Fannie Mae v. Longshore et al

Filing 18


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1 2 3 4 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 8 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 No. C 12-06112 SI FANNIE MAE, ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO REMAND TO SONOMA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT; VACATING HEARING Plaintiff, v. ARLENE LONGSHORE and SCOTT BOGUE, 11 Defendants. 12 / 13 Currently before this Court is plaintiff’s motion to remand this case to Sonoma County Superior 14 Court. Plaintiff filed the instant motion to remand on December 17, 2012. Defendants’ opposition was 15 due by December 31, 2012. Defendants have not filed an opposition, requested an extension of time, 16 or otherwise contacted the Court.1 Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court determines that these 17 matters are appropriate for resolution without oral argument and VACATES the hearing scheduled for 18 January 25, 2012. 19 When a case “of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction” is 20 initially brought in state court, the defendant may remove it to federal court. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). 21 There are two bases for federal subject matter jurisdiction: (1) federal question jurisdiction under 28 22 U.S.C. § 1331, and (2) diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. A district court has federal 23 question jurisdiction in “all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United 24 States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The federal question must be “presented on the face of the plaintiff’s 25 26 27 28 1 The Court notes that several notices, sent to defendants via U.S. mail at the address defendants provided to the court, have been returned to the Court as undeliverable. See Dkts. 12-17. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 3-11, defendants have a duty to promptly file any address change with the Court while the action, which defendants removed to this Court, is pending. Defendants have not notified the Court of any change of address. Accordingly, the Court will continue to notify defendants at their last known address. 1 properly pleaded complaint.” Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987). A district court 2 has diversity jurisdiction where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum of $75,000, and is between, 3 inter alia, citizens of different States, or citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state. 4 28 U.S.C. § 1332. 5 A motion to remand under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) “is the proper procedure for challenging 6 removal.” Moore-Thomas v. Alaska Airlines, Inc., 553 F.3d 1241, 1244 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing 28 7 U.S.C. § 1447(c). “The strong presumption against removal jurisdiction means that the defendant 8 always has the burden of establishing that removal is proper.” Emrich v. Touche Ross & Co., 846 F.2d 9 1190, 1195 (9th Cir. 1988) (citations omitted). Remand to state court must be ordered when a district United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). 11 This case stems from an action for unlawful detainer under California state law. Plaintiff Fannie 12 Mae purchased the property located at 14984 Canyon 2 Rd, Guerneville, CA 95446 (the “Subject 13 Property”), at a trustee’s sale on July 17, 2012. On August 23, 2012, Fannie Mae served a Notice to 14 Vacate on defendants. When defendants failed to vacate the Subject Property, Fannie Mae filed an 15 action for unlawful detainer in Sonoma County Superior Court on September 10, 2012. Defendants 16 removed the action to this Court on December 3, 2012. 17 Defendants’ Notice of Removal asserts that this Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 18 U.S.C. § 1331 and 28 U.S.C. § 1441. The Court disagrees. The Court does not have federal question 19 jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 because the case does not arise from federal law. Plaintiff’s 20 complaint states a single state law cause of action for unlawful detainer under California Civil Code 21 § 1161a. The defense that defendants cite in the Notice of Removal – defective notice under the 12 22 U.S.C. § 5220 (The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act) – does not create federal question 23 jurisdiction. Federal question jurisdiction must arise from the face of the complaint, not as a defense 24 to a state law cause of action. See Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Mottley, 211 U.S. 149 (1908). 25 Removal was also improper under diversity jurisdiction. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b), an action 26 is not removable under diversity jurisdiction if the defendant is a citizen of the state in which the action 27 was brought. Here, defendants are citizens of California. Therefore, because the case was brought by 28 plaintiff in a California state court, defendants may not remove the action to federal court. 2 1 2 Accordingly, this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and therefore, the Court GRANTS plaintiff’s motion and REMANDS the case to Sonoma County Superior Court. 3 4 IT IS SO ORDERED. 5 6 Dated: January 22, 2013 SUSAN ILLSTON United States District Judge 7 8 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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