Housing Authority of the County of Sacramento

Filing 3

ORDER signed by District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr on 4/6/17 ORDERING the action is REMANDED to the Sacramento County Superior Court; Defendant's Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis 2 is DENIED as moot; the Clerk is ordered not to open another case removing the following unlawful detainer action: No. 17UD00777. Copy of remand order sent to other court. CASE CLOSED (Becknal, R)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO, Plaintiff, 13 14 15 Case No.: 2:17-cv-00739-MCE-AC-PS ORDER v. SHARONDA JOHNSON, and Does 1 through 20, inclusive, 16 Defendants. 17 18 On April 6, 2017, Defendant SHARONDA JOHNSON, proceeding in pro se, filed 19 a Notice of Removal of this unlawful detainer action from the Sacramento County 20 Superior Court.1 ECF No. 1. This Court has an independent duty to ascertain its 21 jurisdiction and may remand sua sponte for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 22 U.S.C. § 1447(c). “The burden of establishing federal jurisdiction is on the party seeking 23 removal, and the removal statute is strictly construed against removal jurisdiction.” 24 Emrich v. Touche Ross & Co., 846 F.2d 1190, 1195 (9th Cir. 1988) (internal citation 25 omitted). “Federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of 26 removal in the first instance.” Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). As 27 1 28 Despite Defendant’s pro se status, the undersigned revokes any actual or anticipated referral to a Magistrate Judge. See E.D. Cal. Local R. 302(c)(21). 1 1 explained below, Defendant has failed to meet that burden. 2 The Notice of Removal is premised on the argument that this Court has federal 3 question jurisdiction pursuant to, inter alia, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1441(a) or (b). 4 However, a review of the Complaint reveals that Plaintiff does not allege any federal 5 claims; instead, Plaintiff alleges only unlawful detainer under state law. ECF No. 1 at 8- 6 10. 7 “The presence or absence of federal-question jurisdiction is governed by the ‘well- 8 pleaded complaint rule,’ which provides that federal jurisdiction exists only when a 9 federal question is presented on the fact of plaintiff’s properly pleaded complaint.” 10 Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987). This is the case where the 11 complaint “establishes either that [1] federal law creates the cause of action or that [2] 12 the plaintiff’s right to relief necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question of 13 federal law.” Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Co. v. An Exclusive Gas Storage 14 Leasehold & Easement, 524 F.3d 1090, 1100 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting Franchise Tax Bd. 15 v. Constr. Laborers Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 27-28 (1983)). 16 Here, Plaintiff’s sole claim is for unlawful detainer under state law. At most, 17 Defendant argues that she has a defense under federal law. “A case may not be 18 removed to federal court on the basis of a federal defense . . . even if the defense is 19 anticipated in the plaintiff’s complaint, and even if both parties admit that the defense is 20 the only question truly at issue in the case.” ARCO Envtl. Remediation, LLC v. Dep’t. of 21 Health & Envtl. Quality of the State of Montana, 213 F.3d 1108, 1113 (9th Cir. 2000) 22 (citation and quotation marks omitted). Therefore, this Court lacks jurisdiction under 28 23 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1441(a) or (b). 24 Accordingly: 25 1. The action is REMANDED to the Sacramento County Superior Court. 26 2. The Clerk of Court is directed to serve a certified copy of the order on the 27 Clerk of the Sacramento County Superior Court, and reference the state case 28 number (No. 17UD00777) in the proof of service. 2 1 2 3. Defendant’s Motion to Proceed in Forma Pauperis (ECF No. 2) is DENIED as moot. 3 4. The Clerk of Court is directed to close this case and vacate all dates. 4 5. The Clerk of the Court is ordered not to open another case removing the 5 6 7 following unlawful detainer action: No. 17UD00777. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: April 6, 2017 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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