City of Sacramento v. Altstatt

Filing 3

ORDER to SHOW CAUSE signed by Magistrate Judge Deborah Barnes on 10/17/16 ORDERING that within twenty-one days of the date of this order defendant shall show cause in writing as to why this action should not be summarily remanded to the Sacramento County Superior Court due to a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (Becknal, R)

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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 CITY OF SACRAMENTO, 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 v. No. 2:16-cv-2449 GEB DB PS ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE DANIEL J. ALTSTATT, 15 Defendant. 16 17 On October 13, 2016, defendant Daniel Altstatt filed a notice of removal of this action 18 from the Sacramento County Superior Court. Defendant Altstatt is proceeding pro se. 19 Accordingly, the matter has been referred to the undersigned for all purposes encompassed by 20 Local Rule 302(c)(21). 21 Jurisdiction is a threshold inquiry that must precede the adjudication of any case before 22 the district court. Morongo Band of Mission Indians v. Cal. State Bd. of Equalization, 858 F.2d 23 1376, 1380 (9th Cir. 1988). Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and may adjudicate 24 only those cases authorized by federal law. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 25 377 (1994); Willy v. Coastal Corp., 503 U.S. 131, 136-37 (1992). “Federal courts are presumed 26 to lack jurisdiction, ‘unless the contrary appears affirmatively from the record.’” Casey v. Lewis, 27 4 F.3d 1516, 1519 (9th Cir. 1993) (quoting Bender v. Williamsport Area Sch. Dist., 475 U.S. 534, 28 546 (1986)). 1 1 Lack of subject matter jurisdiction may be raised by the court at any time during the 2 proceedings. Attorneys Trust v. Videotape Computer Prods., Inc., 93 F.3d 593, 594-95 (9th Cir. 3 1996). A federal court “ha[s] an independent obligation to address sua sponte whether [it] has 4 subject-matter jurisdiction.” Dittman v. California, 191 F.3d 1020, 1025 (9th Cir. 1999). It is the 5 obligation of the district court “to be alert to jurisdictional requirements.” Grupo Dataflux v. 6 Atlas Global Group, L.P., 541 U.S. 567, 593 (2004). Without jurisdiction, the district court 7 cannot decide the merits of a case or order any relief. See Morongo, 858 F.2d at 1380. 8 9 It is well established that the statutes governing removal jurisdiction must be “strictly construed against removal.” Libhart v. Santa Monica Dairy Co., 592 F.2d 1062, 1064 (9th Cir. 10 1979) (citing Shamrock Oil & Gas Corp. v. Sheets, 313 U.S. 100, 108 (1941)); see also Syngenta 11 Crop Prot., Inc. v. Henson, 537 U.S. 28, 32 (2002); Provincial Gov’t of Martinduque v. Placer 12 Dome, Inc., 582 F.3d 1083, 1087 (9th Cir. 2009). “Federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there 13 is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance.” Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 14 566 (9th Cir. 1992). “‘The burden of establishing federal jurisdiction falls on the party invoking 15 removal.’” Harris v. Provident Life & Accident Ins. Co., 26 F.3d 930, 932 (9th Cir. 1994) 16 (quoting Gould v. Mut. Life Ins. Co., 790 F.2d 769, 771 (9th Cir.1986)); see also Provincial 17 Gov’t of Martinduque, 582 F.3d at 1087. 18 The basic federal jurisdiction statutes are 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1332, which confer 19 “federal question” and “diversity” jurisdiction, respectively. Federal jurisdiction may also be 20 conferred by federal statutes regulating specific subject matter. “[T]he existence of federal 21 jurisdiction depends solely on the plaintiff’s claims for relief and not on anticipated defenses to 22 those claims.” ARCO Envtl. Remediation, LLC v. Dep’t of Health & Envtl. Quality, 213 F.3d 23 1108, 1113 (9th Cir. 2000). 24 District courts have diversity jurisdiction only over “all civil actions where the matter in 25 controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs,” and the action 26 is between: “(1) citizens of different States; (2) citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a 27 foreign state; (3) citizens of different States and in which citizens or subjects of a foreign state are 28 additional parties; and (4) a foreign state . . . as plaintiff and citizens of a State or of different 2 1 States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332. “To demonstrate citizenship for diversity purposes a party must (a) be 2 a citizen of the United States, and (b) be domiciled in a state of the United States.” Lew v. Moss, 3 797 F.2d 747, 749 (9th Cir. 1986). “Diversity jurisdiction requires complete diversity between 4 the parties-each defendant must be a citizen of a different state from each plaintiff.” In re 5 Digimarc Corp. Derivative Litigation, 549 F.3d 1223, 1234 (9th Cir. 2008). Here, it appears that plaintiff’s complaint asserts only state law causes of action. (ECF 6 7 No. 1 at 18.) Moreover, although defendant alleges that he “is a ‘foreign state’” because he 8 “sojourns upon the lands within the lands within the territorial jurisdiction of the court,” it 9 appears that defendant and plaintiff are both citizens of the State of California. (ECF No. 1 at 4, 10 11 20.) Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that within twenty-one days of the date of this 12 order defendant shall show cause in writing as to why this action should not be summarily 13 remanded to the Sacramento County Superior Court due to a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. 14 Dated: October 17, 2016 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 DLB:6 DLB1\ se\ 26 27 28 3

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