 7.)
February 7, 2017, Michael Anthony Garcia, an interested party
in the same unlawful detainer action, filed the Notice of
Removal and IFP request now before this Court. Mr. Garcia
contends that he is a defendant in this case, and that
“Plaintiff failed to contact Defendant [Garcia] to work
out any agreement and filed an Unlawful Detainer case against
Defendant [Suite] excluding Defendant [Garcia] from the law
suit under deceit.” (Notice of Removal at 5.)
Garcia alleges that removal is proper under federal question
jurisdiction because Plaintiff violated the federal
Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act. (Id. at 1-3.)
Alternatively, he contends that removal is proper under 28
U.S.C. § 1443 because he has been deprived of his
constitutional rights by the application of California
statutory provisions authorizing evictions in unlawful
detainer proceedings. (Id. at 7.) Defendant, in
conclusory language, also lists the First, Fifth, Ninth, and
Fourteenth Amendments, “the Article I guarantee against
state ‘impairment of the obligations of contract,
” and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1985
in support of federal jurisdiction. (Id. at 8-9.)
Court sua sponte REMANDS this action to the California
Superior Court for the County of Orange for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction, as set forth below.
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 Crop Protection, Inc. v.
Henson, 537 U.S. 28, 32 (2002) (quoting Great
Northern R. Co. v. Alexander, 246 U.S. 276, 280 (1918)).
Where Congress has acted to create a right of removal, those
statutes are strictly construed against removal jurisdiction.
Id.; Nevada v. Bank of Am. Corp., 672 F.3d
661, 667 (9th Cir. 2012); Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980
F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992).
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 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
courts.” 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 remand if it lacks
jurisdiction.” Kelton Arms Condo. Owners Ass'n
v. Homestead Ins. Co., 346 F.3d 1190, 1192 (9th Cir.
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 “elementary that the subject matter jurisdiction
of the district court is not a waivable matter and may be
raised at any time 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).
Federal Question Jurisdiction.
underlying action is an unlawful detainer proceeding, arising
under and governed by the laws of the State of California.
The state-court Complaint does not include any claim
“arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of
the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Federal
defenses or federal counterclaims do not provide a basis to
remove an action which does not otherwise establish federal
jurisdiction. “[T]he 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). There is no basis for federal question
is also no basis for diversity jurisdiction. Every defendant
is not alleged to be diverse from every plaintiff. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(a). The Complaint does not allege damages in
excess of $75, 000; to the contrary, it is a limited civil
action in which the amount in controversy does not exceed
Jurisdiction under 28 ...