Aurora Loan Services LLC v. Tunales

Filing 8

ORDER by Judge Edward M. Chen Granting 4 Plaintiff's Motion to Remand. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service) (emcsec, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/23/2011)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 8 AURORA LOAN SERVICES LLC, 9 Plaintiff, ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO REMAND v. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 No. C-11-2084 EMC MARIA TUNALES, 12 Defendant. ___________________________________/ (Docket No. 4) 13 14 15 Plaintiff Aurora Loan Services LLC (“Aurora”) initiated this unlawful detainer action against 16 Defendant Maria Tunales in state court. Subsequently, Ms. Tunales removed the case to federal 17 court. Aurora then filed the currently pending motion to remand, which the Court set for hearing on 18 July 8, 2011. Ms. Tunales failed to file an opposition to the motion to remand. Accordingly, the 19 Court rules on the motion on the basis of Aurora’s papers alone. Having considered those papers, as 20 well as all other evidence of record, the Court concludes that remand is appropriate and accordingly 21 GRANTS the motion to remand. 22 23 I. DISCUSSION In its motion to remand, Aurora argues that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over 24 the case. The Court agrees. Title 28 U.S.C. § 1441 allows a defendant to remove only cases in 25 which the federal court has original jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, a 26 federal court has subject matter jurisdiction over “all civil actions arising under the Constitution, 27 laws, or treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, a federal court 28 also has subject matter jurisdiction when each of the plaintiffs is a citizen of a different state from 1 each of the defendants (i.e., when there is “complete diversity”) and the amount in controversy 2 exceeds $75,000. 3 In the instant case, Ms. Tunales indicated in her notice of removal that there is federal 4 question jurisdiction -- i.e., because Aurora is bringing claims under the Fair Debt Collection 5 Practices Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, and the Truth in Lending Act. The 6 complaint, however, establishes that Aurora is bringing only a claim for unlawful detainer, which is 7 a claim based in state law, not federal law. To the extent Ms. Tunales suggests in her notice of 8 removal that Aurora has violated her constitutional rights (and thus has a claim against Aurora), the 9 existence of federal question jurisdiction depends solely on the plaintiff’s claims for relief and not on anticipated defenses to those claims or on any counterclaims asserted by the defendant. See 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 Holmes Group, Inc. v. Vornado Air Circulation Sys., 535 U.S. 826, 830-32 (2002); ARCO Envtl. 12 Remediation, L.L.C. v. Department of Health & Envtl. Quality of St. of Mont., 213 F.3d 1108, 1113 13 (9th Cir. 2000). 14 Finally, the Court notes that, although Ms. Tunales did not claim in her notice of removal 15 that there is diversity jurisdiction over the instant case, it has evaluated the complaint nonetheless to 16 determine whether diversity jurisdiction is plausible. The Court sees no basis for diversity 17 jurisdiction because diversity jurisdiction requires not only that there must be complete diversity in 18 citizenship but also that the amount in controversy exceed $75,000. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Here, 19 the face of the complaint indicates that Aurora seeks less than $10,000. Moreover, there is no other 20 indication that the damages sought by Aurora would exceed $75,000, especially since, as stated in 21 the complaint, Aurora asks for only $50 in damages per day as of April 15, 2011. 22 /// 23 /// 24 /// 25 /// 26 /// 27 /// 28 /// 2 1 2 II. CONCLUSION Accordingly, the Court concludes that it does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the 3 instant case and remands the case to the state court. See, e.g., Washington v. Municipal Court, No. 4 C-99-0568 MHP, 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2993 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 15, 1999) (remanding case to state 5 court because federal court could not exercise jurisdiction over state law claims for eviction and 6 unlawful detainer). This order disposes of Docket No. 4. The hearing on July 8, 2011, is hereby 7 VACATED. 8 9 IT IS SO ORDERED. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 Dated: June 23, 2010 12 _________________________ EDWARD M. CHEN United States District Judge 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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