United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable Stephen V. Wilson, U.S District Judge
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
(In Chambers) ORDER REMANDING MATTER TO STATE COURT
February 20, 2019, 9810 Zelzah, LLC (“Plaintiff”)
instituted an unlawful detainer proceeding against Anthony
Gavin Parker, Iona Nicole Sison Go and Does 1 to 10
(“Defendants”) in state court. Defendants have
allegedly continued in unlawful possession of the property
located at 9810 Zelzah Avenue #122, Northridge, CA 91325 (the
“Property”) that is owned by Plaintiff.
Defendants allegedly entered into a 12-month lease of the
Property on December 21, 2018, with current rent at $2,
150.00 per month. At the time of the 3-day notice to quit,
the rent due by Defendant was allegedly $2, 732.67. Plaintiff
estimates the fair rental value of the property as $71.66 per
day. Plaintiff filed its unlawful detainer complaint in state
court after Defendant failed to comply with the notice to
quit. Defendant Parker filed a Demurrer on March 5, 2019.
Defendant Parker removed the action to this Court on June 5,
2019. Defendant asserts federal question jurisdiction in this
Court based on the “Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure
Act of 2009” (Notice of Removal at ¶ 6). Diversity
jurisdiction is not alleged.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having subject
matter jurisdiction only over matters authorized by the
Constitution and Congress. See, e.g., Kokkonen v.
Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). It is
this Court's duty to always examine its own subject
matter jurisdiction, see Arbaugh v. Y&H Corp.,
546 U.S. 500, 514 (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). A “strong presumption” against
removal jurisdiction exists. See Gaus v. Miles,
Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 567 (9th Cir. 1992).
matter jurisdiction exists over civil actions “arising
under” federal law. 28 U.S.C. § 1331. A claim
arises under federal law “when a federal question is
presented on the face of plaintiff's properly pleaded
complaint.” Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482
U.S. 386, 392 (1987). Plaintiff's Complaint here contains
a single cause of action for unlawful detainer, a state law
claim. There is no federal question jurisdiction even if
Defendant has alleged an actual or anticipated federal
defense to the claim or a counterclaim arising under federal
law. See Caterpillar, Inc., 482 U.S. at 392-93;
Vaden v. Discover Bank, 556 U.S. 49, 60 (2009). This
is a simple state law unlawful detainer case, and there is no
federal question presented on the face of Plaintiff's
assertion of the “Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act
of 2009” does not create federal question jurisdiction.
First, that statute expired at the end of 2014. See
P.L. 111-22, section 704, as extended by section 1484 of P.L.
111-203. (“This title, and any amendments made by this
title are repealed, and the requirements under this title
shall terminate, on December 31, 2014.”) Second, even
if that statute gave rise to a defense against
Plaintiff's foreclosure action, this does not provide the
Court with a basis to assert federal question jurisdiction
under the well-pleaded complaint rule. See, e.g., Federal
Nat. Mortg. Ass'n v. Kennedy, 2012 WL 1378671, *1
(C.D. Cal. Apr. 20, 2012) (finding no federal question
jurisdiction over a state law unlawful detainer action where
the notice of removal raised the Protecting Tenants at
Foreclosure Act of 2009); Federal Nat. Mortg. Ass'n
v. Brooks, 2012 WL 773073, *4 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 7, 2012)
(same); Westcom Credit Union, v. Dudley, 2010 WL
4916578, *2-3 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 22, 2010) (same). The PTFA does
not create a private right of action; rather, it provides a
defense to state law unlawful detainer actions. See Logan
v. U.S. Bank Nat. Ass'n, 722 F.3d 1163, 1164 (9th
Cir. 2013) (affirming dismissal of the complaint because the
PTFA “does not create a private right of action
allowing [plaintiff] to enforce its requirements”).
Accordingly, Defendant has failed to meet his burden of
showing that federal question jurisdiction exists.
notice of removal has not alleged diversity jurisdiction, and
it is clear from the face of the Complaint that no diversity
jurisdiction exists under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The amount
demanded on the face of the Complaint is alleged not to
exceed $10, 000 - well below the statutory threshold of $75,
000. The Complaint specifically asserts a claim for past due
rent of $2, 732.67, plus ongoing damages at a rate of $71.66
per day. Defendant has made no plausible allegations showing
how those damages would exceed $75, 000.
because this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the
Court REMANDS the action to state court forthwith and orders
the Court Clerk promptly to serve this Order on all parties
who have appeared in this action.