United States District Court, C.D. California
Pro Value Properties, Inc.
Joseph Boyadjian, et al.
Present: The Honorable GEORGE H. WU, UNITED STATES DISTRICT
(IN CHAMBERS) - ORDER GRANTING EX PARTE APPLICATION TO REMAND
TO STATE COURT 
January 6, 2017, plaintiff Pro Value Properties, Inc. sued
Defendants Joseph Boyadjian, Courtney Maglio, and Does 1-10
in an unlawful detainer action in the Los Angeles County
Superior Court. See generally Notice of Removal, Ex.
A (“Complaint”), Docket No. 1-1. On January 27,
2017, LaVance Walker (“Walker”) filed a
“Prejudgment Claim of Right of Possession”
(“Claim”) professing to be a resident at the
subject premises. See Docket No. 1-2. On February 7,
2017, Walker removed the case to this Court alleging federal
question jurisdiction. See Id. ¶ 7. Plaintiff
has filed an Ex Parte Application for Remand asserting that
there is no basis for federal question jurisdiction here.
See Docket No. 7. The Court agrees.
burden of proving jurisdictional facts falls on the party
invoking federal jurisdiction. See Kanter v.
Warner-Lambert Co., 265 F.3d 853, 857-58 (9th
Cir. 2001). Because Walker invoked the Court's
jurisdiction here, he must show that jurisdiction is proper.
alleges that federal question jurisdiction exists because
Plaintiff “expressly references and incorporates the
‘Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009
[“PTFA”]' 12 U.S.C. § 5201, ” a
federal statute with which Walker contends Plaintiff did not
comply. See Notice of Removal at ¶ 7. However,
he is clearly mistaken. Neither the Complaint nor the Claim
refer to the PTFA or to § 5201. Additionally, the PTFA
would not provide any basis for federal question jurisdiction
since no private cause of action arises under that statutory
scheme. See e.g. Miller v. Chase Home Finance, LLC,
677 F.3d 1113, 1115-17 (11th Cir. 2012) (affirming dismissal
for failure to state a claim because 12 U.S.C. §§
5201-5261 did not create a private right of action);
Christiana Trust v. Beitbadal, Case No.
1:15-cv-01455 LJO BAM, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129453 at *3
(E.D. Cal. Sept. 25, 2015) (“even if Defendant could
raise a federal question by way of a defense, she could not
do so under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act,
because Congress did not create a private right of action
when it enacted that statute.”).
the well-pleaded complaint rule, federal courts consider only
what necessarily appears in plaintiff's statement of its
claim (on the face of the complaint) at the time of removal,
unaided by anything alleged in anticipation or avoidance
(i.e. defenses) that the defendant may interpose.
Schwarzer, Tashima & Wagstaffe, Cal. Prac. Guide:
Fed. Civ. Proc. Before Trial (“Schwarzer”)
§ 2:730 (The Rutter Group 2016) (citing Taylor v.
Anderson, 234 U.S. 74, 75-76 (1914); Holmes Group,
Inc. v. Vornado Air Circulation Systems, Inc., 535 U.S.
826, 830 (2002)). Here, Plaintiff initiated an unlawful
detainer action, relying solely on state law (and no federal
statute) to press forward its lawsuit against Defendants.
See generally Complaint; see also Caterpillar
Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987) (“The
[well-pleaded complaint] rule makes the plaintiff the master
of the claim; he or she may avoid federal jurisdiction by
exclusive reliance on state law.”); see also
Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Thompson, 478 U.S.
804, 809 n.6 (1986) (“Jurisdiction may not be sustained
on a theory that the plaintiff has not advanced.”);
Great North R. Co. v. Alexander, 246 U.S. 276, 282
(1918) (“[T]he plaintiff may by the allegations of his
complaint determine the status with respect to removability
of a case.”). Defendants therefore necessarily
interpose either a counterclaim or a defense to
Plaintiff's claim by asserting, as they do here, that a
federal right (i.e. the PTFA) is implicated because
Plaintiff did not comply with that federal statute. This is
prima facie insufficient to establish federal
question jurisdiction. See Holmes Group, 535 U.S. at
831; Vaden v. Discover Bank, 556 U.S. 49, 66-67
(2009) (“[C]ounterclaims, even if they rely exclusively
on federal substantive law, do not qualify a case for
federal-court cognizance.”); Schwarzer § 2:730. As
such, Defendants cannot base their removal on federal
light of the above, the Court finds that the removal here is
improper; therefore the action is forthwith remanded back to
the state court for further proceedings.
 Walker and his counsel are so
obviously wrong both factually and legally in their assertion
of the presence of a federal question that, should this case
have remained before this Court, it would have scheduled an
order to show cause as to why ...