Deutsche Bank National Trust Company v. Cho, et al.

Filing 2

ORDER signed by District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr., on 7/11/17, ORDERING that this action is REMANDED to the Solano County Superior Court. The Clerk is directed to serve a certified copy of the order on the Clerk of the Solano County Superior Court. The Clerk is ordered not to open another case removing the following unlawful detainer action: No. FCM154163. CASE CLOSED (Kastilahn, A)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 13 14 15 DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY, AS TRUSTEE, IN TRUST FOR THE REGISTERED HOLDERS OF MORGAN STANLEY ABS CAPITAL I INC. TRUST 2004-WMC3, MORTGAGE PASS-THROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2004WMC3, 18 19 ORDER Plaintiff, 16 17 Case No.: 2:17-cv-01357-MCE-DB-PS v. JUNG HYUN CHO, JOANNE CHO AKA JOANN CHO, And DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, Defendants. 20 21 On April 24, 2017, Defendant JUNG HYUN CHO, proceeding in pro se, filed a 22 Notice of Removal of this unlawful detainer action from the Solano County Superior 23 Court.1 ECF No. 1. This Court has an independent duty to ascertain its jurisdiction and 24 may remand sua sponte for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). 25 26 “The burden of establishing federal jurisdiction is on the party seeking removal, and the removal statute is strictly construed against removal jurisdiction.” Emrich v. Touche 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 Ross & Co., 846 F.2d 1190, 1195 (9th Cir. 1988) (internal citation omitted). “Federal 2 jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first 3 instance.” Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). As explained below, 4 Defendant has failed to meet that burden. 5 The Notice of Removal is premised on the argument that this Court has diversity 6 jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Defendant fails to demonstrate, however, that the 7 citizenship of the parties is diverse as required by the statute. Moreover, even if Plaintiff 8 could show the requisite diversity, he cannot show that the amount in controversy 9 exceeds the sum of $75,000 as also required by § 1332. Indeed, examination of 10 Plaintiff’s Complaint shows that it is an unlawful detainer complaint whose demand is 11 specifically limited at less than $10,000. Consequently, the requirements for diversity 12 jurisdiction have not and cannot be satisfied in this case. 13 In addition, while Defendant also appears to invoke federal jurisdiction under 18 14 U.S.C. § 1031, a review of the Complaint reveals that Plaintiff does not allege any 15 federal claims; instead, Plaintiff alleges only unlawful detainer under state law. ECF No. 16 1 at 9-12. 17 “The presence or absence of federal-question jurisdiction is governed by the ‘well- 18 pleaded complaint rule,’ which provides that federal jurisdiction exists only when a 19 federal question is presented on the fact of plaintiff’s properly pleaded complaint.” 20 Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987). This is the case where the 21 complaint “establishes either that [1] federal law creates the cause of action or that [2] 22 the plaintiff’s right to relief necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question of 23 federal law.” Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Co. v. An Exclusive Gas Storage 24 Leasehold & Easement, 524 F.3d 1090, 1100 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting Franchise Tax Bd. 25 v. Constr. Laborers Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 27-28 (1983)). 26 Here, Plaintiff’s sole claim is for unlawful detainer under state law. At most, 27 Defendant argues that she has a defense under federal law. “A case may not be 28 removed to federal court on the basis of a federal defense . . . even if the defense is 2 1 anticipated in the plaintiff’s complaint, and even if both parties admit that the defense is 2 the only question truly at issue in the case.” ARCO Envtl. Remediation, LLC v. Dep’t. of 3 Health & Envtl. Quality of the State of Montana, 213 F.3d 1108, 1113 (9th Cir. 2000) 4 (citation and quotation marks omitted). Therefore, this Court lacks jurisdiction under 28 5 U.S.C. §§ 1331 as well. 6 Accordingly: 7 1. The action is REMANDED to the Solano County Superior Court. 8 2. The Clerk of Court is directed to serve a certified copy of the order on the 9 10 Clerk of the Solano County Superior Court, and reference the state case number (No. FCM154163) in the proof of service. 11 3. The Clerk of Court is directed to close this case and vacate all dates. 12 4. The Clerk of the Court is ordered not to open another case removing the 13 14 15 following unlawful detainer action: No. FCM154163. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: July 11, 2017 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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