Federal Home Loan and Mortgage Corporation v. Whitesel et al

Filing 18

ORDER REMANDING ACTION, Order by Hon. William Alsup granting 12 Motion to Remand.(whalc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/3/2011)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 9 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 FEDERAL HOME LOAN AND MORTGAGE CORPORATION, Plaintiff, 12 13 14 15 ORDER REMANDING ACTION v. RONALD D. WHITESEL and THERESA J. TAYLOR, Defendants. / 16 17 No. C 11-03737 WHA Plaintiff filed this unlawful detainer action in March 2011, in the Superior Court for the 18 State of California in and for the County of Lake (Dkt. No. 1 at 5). In July 2011, defendants 19 removed the action to this district court, citing federal-question jurisdiction as the supposed basis 20 for removal (Dkt. No. 1 at 2–3). In October 2011, defendants failed to oppose plaintiff’s motion 21 to remand the action and thereafter were ordered to show cause why this action should not be 22 remanded for lack of jurisdiction. Defendants were warned that if they did not file a response or 23 if their response failed to establish jurisdiction, then the action might be remanded to the court 24 from which it was removed (Dkt. No. 16). The deadline for filing a response was November 1; 25 no filing was made. Defendants also failed to appear at the November 3 initial case 26 management conference. 27 28 “[T]he defendant always has the burden of establishing that removal is proper.” Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). Here, defendants’ notice of removal asserted 1 federal-question jurisdiction under two theories. Neither was valid. First, the removal notice 2 stated that “[t]he complaint presents federal questions.” It did not, however, elaborate on this 3 theory or identify any such issue (Dkt. No. 1 at 2). The complaint asserted only one cause of 4 action — unlawful detainer. As such, it “presents no federal question.” Fort Mojave Tribe v. 5 Lafollete, 478 F.2d 1016, 1018 n.3 (9th Cir. 1973). Second, the removal notice asserted that 6 “[f]ederal question jurisdiction exists because Defendants’ demurrer, a pleading, Depend [sic] on 7 the determination of Defendants’ rights and the Planiff’s [sic] duties under federal law” 8 (Dkt. No. 1 at 3). Federal question jurisdiction may arise only from the face of the complaint, not 9 from any responsive pleading. Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987). Thus, the 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 demurrer cannot establish federal-question jurisdiction. Although this action was removed on the supposed basis of federal-question jurisdiction, 12 defendants have not met their burden of showing that federal-question jurisdiction exists. 13 Defendants also have not established diversity jurisdiction, because the amount-in-controversy 14 requirement is not met (see Dkt. No. 1 at 5). See 28 U.S.C. 1332(a). Because defendants have 15 failed to establish federal jurisdiction, this action is REMANDED to the state court in which it was 16 filed. The Clerk SHALL FORWARD THE FILE to the Superior Court for the State of California in 17 and for the County of Lake 18 19 IT IS SO ORDERED. 20 21 Dated: November 3, 2011. WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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