United States District Court, C.D. California
Estate of Huanxiao Wu, et al.
HT State Travel & Bus Co., Inc.
Present: The Honorable DOLLY M. GEE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT
IN CHAMBERS - ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE REGARDING COURT'S
filed a Complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court on
September 5, 2018 against Defendants for damages arising out
of an incident wherein a bus allegedly driven and controlled
by Defendants struck and killed Decedent Huanxiao Wu. [Doc. #
1 (“Notice of Removal”).] Defendants then filed a
cross-complaint against the United States of America
(“the Government”) for contribution and indemnity
because, according to Defendants, the Government failed to
adequately maintain the area in which Defendant's bus
struck Decedent. Id. at 2. On July 11, 2019, the
Government removed this action to this Court pursuant to 28
U.S.C. section 1442(a)(1). Id. at 3. The Government
claims that, under Mesa v. California, 489 U.S. 121
(1989), the following federal defense justifies removal:
“the United States has not waived its sovereign
immunity to permit suits against it in state court on
Cross-Complainant's claims because such claims are only
actionable, if at all, in United States District Court under
the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b),
Court is concerned, however, that this argument for removal
more strongly indicates the Court's lack of
jurisdiction than its ability to hear the case. When a
party removes a case to federal court under section 1442, the
federal court's “jurisdiction is derivative of the
state court's jurisdiction.” In re Elko Cty.
Grand Jury, 109 F.3d 554, 555 (9th Cir. 1997);
Lambert Run Coal Co. v. Baltimore & Ohio R.R.
Co., 258 U.S. 377, 382 (1922) (“The jurisdiction
of the federal court on removal is, in a limited sense,
derivative jurisdiction. If the state court lacks
jurisdiction of the subject-matter or of the parties, the
federal court acquires none . . . .”); F.B.I. v.
Superior Court of Cal., 507 F.Supp.2d 1082, 1092 (N.D.
Cal. 2007) (“the doctrine of derivative jurisdiction
applies to § 1442 removals”). Accordingly, if the
Government is correct that sovereign immunity divests the
state court of jurisdiction over Defendants'
cross-complaint, “the doctrine of ‘derivative
jurisdiction,' . . . would preclude this Court from
having jurisdiction, even if the matter could have been
raised here originally.” Glass v. Nat'l R.R.
Passenger Corp., 570 F.Supp.2d 1180, 1182 (C.D. Cal.
2008); see also Golden Eagle Ins. Corp. v. Allied Tech.
Grp., 83 F.Supp.2d 1132, 1134 (C.D. Cal. 1999)
(“[W]here the state court lacked jurisdiction over the
claim giving rise to the removal, ‘the federal court
acquires none, although in a like suit originally brought in
federal court it would have had jurisdiction.'”)
(citing Minnesota v. United States, 305 U.S. 382,
389 (1939)). Indeed, the court in Glass held that it
had no jurisdiction over a similar cross-complaint against
the Government after the Government removed the action using
almost identical language to the language in its Notice of
Removal in this case. Glass, 570 F.Supp.2d at
the Government is hereby ORDERED TO SHOW
CAUSE why the Court should not determine that it
lacks jurisdiction over Defendants' claim against the
Government and remand the entire action to Los Angeles County
Superior Court. The Government shall respond to this Order in
writing, not to exceed 10 pages, no later than seven
days from the date of this Order. Defendants may
file a reply to the Government's response, also not to
exceed 10 pages, no later than seven days after the
Government files its response.
IS SO ORDERED.
 The Government in Glass
removed that action on the grounds that: “the United
States has not waived its sovereign immunity to permit suits
against it in state court on [the defendant's] indemnity
and contribution claims, because such claims are only
actionable, if at all, in United States district court
pursuant to the Federal Tort ...