U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Holly L. Lewis et al

Filing 8

ORDER REMANDING ACTION AND DENYING REQUEST TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS by Judge Beverly Reid O'Connell that this case is REMANDED to the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, forthwith. FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant's Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis is DENIED as moot. (Made JS-6 Case Terminated.) (jp)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 U.S. BANK, N.A., Successor Trustee to LASALLE BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, on behalf of the HOLDERS OF BEAR STEARNS ASSET BACKED SECURITIES 1 TRUST 2006-HE10, ASSETBACKED CERTIFICATES SERIES 2006-HE10, Case No. ED CV 17-01236-BRO (RAOx) ORDER REMANDING ACTION AND DENYING REQUEST TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS Plaintiff, v. HOLLY L. LEWIS, KENNETH W. LEWIS, and DOES I through X, inclusive, Defendants. I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND Plaintiff U.S. Bank, N.A., Successor Trustee to LaSalle Bank National Association, on behalf of the Holders of Bear Stearns Asset Backed Securities 1 Trust 2006-HE10, Asset-Backed Certificates Series 2006-HE10 (“Plaintiff”) filed an unlawful detainer action in San Bernardino County Superior Court against Defendants Holly L. Lewis, Kenneth W. Lewis, and Does I through X, on March 1 27, 2017. Notice of Removal (“Removal”) and Attached Complaint for Unlawful 2 Detainer (“Compl.”). Dkt. No. 1. Defendants are allegedly unauthorized occupants 3 of real property located in Big Bear City, California (“the property”). Compl., ¶¶ 1, 4 3, 8-9. Plaintiff is the owner of the property. Id. at ¶¶ 1, 4-5. 5 Defendant Holly L. Lewis (“Defendant”) filed a Notice of Removal on June 6 21, 2017, claiming that Plaintiff violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 7 12 U.S.C. § 2601 (“RESPA”). Removal at 2. The same day, Defendant filed a 8 request to proceed in forma pauperis. Dkt. No. 3. 9 II. 10 DISCUSSION 11 Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having subject matter 12 jurisdiction only over matters authorized by the Constitution and statute. See, e.g., 13 Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S. Ct. 1673, 128 14 L.Ed.2d 391 (1994). It is this Court’s duty always to examine its own subject 15 matter jurisdiction, see Arbaugh v. Y&H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 514, 126 S. Ct. 1235, 16 163 L.Ed.2d 1097 (2006), and the Court may remand a case summarily if there is 17 an obvious jurisdictional issue. Cf. Scholastic Entm’t, Inc. v. Fox Entm’t Grp., Inc., 18 336 F.3d 982, 985 (9th Cir. 2003) (“While a party is entitled to notice and an 19 opportunity to respond when a court contemplates dismissing a claim on the merits, 20 it is not so when the dismissal is for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”) (omitting 21 internal citations). A defendant attempting to remove an action from state to 22 federal court bears the burden of proving that jurisdiction exists. See Scott v. 23 Breeland, 792 F.2d 925, 927 (9th Cir. 1986). Further, a “strong presumption” 24 against removal jurisdiction exists. See Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 567 (9th 25 Cir. 1992). 26 Defendant asserts that this Court has subject matter jurisdiction due to the 27 existence of a federal question. Removal at 2-5. Section 1441 provides, in relevant 28 part, that a defendant may remove to federal court a civil action in state court of 2 1 which the federal court has original jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Section 2 1331 provides that federal “district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil 3 actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.” See 4 id. § 1331. 5 Here, the Court’s review of the Notice of Removal and attached Complaint, 6 makes clear that this Court does not have federal question jurisdiction over the 7 instant matter under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. First, there is no federal question apparent 8 from the face of the Complaint, which appears to allege only a simple unlawful 9 detainer cause of action. See Wescom Credit Union v. Dudley, No. CV 10-8203 10 GAF (SSx), 2010 WL 4916578, *2 (C.D.Cal. Nov. 22, 2010) (“An unlawful 11 detainer action does not arise under federal law.”) (citation omitted); IndyMac 12 Federal Bank, F.S.B. v. Ocampo, No. EDCV 09-2337 PA(DTBx), 2010 WL 13 234828, at *2 (C.D.Cal. Jan. 13, 2010) (remanding an action to state court for lack 14 of subject matter jurisdiction where plaintiff’s complaint contained only an 15 unlawful detainer claim). 16 Second, there is no merit to Defendant’s contention that federal question 17 jurisdiction exists because Defendant’s Answer raises issues arising under RESPA. 18 Removal at 2. It is well settled that a “case may not be removed to federal court on 19 the basis of a federal defense . . . even if the defense is anticipated in the plaintiff’s 20 complaint, and even if both parties concede that the federal defense is the only 21 question truly at issue.” Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 393, 107 S.Ct. 22 2425, 2430, 96 L.Ed.2d 318 (1987). Thus, to the extent Defendant’s defenses to the 23 unlawful detainer action are based on alleged violations of federal law, those 24 defenses do not provide a basis for federal question jurisdiction. See id. Because 25 Plaintiff’s complaint does not present a federal question, either on its face or as 26 artfully pled, the court lacks jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. 27 /// 28 III. 3 CONCLUSION 1 2 3 4 5 6 Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that this case is REMANDED to the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, forthwith. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant’s Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis is DENIED as moot. IT IS SO ORDERED. 7 8 DATED: June 29, 2017 ________________________________________ 9 BEVERLY REID O’CONNELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 10 11 12 13 14 Presented by: ________________________________________ ROZELLA A. OLIVER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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