United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS AND ORDER STAYING THE
KENDALL J. NEWMAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the court is defendant Cameron
Robinson's motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 5.) In
opposition, plaintiff Sheffield Financial argues that the
case should be remanded to state court. (ECF No. 7.) The
undersigned recommends remanding this matter, and therefore
denying defendant's motion to dismiss (ECF No. 5) and
motion to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 2) as moot.
Sheffield Financial, filed this action in the Superior Court
of California for the County of Stanislaus, alleging breach
of contract and conversion as a result of defendant
defaulting on a trailer loan in the amount of $9, 041.94.
(ECF No. 1 at 4-6.) Defendant removed this action on November
25, 2019, and filed a motion to dismiss the same day. (ECF
Nos. 1, 3.) Defendant filed a second motion to dismiss after
the court directed defendant to properly schedule his
hearing. (ECF No. 5.)
motion to dismiss alleges that the contract attached to
plaintiff's complaint is a forgery, and as a result
plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed in its
entirety. (ECF No. 6 at 1-2.)
opposition argues that the court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction, and therefore the case should be remanded to
state court. (ECF No. 7.) In the alternative, plaintiff
argues defendant's motion should be denied because it is
deficient on its face. (Id.) Plaintiff also requests
attorneys' fees. (Id.)
Matter Jurisdiction and Removal
is correct that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over this case, necessitating remand.
courts derive their subject matter jurisdiction from 28
U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1332. Section 1331 provides for
federal-question jurisdiction, and Section 1332 for diversity
jurisdiction. Because it is unclear which bases defendant is
asserting in his removal, the court briefly discusses both.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and are obligated
to consider sua sponte whether they have subject matter
jurisdiction. Allstate Ins. Co. v. Hughes, 358 F.3d
1089, 1093 (9th Cir.2004). Even if the district court lacks
jurisdiction, appellate courts have jurisdiction to correct
the error. Matheson v. Progressive Specialty Ins.
Co., 319 F.3d 1089, 1090 (9th Cir. 2003)
jurisdiction exists when a federal question is presented on
the face of the plaintiff's complaint. ARCO Envtl.
Remediation, L.L.C. v. Dep't of Health & Envtl.
Quality of Montana, 213 F.3d 1108, 1113 (9th Cir. 2000).
Thus, federal jurisdiction cannot be derived from anticipated
affirmative defenses. Effects Assocs., Inc. v.
Cohen, 817 F.2d 72, 73 (9th Cir. 1987).
a federal court to exercise diversity jurisdiction under
§ 1332(a), the amount in controversy must exceed $75,
000, and the parties must be citizens of different
states.” Corral v. Select Portfolio Servicing,
Inc., 878 F.3d 770, 774 (9th Cir. 2017). Defendants
seeking removal must prove by a preponderance of the evidence
that these jurisdictional requirements are met. Valdez v.
Allstate Ins. Co., 372 F.3d 1115, 1117 (9th Cir. 2004).
removal statute is strictly construed against removal
jurisdiction. Syngenta Crop Prot., Inc. v. Henson,
537 U.S. 28, 32 (2002); California ex rel. Lockyer v.
Dynegy, Inc., 375 F.3d 831, 838 (9th Cir.2004). The