The Bank of New York Mellon v. Soriano et al

Filing 18

ORDER by Judge Edward M. Chen Granting 13 Plaintiff's Motion to Remand. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service). (emcsec, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/21/2012)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 8 THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON, 9 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 No. C-12-1193 EMC Plaintiff, v. ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO REMAND MARCELINO SORIANO, et al., (Docket No. 13) 12 Defendants. 13 ___________________________________/ 14 15 Plaintiff the Bank of New York Mellon (the “Bank”) initiated this unlawful detainer action in 16 state court. Defendants Marcelino and Alegria Soriano subsequently removed the case to federal 17 court. Currently pending before this Court is the Bank’s motion to remand the case back to the state 18 court from which it was removed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Having considered the 19 papers submitted, the Court hereby GRANTS the motion to remand. 20 21 I. DISCUSSION The Bank filed a motion to remand, asserting lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Court 22 agrees subject matter jurisdiction is lacking. In their notice of removal, the Sorianos asserted that 23 there is federal question jurisdiction because the Bank has violated their due process rights; 24 however, federal question jurisdiction depends on the contents of the plaintiff’s well-pleaded 25 complaint and may not be predicated on the defendant’s counterclaims. See Holmes Group, Inc. v. 26 Vornado Air Circulation Systems, Inc., 535 U.S. 826 (2002). 27 Moreover, contrary to what the Sorianos argue, the Court sees no basis for diversity 28 jurisdiction because diversity jurisdiction requires not only that there must be complete diversity in 1 citizenship but also that the amount in controversy exceed $75,000. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Here, 2 the Sorianos have not made any showing that the damages sought by the Bank would exceed that 3 amount, and it is unlikely that that would be the case given that, on the face of the complaint, the 4 Bank seeks only $44.60 in damages per day as of February 15, 2012, for a total not to exceed 5 $10,000 (as reflected in the caption). See Docket No. 2 (Compl. ¶ 10). The Sorianos contend that 6 their damages exceed $75,000, see Docket No. 3 (Marcelino Soriano Decl. ¶ 1) (stating that he seeks 7 more than $500,000 in damages); see also Docket No. 1 (Not. of Removal ¶ 7) (indicating that the 8 residence at issue is worth more than $75,000), but, as noted above, subject matter jurisdiction 9 depends on the plaintiff’s claims and not the defendant’s counterclaims. Moreover, the fact that the property at issue may be worth more than $75,000 is irrelevant. If the Bank prevails in its action, 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 the Sorianos’ “liability will be measured by the fair rental value of the property for the time [they] 12 unlawfully occupied it.” Bank United v. Peters, No. C 11-1756 PJH, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54884, 13 at *4 (N.D. Cal. May 23, 2011) (also stating that “the amount in controversy is not the assessed 14 value or the sales value of the property”). 15 Accordingly, the Court remands the case to the state court from which it was removed. Any 16 argument that the Sorianos have that the foreclosure was improper should be made before the state 17 court, which has jurisdiction over the case, and not this Court. 18 II. CONCLUSION 19 For the foregoing reasons, the Court grants the Bank’s motion to remand. 20 The Clerk of the Court is directed to enter judgment in accordance with this order and close 21 22 the file in the case. This order disposes of Docket No. 13. 23 24 IT IS SO ORDERED. 25 26 Dated: May 21, 2012 27 _________________________ EDWARD M. CHEN United States District Judge 28 2

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