(UD)(PS) Fang v. Coleman

Filing 3

ORDER signed by Chief District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on 6/6/2024 REMANDING CASE to Sacramento County Superior Court and DENYING 2 Motion to Proceed IFP as moot. Certified copy of remand order sent to other court. CASE CLOSED. (Clemente Licea, O)

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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 Xiaoyan Fan, No. 2:24-cv-01579-KJM-AC 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 ORDER v. Jacqueline Coleman, 15 Defendant. 16 17 Defendant Jacqueline Coleman removed this unlawful detainer action from Sacramento 18 County Superior Court. Removal Notice, ECF No. 1. Coleman also filed a motion to proceed in 19 forma pauperis. Mot., ECF No. 2. For the reasons set forth below, the court remands the case to 20 the Sacramento Superior Court and denies as moot the motion to proceed in forma pauperis. 21 I. SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION 22 A. Legal Standard 23 When a case “of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction” is 24 initially brought in state court, a defendant may remove it to federal court. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). 25 There are two primary bases for federal subject matter jurisdiction: (1) federal question 26 jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and (2) diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.§ 1332. 27 28 Under § 1331, district courts have federal question jurisdiction over “all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Under 1 1 the longstanding well-pleaded complaint rule, a suit “arises under” federal law “only when the 2 plaintiff’s statement of his own cause of action shows that it is based upon [federal law].” 3 Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Mottley, 211 U.S. 149, 152 (1908). Federal question jurisdiction 4 cannot rest upon an actual or anticipated defense or counterclaim. Vaden v. Discover Bank, 5 556 U.S. 49, 60 (2009). 6 Under § 1332, district courts have diversity-of-citizenship jurisdiction where the amount 7 in controversy exceeds $75,000 and the parties are in complete diversity. 28 U.S.C. § 1332. 8 “Where it is not facially evident from the complaint that more than $75,000 is in controversy, the 9 removing party must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the amount in controversy 10 meets the jurisdictional threshold.” Matheson v. Progressive Specialty Ins. Co., 319 F.3d 1089, 11 1090 (9th Cir. 2003) (per curiam). 12 A federal district court may remand a case sua sponte where a defendant has not 13 established federal jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) (“If at any time before final judgment it 14 appears that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded[.]”); 15 Emrich v. Touche Ross & Co., 846 F.2d 1190, 1195 (9th Cir. 1988) (citing Wilson v. Republic 16 Iron & Steel Co., 257 U.S. 92, 97 (1921)). 17 B. Discussion 18 Coleman asserts this court has federal question jurisdiction and removal is therefore 19 proper. Removal Notice at 2. However, a review of the documents attached to the notice do not 20 sufficiently establish this court has such jurisdiction. See Emrich, 846 F.2d at 1195 (“The burden 21 of establishing federal jurisdiction is upon the party seeking removal” (citation omitted)). 22 Coleman argues this court has federal question jurisdiction because this action arises under 23 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and involves the deprivation of the right to secure housing without 24 discrimination. Removal Notice at 2. However, Coleman’s answer or counterclaim cannot serve 25 as the basis for federal question jurisdiction. Vaden, 556 U.S. at 60. Additionally, while the 26 removal notice does not provide clarity on the exact allegations in the complaint, it appears the 27 complaint only sets forth an unlawful detainer claim, which is a matter of state law. Id. at 6; see 28 PNC Bank Nat’l Ass’n v. Ahluwalia, No. 15-01264, 2015 WL 3866892, at *4 (N.D. Cal. June 22, 2 1 2015) (“Unlawful-detainer claims do not arise under federal law and, without more, the court 2 lacks federal-question jurisdiction.”) (collecting cases). Finally, Coleman neither presents 3 argument nor provides any evidence to show diversity jurisdiction exists. 4 Accordingly, because Coleman has not adequately established a basis for the court’s 5 subject matter jurisdiction, the court remands the case. See Emrich, 846 F.2d at 1195; 28 U.S.C. 6 § 1447(c). 7 II. 8 9 REQUEST TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS Because the court has determined sua sponte it lacks subject matter jurisdiction and remands the case to the Sacramento County Superior Court, it denies Coleman’s motion for in 10 forma pauperis status as moot. 11 III. 12 13 CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons, this action is remanded to Sacramento County Superior Court and Coleman’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis is denied as moot. 14 This order resolves ECF No. 2. 15 IT IS SO ORDERED. 16 DATED: June 6, 2024. 17 3

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