Bank of America, N.A. v. Lozada

Filing 8

ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND REMANDING ACTION. Signed by Judge Jeffrey S. White on 4/9/13. (jjoS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/9/2013)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 BANK OF AMERICA, 10 Plaintiff, 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 9 12 13 No. C 12-06023 JSW v. RUBY LOZADA, ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND REMANDING ACTION Defendant. / 14 15 On November 27, 2012, Defendant Ruby Lozada, proceeding pro se, filed a notice of 16 removal and an application to proceed in forma pauperis. Without consent, on March 11, 2013, 17 this matter was reassigned to the undersigned from Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James with a 18 Report and Recommendation to remand this action. The undersigned has received no 19 objections. For the reasons set forth in the remainder of this Order, the Court HEREBY 20 REMANDS this action to the Solano County Superior Court. 21 On May 14, 2012, Plaintiff filed a complaint for unlawful detainer in Solano County 22 Superior Court against Defendant (the “State Court action”). (See Notice of Removal.) 23 Defendant removed the State Court action on the basis that jurisdiction is premised upon a 24 federal question. (See Notice of Removal.) “[A]ny civil action brought in a State court of 25 which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the 26 defendant ... to the district court of the United States for the district and division embracing the 27 place where such action is pending.” Franchise Tax Bd. v. Constr. Laborers Vacation Trust, 28 463 U.S. 1, 7-8 (1983) (citation omitted); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1441. 1 However, federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. See, e.g., Kokkonen v. 2 Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). Accordingly, the burden of 3 establishing federal jurisdiction for purposes of removal is on the party seeking removal, and 4 the removal statute is strictly construed against removal jurisdiction. Valdez v. Allstate Ins. Co., 5 372 F.3d 1115, 1117 (9th Cir. 2004); see also Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 6 1992). “Federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in 7 the first instance.” Gaus, 980 F.2d at 566. 8 “The presence or absence of federal-question jurisdiction is governed by the ‘well- pleaded complaint rule recognizes that the plaintiff is the master of his or her claim. “[H]e or 11 For the Northern District of California pleaded complaint rule.’” Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 382, 392 (1987). The well- 10 United States District Court 9 she may avoid federal jurisdiction by exclusive reliance on state law.” Id. Thus, under the 12 well-pleaded complaint rule, federal-question jurisdiction arises where the “complaint 13 establishes either that federal law creates the cause of action or that the plaintiff’s right to relief 14 necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question of federal law.” Franchise Tax Bd., 15 463 U.S. 1, 27-28 (1983). 16 The State Court action is an unlawful detainer action and, thus, federal law does not 17 create the cause of action. Moreover, the Court concludes that the claim will not necessarily 18 depend upon the resolution of a substantial question of federal law, because Plaintiff need not 19 prove compliance with the federal law relied upon by Defendant to establish its claim. See, e.g., 20 Grable & Sons Metal Prods. v. Darue Eng. & Mfg., 545 U.S. 308, 314-15 (2005). The Court 21 also finds there is no basis for diversity jurisdiction as the amount in controversy does not meet 22 the jurisdictional threshold. See Cal. Civ. Pro. § 86(a)(4); 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). 23 Furthermore, a court cannot exercise removal jurisdiction on the ground that the 24 complaint gives rise to a potential or an anticipated defense that might raise a federal question, 25 even if the defense is the only question truly at issue in the case. Franchise Tax Board, 463 26 U.S. at 10, 14; see also Caterpillar, 482 U.S. at 393 (“[I]t is now settled law that a case may not 27 be removed to federal court on the basis of a federal defense, including the defense of pre- 28 emption, even if the defense is anticipated in the plaintiff’s complaint, and even if both parties 2 1 concede that the federal defense is the only question truly at issue.”) (emphasis in original). 2 Therefore, the Court finds that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear this matter and must 3 remand to the state court. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c); see also Maniar v. FDIC, 979 F.2d 782, 4 785 (9th Cir. 1992). 5 Accordingly, the Court ADOPTS the Report and Recommendation and REMANDS this 6 case to Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Solano. The Clerk shall 7 transfer the file forthwith. 8 IT IS SO ORDERED. 9 Dated: April 9, 2013 JEFFREY S. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE 3 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 4 5 BANK OF AMERICA, Case Number: CV12-06023 JSW Plaintiff, CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE 6 7 v. 8 RUBY LOZADA et al, 9 Defendant. / 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 I, the undersigned, hereby certify that I am an employee in the Office of the Clerk, U.S. 12 District Court, Northern District of California. 13 That on April 9, 2013, 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 14 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. 15 16 Ruby Lozada 17 4941 Paramont Way Fairfield, CA 94534 18 Dated: April 9, 2013 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Richard W. Wieking, Clerk By: Jennifer Ottolini, Deputy Clerk

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