HSBC Bank USA v. Kieu

Filing 16

ORDER DENYING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AND REMANDING CASE. Signed by Judge Jeffrey S. White on 7/20/10. (jjoS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/20/2010)

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HSBC Bank USA v. Kieu Doc. 16 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA HSBC BANK USA, Plaintiff, v. KENNY KIEU, Defendant. / ORDER DENYING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS AND REMANDING CASE No. C 10-02158 JSW United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 On May 19, 2010, Defendant Kenny Kieu filed a notice of removal and an application to proceed in forma pauperis. For the reasons set forth in the remainder of this Order, the Court HEREBY DENIES Defendant's application to proceed in forma pauperis and REMANDS this action to the Santa Clara County Superior Court. On February 23, 2010, Plaintiff filed a complaint for unlawful detainer in Santa Clara County Superior Court against Defendant (the "State Court action"). (See Notice of Removal.) Defendant removed the State Court action on the basis that jurisdiction is premised upon a federal question. (See Notice of Removal.) "[A]ny civil action brought in a State court of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant ... to the district court of the United States for the district and division embracing the place where such action is pending." Franchise Tax Bd. v. Constr. Laborers Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 7-8 (1983) (citation omitted); see also 28 U.S.C. 1441. However, federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. See, e.g., Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). Accordingly, the burden of Dockets.Justia.com 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 establishing federal jurisdiction for purposes of removal is on the party seeking removal, and the removal statute is strictly construed against removal jurisdiction. Valdez v. Allstate Ins. Co., 372 F.3d 1115, 1117 (9th Cir. 2004); see also Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). "Federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance." Gaus, 980 F.2d at 566. "The presence or absence of federal-question jurisdiction is governed by the `wellpleaded complaint rule.'" Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 382, 392 (1987). The wellpleaded complaint rule recognizes that the plaintiff is the master of his or her claim. "[H]e or she may avoid federal jurisdiction by exclusive reliance on state law." Id. Thus, under the well-pleaded complaint rule, federal-question jurisdiction arises where the "complaint establishes either that federal law creates the cause of action or that the plaintiff's right to relief necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question of federal law." Franchise Tax Bd., 463 U.S. 1, 27-28 (1983). The State Court action is an unlawful detainer action and, thus, federal law does not create the cause of action. Moreover, the Court concludes that the claim will not necessarily depend upon the resolution of a substantial question of federal law, because Plaintiff need not prove compliance with the federal law relied upon by Defendants to establish its claim. See, e.g., Grable & Sons Metal Prods. v. Darue Eng. & Mfg., 545 U.S. 308, 314-15 (2005). Furthermore, a court cannot exercise removal jurisdiction on the ground that the complaint gives rise to a potential or an anticipated defense that might raise a federal question, even if the defense is the only question truly at issue in the case. Franchise Tax Board, 463 U.S. at 10, 14; see also Caterpillar, 482 U.S. at 393 ("[I]t is now settled law that a case may not be removed to federal court on the basis of a federal defense, including the defense of preemption, even if the defense is anticipated in the plaintiff's complaint, and even if both parties concede that the federal defense is the only question truly at issue.") (emphasis in original). Therefore, the Court finds that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear this matter and must remand to the state court. See 28 U.S.C. 1447(c); see also Maniar v. FDIC, 979 F.2d 782, 785 (9th Cir. 1992). 2 United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Accordingly, the Court REMANDS this case to Alameda County Superior Court. The Court DENIES Defendant's application to proceed in forma pauperis. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: July 20, 2010 JEFFREY S. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 HSBC BANK USA, Plaintiff, v. KENNY KIEU et al, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA Case Number: CV10-02158 JSW CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Defendant. / United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 I, the undersigned, hereby certify that I am an employee in the Office of the Clerk, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. That on July 20, 2010, I SERVED a true and correct copy(ies) of the attached, by placing said copy(ies) in a postage paid envelope addressed to the person(s) hereinafter listed, by depositing said envelope in the U.S. Mail, or by placing said copy(ies) into an inter-office delivery receptacle located in the Clerk's office. Kenny Kieu 493 Verano Court San Jose, CA 95111 Dated: July 20, 2010 Richard W. Wieking, Clerk By: Jennifer Ottolini, Deputy Clerk

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