Dallin, LLC v. Jenkins

Filing 3

FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS signed by Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan on 9/8/14 Recommending that the above-captioned case be REMANDED to the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of Sacramento re 1 . These Findings and Recommendations are submitted to U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller; Objections to these F&R due within fourteen days. (Mena-Sanchez, L)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 DALLIN, LLC, 12 13 14 No. 2:14-cv-2039-KJM-EFB PS Plaintiff, v. FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS CHRISTINE JENKINS, 15 Defendant. 16 17 On September 3, 2014, defendant, proceeding pro se, filed a notice of removal of this 18 unlawful detainer action from the Superior Court of the State of California for Sacramento 19 County. ECF No. 1.1 This case is before the undersigned in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 20 § 636(b)(1) and Eastern District of California Local Rule 302(c)(21). 21 This court has an independent duty to ascertain its jurisdiction and may remand sua sponte 22 for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). “The burden of establishing 23 federal jurisdiction is on the party seeking removal, and the removal statute is strictly construed 24 against removal jurisdiction.” Emrich v. Touche Ross & Co., 846 F.2d 1190, 1195 (9th Cir. 25 1988). “Federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the 26 27 28 1 Also on September 3, 2014, defendant filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. ECF No. 2. However, in light of the recommendation herein that this action be remanded for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, defendant’s request to proceed in forma pauperis will not be addressed. 1 1 first instance.” Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). As explained below, 2 defendant has failed to meet the burden. 3 The notice of removal states that this court has federal question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 4 U.S.C. § 1331. ECF. No. 1 at 2-3. Defendant claims the answer she filed in the state court rests 5 upon a “determination of Defendant’s rights and Plaintiff’s duties under federal law.” Id. 6 However, a review of the complaint reveals that plaintiff does not allege any federal claims; 7 instead, plaintiff alleges only unlawful detainer under state law. ECF No. 1 at 6-10 (Compl.). 8 The presence or absence of federal question jurisdiction “is governed by the ‘well-pleaded 9 complaint rule,’ which provides that federal jurisdiction exists only when a federal question is 10 presented on the face of plaintiff’s properly pleaded complaint.” Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 11 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987). This is the case where the complaint “establishes either that [1] federal 12 law creates the cause of action or that [2] the plaintiff's right to relief necessarily depends on 13 resolution of a substantial question of federal law.” Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Co. v. An 14 Exclusive Gas Storage Leasehold & Easement, 524 F.3d 1090, 1100 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting 15 Franchise Tax Bd. v. Constr. Laborers Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 27-28 (1983)). Here, 16 plaintiff’s one cause of action is for unlawful detainer under state law, and under the well-pleaded 17 complaint rule, a defendants’ claims or defenses may not serve as a basis for removal.2 See 18 Takeda v. Nw. Nat’l Life Ins. Co., 765 F.2d 815, 822 (9th Cir. 1985). 19 Therefore, because defendant has not adequately established a basis for this court’s 20 subject matter jurisdiction, the case must be remanded. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). 21 ///// 22 ///// 23 24 25 26 27 28 2 Nor has defendant established that this court has diversity jurisdiction, since the notice of removal does not establish diversity of the parties or that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, nor does it appear that removal by defendant would be proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b), which permits removal in diversity cases only when “none of the parties in interest properly joined and served as defendants is a citizen of the State in which such action is brought.” See also Fed. Home Loan Mortg. Corp. v. Cantillano, 2012 WL 1193613, at *2 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 9, 2012) (“The appropriate dollar amount in determining the amount of controversy in unlawful detainer actions is the rental value of the property, not the value of the property as a whole.”). 2 1 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY RECOMMENDED that the above-captioned case be 2 REMANDED to the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of 3 Sacramento. 4 These findings and recommendations are submitted to the United States District Judge 5 assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within fourteen days 6 after being served with these findings and recommendations, any party may file written 7 objections with the court and serve a copy on all parties. Such a document should be captioned 8 “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s Findings and Recommendations.” Any reply to the objections 9 shall be served and filed within fourteen days after service of the objections. Failure to file 10 objections within the specified time may waive the right to appeal the District Court’s order. 11 Turner v. Duncan, 158 F.3d 449, 455 (9th Cir. 1998); Martinez v. Ylst, 951 F.2d 1153, 1157 (9th 12 Cir. 1991). 13 DATED: September 8, 2014. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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