United States District Court, S.D. California
PROGRESS CONSTRUCTION CO., INC., a corporation dba PROGRESS MANAGEMENT COMPANY, Plaintiff,
DANIEL KING ET AL, Defendants.
ORDER SUA SPONTE REMANDING ACTION TO STATE
Gonzalo P. Curiel United States District Judge
April 3, 2017, Defendant Daniel King filed a notice of
removal of this unlawful detainer action from the Superior
Court of the State of California for San Diego County. Dkt.
No. 1. Having reviewed Defendant's notice of removal, the
Court finds it does not have subject matter jurisdiction over
this action. Accordingly, the Court sua sponte
REMANDS the action to state court.
federal court is one of limited jurisdiction. Lowdermilk
v. U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass'n, 479 F.3d 994, 997 (9th
Cir. 2007). It possesses only that power authorized by the
Constitution or a statute. See Bender v. Williamsport
Area Sch. Dist., 475 U.S. 534, 541 (1986). It is
constitutionally required to raise issues related to federal
subject matter jurisdiction, and may do so sua
sponte. Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better
Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 93-94 (1998); see Indus.
Tectonics, Inc. v. Aero Alloy, 912 F.2d 1090, 1092 (9th
Cir.1990). Removal jurisdiction is governed by 28 U.S.C.
§ 1441 et seq. A state court action can only be
removed if it could have originally been brought in federal
court. Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386,
392, 107 (1987); Duncan v. Stuetzle, 76 F.3d 1480,
1485 (9th Cir.1996). Thus, for an action to be removed on the
basis of federal question jurisdiction, the complaint must
establish either that federal law creates the cause of action
or that the plaintiff's right to relief necessarily
depends on the resolution of substantial questions of federal
law. Franchise Tax Board of Cal. v. Construction Laborers
Vacation Trust for Southern Cal., 463 U.S. 1, 10-11
(1983). Alternatively, a federal court may have diversity
jurisdiction over an action involving citizens of different
states where the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. 28
U.S.C. § 1332.
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
plaintiff's properly pleaded complaint.”
Caterpillar, 482 U.S. at 392. A review of the state
court summons and complaint in this case shows that Plaintiff
alleges a unlawful detainer claim under California state law.
(Dkt. No. 1-2.)
burden of establishing federal jurisdiction is on the party
seeking removal, and the removal statute is strictly
construed against removal jurisdiction.” Emrich v.
Touche Ross & Co., 846 F.2d 1190, 1195 (9th Cir.
1988). “Federal 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).
notice of removal, Defendant alleges that this Court has
jurisdiction over the action pursuant to a federal question.
(Dkt. No. 1 at 2-3, ¶¶ 5-9.) Defendant contends
that there is a federal question based on a notice which
expressly references and incorporates the “Protecting
Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009, ” 12 U.S.C. §
5220. (Id. at 3, ¶ 7) He alleges that this
statute will be drawn into the issues in this case because
Plaintiffs Unlawful Detainer notice was defective under 12
U.S.C. § 5220. (Id.)
alleged federal “claim” is actually a defense or
counterclaim against Plaintiff. Defenses and counterclaims,
however, are not considered in evaluating whether a federal
question appears on the face of a Plaintiff s complaint.
Vaden v. Discover Bank, 556 U.S. 49, 60 (2009)
(federal question jurisdiction cannot “rest upon an
actual or anticipated counterclaim”); 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 complaint.”). As such, Defendant's
allegation does not establish federal question jurisdiction
under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
has not adequately established a basis for this Court's
subject matter jurisdiction and the Court must remand the
case. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
on the above, the Court sua sponte REMANDS the
action to the Superior Court of the State of ...