United States District Court, S.D. California
ORDER SUA SPONTE REMANDING TO STATE COURT
CATHY ANN BENCIVENGO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
August 15, 2019, Plaintiff L&M Development Corporation of
SD, filed a verified complaint for unlawful detainer against
Defendants James Gregory and Rowena Gregory in San Diego
County Superior Court. [Doc. No. 1-2.] On October 7, 2019,
Defendants James Gregory and Rowena Gregory, proceeding
pro se, removed the action to this court. [Doc. No.
1.] After reviewing Defendants' notice of removal and the
underlying complaint, the Court finds that it lacks subject
matter jurisdiction over this case. Therefore, for the
following reasons, the Court REMANDS this action to state
filed in state court may be removed to federal court by the
defendant or defendants if the federal court would have had
original subject matter jurisdiction over that suit. 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a); Snow v. Ford Motor Co., 561
F.2d 787, 789 (9th Cir. 1977). The existence of federal
jurisdiction must be determined on the face of the
plaintiff's complaint. See Caterpillar, Inc. v.
Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987). A “cause of
action arises under federal law only when the plaintiff's
well pleaded complaint raises issues of federal law.”
Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Taylor, 481 U.S. 58,
63 (1987). A well pleaded complaint must establish
“either that federal law creates the cause of action or
that the plaintiff's right to relief necessarily depends
on resolution of a substantial question of federal
law.” Franchise Tax Bd. v. Constr. Laborers
Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 27-28 (1983). The Court may
remand sua sponte or on motion of a party, and the party who
invoked the federal court's removal jurisdiction has the
burden of establishing federal jurisdiction. See Emrich
v. Touche Ross & Co., 846 F.2d 1190, 1195 (9th Cir.
1988), citing Wilson v. Republic Iron & Steel
Co., 257 U.S. 92, 97 (1921). The removal statute is
strictly construed against removal jurisdiction and any doubt
is resolved in favor of remand. Boggs v. Lewis, 863
F.2d 662, 663 (9th Cir. 1988); Libhart v. Santa Monica
Dairy Co., 592 F.2d 1062, 1064 (9th Cir. 1979).
“Federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any
doubt as to the right of removal in the first
instance.” Gaus v. Miles, 980 F.2d 564, 566
(9th Cir. 1992).
subject matter jurisdiction is based on the presence of a
federal question, see 28 U.S.C. § 1331, or on complete
diversity between the parties, see 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
Defendants allege that federal questions have been raised by
their answer to the complaint. [Doc. No. 1 at 2.] The Court,
however, must consider sua sponte whether jurisdiction
actually exists. See Valdez v. Allstate Ins. Co.,
372 F.3d 1115, 1116 (9th Cir. 2004) (observing that a court
is required to consider sua sponte whether it has subject
matter jurisdiction). Here, federal question jurisdiction is
absent because no “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 asserts a
single claim for unlawful detainer, a cause of action that is
purely a matter of state law. See Federal Nat. Mortg.
Ass'n v. Enshiwat, 2012 WL 683106, at *1 (C.D. Cal.
March 2, 2012) (“Unlawful detainer actions are strictly
within the province of state court”) (quotations
omitted); Galileo Fin. v. Miin Sun Park, EDCV
09-1660 PSG, 2009 WL 3157411 (CD. Cal. Sept. 24, 2009)
(“the complaint only asserts a claim for unlawful
detainer, a cause of action that is purely a matter of state
law.”) Likewise, here, the face of Plaintiff s
complaint makes clear that no basis for federal question
addition, diversity jurisdiction is absent. For a federal
court to exercise diversity jurisdiction, the amount in
controversy requirement must be met. See 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a). Plaintiffs complaint clearly demonstrates that the
amount in controversy does not exceed $75, 000, exclusive of
attorneys fees and costs, as Plaintiff seeks limited civil
damages totaling less than $10, 000. Thus, diversity
jurisdiction is lacking.
on the foregoing, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over this matter and therefore REMANDS the case to state
court. Defendants' motion to proceed ...