United States Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development v. Todd et al

Filing 5

ORDER that the Clerk shall REMAND the present action back to the Maricopa County Justice Courts/San Marcos Justice Court. Signed by Judge G Murray Snow on 9/18/12. (Attachments: # 1 Remand Letter). (LSP)

Download PDF
1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 United States Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, No. CV-12-01978-PHX-GMS ORDER 10 Plaintiff, 11 v. 12 Sandra Todd, et al. 13 Defendants. 14 15 The present action was improperly removed and the Court lacks subject-matter 16 jurisdiction over it; accordingly, the Court remands this case to Maricopa County Justice 17 Courts/San Marcos Justice Court. 18 Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having subject-matter jurisdiction 19 only over those matters specifically authorized by Congress or the Constitution. 20 Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). As the proponent of the 21 Court's jurisdiction, the removing defendant bears the burden of establishing it. Abrego 22 Abrego v. The Dow Chemical Co., 443 F.3d 676, 685 (9th Cir. 2006). 23 Although the Notice of Removal states that a claim in the present action arises 24 under federal law, a review of the complaint reveals that it is a straightforward forcible 25 detainer, otherwise known as an eviction action. And while it appears that Defendant 26 Sandra Todd (“Defendant”) may assert a federal defense based on due process, the 27 assertion of a federal defense to a state-law claim does not convert the state-law claim 28 into one “arising under” federal law for purposes of federal question jurisdiction. See 1 Moore-Thomas v. Alaska Airlines, Inc., 553 F.3d 1241, 1244 (9th Cir. 2009) (discussing 2 the “well-pleaded complaint rule”). Therefore, the Court has no federal question 3 jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (conferring on federal courts subject-matter 4 jurisdiction over cases arising under federal law). 5 To the extent that the Notice of Removal purports to invoke the Court’s diversity 6 jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, the requirements for diversity jurisdiction are also 7 not satisfied. In order to invoke the Court’s diversity jurisdiction, a defendant must show 8 both that she and plaintiff are not residents of the same state, and that the amount in 9 controversy exceeds $75,000. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (setting forth requirements for 10 diversity jurisdiction). In addition, even when there is diversity between the parties, a 11 federal court may not exercise jurisdiction where the moving defendant is a resident of 12 the forum state. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b). Here, the Court need not decide whether there is 13 diversity between the parties or whether the amount in controversy requirement is met as 14 Defendant reports her address as the property at issue in this action (located in Chandler, 15 Arizona); thus, she is clearly a forum defendant who may not remove a state-court action. 16 See id. 17 In the absence of subject-matter jurisdiction, this Court is empowered to sua 18 sponte order summary remand. See 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(4) (requiring district courts to 19 examine notices of removal and their exhibits and authorizing summary remand in 20 appropriate circumstances); 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) (requiring district courts to remand cases 21 if it appears, at any time before final judgment is entered, that the court lacks subject- 22 matter jurisdiction). 23 24 25 IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall REMAND the present action back to the Maricopa County Justice Courts/San Marcos Justice Court. Dated this 18th day of September, 2012. 26 27 28 -2-

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?