United States District Court, C.D. California
ROZELLA A. OLIVER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
ORDER REMANDING ACTION AND DENYING REQUEST TO PROCEED
IN FORMA PAUPERIS
D. WRIGHT II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
East Carson Housing Partners LP (“Plaintiff”)
filed an unlawful detainer action in Los Angeles County
Superior Court against Veronica Gipson and Does 1 to 10
(“Defendants”) on or about January 13, 2017.
Notice of Removal (“Removal”) & Attached
Complaint for Unlawful Detainer (“Compl.”), Dkt.
No. 1. Defendants are allegedly unauthorized tenants of real
property located in Carson, California (“the
property”). Compl., ¶¶ 3, 6. Plaintiff is the
owner of the property. Id. at ¶¶ 2, 4.
Gipson filed a Notice of Removal on February 16, 2017,
invoking the Court's diversity jurisdiction, asserting
that Plaintiff is not a resident of California and that
damages exceed the amounts noted in 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
Removal at 2. The same day, Defendant Gipson filed a Request
to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. Dkt. No. 2.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having subject
matter jurisdiction only over matters authorized by the
Constitution and statute. See, e.g., Kokkonen v. Guardian
Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S.Ct. 1673, 128
L.Ed.2d 391 (1994). It is this Court's duty always to
examine its own subject matter jurisdiction, see Arbaugh
v. Y&H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 514, 126 S.Ct. 1235, 163
L.Ed.2d 1097 (2006), and the Court may remand a case
summarily if there is an obvious jurisdictional issue.
Cf. Scholastic Entm't, Inc. v. Fox Entm't Grp.,
Inc., 336 F.3d 982, 985 (9th Cir. 2003) (“While a
party is entitled to notice and an opportunity to respond
when a court contemplates dismissing a claim on the merits,
it is not so when the dismissal is for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction.”) (omitting internal citations). A
defendant attempting to remove an action from state to
federal court bears the burden of proving that jurisdiction
exists. See Scott v. Breeland, 792 F.2d 925, 927
(9th Cir. 1986). Further, a “strong presumption”
against removal jurisdiction exists. See Gaus v. Miles,
Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 567 (9th Cir. 1992).
noted above, Defendant asserts that this Court has subject
matter jurisdiction due to the existence of diversity.
(Removal at 2.) Section 1441 provides, in relevant part, that
a defendant may remove to federal court a civil action in
state court of which the federal court has original
jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Section
1332 provides that federal “district courts shall have
original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter
in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000,
exclusive of interest and costs, and is between-(1) citizens
of different States . . . .” See Id. §
the Court's review of the Notice of Removal and the
attached Complaint makes clear that this Court does not have
diversity jurisdiction over the instant matter. The amount in
controversy does not exceed the diversity jurisdiction
threshold of $75, 000. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
The amount in controversy is determined from the complaint
itself, unless it appears to a legal certainty that the claim
is worth a different amount than that pled in the complaint.
Horton v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 367 U.S. 348, 354,
81 S.Ct. 1570, 6 L.Ed.2d 890 (1961); Lowdermilk v. United
States Bank Nat'l Assoc, 479 F.3d 994, 999 (9th Cir.
2007). In filing the action, Plaintiff explicitly limited its
demand for damages by indicating that the amount demanded
“does not exceed $10, 000.” (See Compl.
at 1.) Because the amount of damages that Plaintiff seeks
appears to be below the jurisdictional minimum, the Court
cannot exercise diversity jurisdiction in this case.
IT IS ORDERED that this case is REMANDED to the Superior
Court of California, County of Los Angeles, forthwith.
FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant's Request to Proceed