United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable Fernando M. Olguin, United States
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
(In Chambers) Order Re: Pending Motion
reviewed and considered all the briefing filed with respect
to Plaintiff's Motion to Remand for Lack of Subject
Matter Jurisdiction (Dkt. 11, “Motion”), the
court concludes that oral argument is not necessary to
resolve the Motion. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; Local Rule
7-15; Willis v. Pac. Mar. Ass'n, 244 F.3d 675,
684 n. 2 (9th Cir. 2001).
April 18, 2017, plaintiff Carole Arndt
(“plaintiff” or “Arndt”) filed a
small claims action in the San Bernardino County Superior
Court against Capital One Bank, N.A. (“defendant”
or “Capital One”), asserting claims for
violations of: (1) the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692, et
seq.; (2) the Fair Credit Reporting Act
(“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681, et
seq.; (3) the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices
Act (“RFDCPA”), Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1788,
et seq.; and (4) the California Consumer Credit
Reporting Act (“CCRA”), Cal. Civ. Code
§§ 1785.1, et seq. (See Dkt. 1-1,
Complaint). Plaintiff asserted that “Defendant did not
report to the Credit Reporting Agencies that Plaintiff is
disputing a credit line that Defendant has marked as
delinquent, in violation of the FCRA, the FDCPA and RFDCPA,
and the CCRA.” (Id. at 2). On May 24, 2017,
defendant removed the action to this court based on federal
question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
(See Dkt. 1, Notice of Removal (“NOR”)
at ¶ 1). Defendant stated that the court has
supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims. (See
id.); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
30, 2017, plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint
(“FAC”), omitting the FCRA and FDCPA claims,
leaving only the state law claims. (See Dkt. 7, FAC
at ¶¶ 8-15). On June 21, plaintiff filed the
instant Motion. (Dkt. 11).
determining the existence of removal jurisdiction based upon
a federal question, we must look to the complaint as of the
time the removal petition was filed.” Libhart v.
Santa Monica Dairy Co., 592 F.2d 1062, 1065 (9th Cir.
1979). Removal of a civil action from the state court where
it was filed is proper if the action might have originally
been brought in federal court. See 28 U.S.C. §
1441(a) (“Except as otherwise expressly provided by Act
of Congress, any civil action brought in a State court of
which the district courts of the United States have original
jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant or the
defendants, to the district court[.]”). Remand may be
ordered either for lack of subject matter jurisdiction or for
any defect in removal procedure. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1447(c); see also Buchner v. FDIC, 981 F.2d
816, 819-20 (5th Cir. 1993). If there is any doubt regarding
the existence of subject matter jurisdiction, the court must
resolve those doubts in favor of remanding the action to
state court. See Gaus v. Miles, 980 F.2d 564, 566
(9th Cir. 1992) (per curiam) (“Federal
jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the
right of removal in the first instance.”). And,
“[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).
removal is properly effected under section 1441(a), the
district court may also elect to exercise pendent
jurisdiction over state law claims.” Emrich v.
Touche Ross & Co., 846 F.2d 1190, 1196 (9th Cir.
1988). However, the court is not required to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims. See
United Mine Workers of Am. v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 726,
86 S.Ct. 1130, 1139 (1966) (“It has consistently been
recognized that pendant jurisdiction is a doctrine of
discretion, not of plaintiff's right.”); Moor
v. Cty. of Alameda, 411 U.S. 693, 716-17, 93 S.Ct. 1785,
1799 (1973) (recognizing that where district courts have
original jurisdiction, courts have “broad
discretion” in determining whether to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims).
contends that the court does not have subject matter
jurisdiction over the FAC because it “does not give
rise to federal question jurisdiction which was the basis of
Defendant's Notice of Removal.” (Dkt. 11-1,
Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion for
Remand (“Memo”) at 3). However, “[t]he
error of this argument is its assumption that a party may
force remand of an action after its removal from state court
by amending the complaint to destroy the federal court's
jurisdiction over the action.” Pfeiffer v. Hartford
Fire Ins. Co., 929 F.2d 1484, 1488 (10th Cir. 1991).
Rather, “the propriety of removal is determined solely
on the basis of the pleadings filed in state court” and
at the time of removal. See Williams v. Costco Wholesale
Corp., 471 F.3d 975, 976 (9th Cir. 2006) (per
time of removal, the operative complaint asserted claims
under the FDCPA and FCRA, (see Dkt. 1-1, Complaint
at 2; Dkt. 1, NOR at ¶¶ 1 & 3-4), and thus the
court had federal question jurisdiction over those claims.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (“district courts
shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising
under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United
States”); 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a) (“any civil
action brought in a State court of which the district courts
of the United States have original jurisdiction, may be
removed by the defendant or the defendants, to the district
court of the United States for the district and division
embracing the place where such action is pending”). The
court also had supplemental jurisdiction over the state law
claims. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a) (“[I]n
any civil action of which the district courts have original
jurisdiction, the district courts shall have supplemental
jurisdiction over all other claims that are so related to
claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that
they form part of the same case or controversy under Article
III of the United States Constitution.”).
post-removal amendment to dismiss the federal claims cannot
affect whether the case was properly removed or whether the
court has subject matter jurisdiction. See Rockwell
Intern. Corp. v. U.S., 549 U.S. 457, 474 n. 6, 127 S.Ct.
1397, 1409 n. 6 (2007) (“It is true that, when a
defendant removes a case to federal court based on the
presence of a federal claim, an amendment eliminating the
original basis for federal jurisdiction generally does not
defeat jurisdiction.”); Libhart, 592 F.2d at
1065. In other words, “[i]f a federal claim existed at
the time of removal, a later amendment deleting all federal
claims does not affect the federal court's subject matter
jurisdiction, even though only state law claims
remain.” Downs v. Monetary Mgmt. of Cal.,
Inc., 2000 WL 335949, *2 (N.D. Cal. 2000).
such cases, however, the court has discretion whether to
continue to exercise its jurisdiction. It may choose either
to dismiss the state law claims or remand the action to state
court.” Downs, 2000 WL 335949, at *2.
Defendant recognizes that the power to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction is within the court's discretion.
(See Dkt. 15, Defendant Capital One Bank (USA),
N.A.'s Opposition to  Motion for Remand
(“Opp.”) at 5); see also Gibbs, 383 U.S.
at 726, 86 S.Ct. at 1139 (“It has consistently been
recognized that pendent jurisdiction is a doctrine of
discretion, not of plaintiff's right.”). The court
“may decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over
a claim under subsection (a) if . . . the district court has
dismissed all claims over which it has original
jurisdiction[.]” 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3); see
Gibbs, 383 U.S. at 726, 86 S.Ct. at 1139
(“Certainly, if the federal claims are dismissed before
trial, even though not insubstantial in a jurisdictional
sense, the state claims should be dismissed as well.”);
Acri v. Varian Assocs., Inc., 114 F.3d 999, 1001
(9th Cir. 1997) (en banc) (“The Supreme Court
has stated, and we have often repeated, that ‘in the
usual case in which all federal-law claims are eliminated
before trial, the balance of factors . . . will point toward
declining to exercise jurisdiction over the remaining