United States District Court, S.D. California
JAY SADRIEH TTEE JAY JALAL SADRIETH & SADRIETH REVOCABLE TRUST, Plaintiff,
FARRAH PIRAHANCI-NAZEMI, Defendant.
(1) SUA SPONTE REMANDING ACTION TO STATE COURT FOR
LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION (DOC. NO. 1); AND (2)
DENYING MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AS MOOT (DOC. NO.
Anthony J. Battaglia United States District Judge
April 17, 2017, Defendant Farrah Pirahanci-Nazemi
("Removing Defendant"), acting pro se,
filed a notice of removal of an unlawful detainer action
initiated in San Diego Superior Court by Plaintiff Jay
Sadrieh TTEE Jay Jalal Sadrieth & Sadrieth Revocable
Trust ("Plaintiff), (Doc. No. 1), and an application to
proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. No. 2.) For the
reasons set forth below, the Court sua sponte
REMANDS the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction,
and DENIES AS MOOT Removing Defendant's application to
proceed in forma pauperis.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having subject
matter jurisdiction only over matters authorized by the
Constitution and Congress. See Kokkonen v. Guardian Life
Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). A defendant may
remove a civil action to federal court only if the district
court would have original jurisdiction over the matter. 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a). "[R]emoval statutes are strictly
construed against removal." Gaus v. Miles,
Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). A defendant
seeking removal has the burden to establish that removal is
proper and any doubt is resolved against removability.
Luther v. Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP, 533
F.3d 1031, 1034 (9th Cir. 2008).
"[f]ederal courts are under an independent obligation to
examine their own jurisdiction[.]" FW/PBS, Inc. v.
City of Dallas, 493 U.S. 215, 231 (1990). Accordingly,
"[i]f 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);
see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3) ("If the
court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.").
Defendant alleges that the Court has subject matter
jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1441. (Doc. No. 1 at 2.) Federal question jurisdiction exists
over "all civil actions arising under the Constitution,
laws, or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331; see also U.S. Const, art. Ill. §
2, cl. 1. Jurisdiction in federal question cases is
"governed by the 'well-pleaded complaint rule, '
which provides that federal [question] jurisdiction exists
only when a federal question is presented on the face of the
plaintiff's properly pleaded complaint."
Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392-93
(1987). Diversity jurisdiction exists where there is complete
diversity among opposing parties and the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
Complaint attached as Exhibit A to the notice of removal
affirmatively shows that the Complaint alleges only a single
claim for unlawful detainer, which is a California state law
cause of action. (See Generally Doc. No. 1-2.) Thus,
the Court finds that Plaintiffs Complaint does not
"necessarily raise a stated federal issue, actually
disputed and substantial, " which this Court "may
entertain without disturbing any congressionally approved
balance of federal and state judicial responsibilities."
See Grable & Sons Metal Prods., Inc. v. Darue
Eng'g & Mfg., 545 U.S. 308, 314 (2005); see
also Aurora Loan Servs., LLC v. Montoya No.
2:11-cv-2485- MCE-KJN-PS, 2011 WL 5508926, at *3 (E.D. Cal.
Nov. 9, 2011) ("[P]laintiff filed its Complaint in
Superior Court asserting a single claim for unlawful detainer
premised solely on California law. Because a claim for
unlawful detainer does not by itself present a federal
question or necessarily turn on the construction of federal
law, no basis for federal question jurisdiction appears on
the face of the Complaint."); Wells Fargo Bank v.
Lapeen, No. C 11-01932 LB, 2011 WL 2194117, at
*3 (N.D. Cal. June 6, 2011) ("An unlawful detainer
action, on its face, does not arise under federal law but is
purely a creature of California law.") (citing
Wescom Credit Union v. Dudley, No. CV 10-8203 GAF
(SSx), 2010 WL 4916578, at *2 (CD. Cal. Nov. 22, 2010)).
Accordingly, the Court finds Plaintiffs Complaint does not
present a federal question.
Removing Defendant does not claim that removal is appropriate
based on diversity jurisdiction. The Court notes however that
both parties are residents of San Diego, California. (Doc.
No. 1-2 at 3.) Additionally, the Complaint states on its face
that the demand for damages includes rent in the amount of
$5200.00 beginning on March 1, 2017, and attorney fees.
(Id. at 5.) As of the date of this Order, that only
amounts to less than $10, 000.00, which is far less than the
$75, 000 needed to qualify for diversity jurisdiction.
Consequently, as the Complaint does not present a federal
question, and diversity jurisdiction is not present, the
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
reasons set forth above, the Court sua sponte
REMANDS the action to San Diego Superior Court for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. Accordingly, Removing
Defendant's motion to proceed in forma pauperis
is DENIED AS MOOT.