Nationstar Mortgage, LLC v. Stolte

Filing 13

ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND REMANDING CASE TO STATE COURT. Signed by Judge Jon S. Tigar on September 17, 2014. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(wsn, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/17/2014)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE, LLC, Case No. 14-cv-02138-JST Plaintiff, 8 v. 9 10 JEFFREY M. STOLTE, Defendant. Re: ECF Nos. 8, 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND REMANDING CASE TO STATE COURT Plaintiff filed this unlawful detainer action in Contra Costa County Superior Court in 13 August 2013. ECF No. 1, ¶ 2. Defendant, who is proceeding pro se, removed the case to the 14 Northern District of California in May 2014, where the case was initially assigned to Magistrate 15 Judge Kandis Westmore. Id. On August 5, 2014, Judge Westmore issued an Order to Show 16 Cause, asking Defendant to show that he correctly invoked federal diversity jurisdiction pursuant 17 to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). ECF No. 7. Defendant did not file a response to that Order. 18 On August 26, 2014, the case was reassigned to this Court. ECF Nos. 8, 9. In conjunction 19 with the order reassigning the case, Judge Westmore issued a Report and Recommendation To 20 Remand the Case To State Court. ECF No. 8. The Report indicated that the case should be 21 remanded due to a lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction; in particular, a lack of diversity 22 jurisdiction. Id. On August 28, 2014, this Court set September 11, 2014 as the deadline for the 23 parties to respond to Judge Westmore’s Report. ECF No. 11. Neither party filed a response. 24 In her Report and Recommendation, Judge Westmore noted that Defendant once before 25 removed this case to federal court, and in that instance, the case was remanded to state court for 26 lack of jurisdiction. ECF No. 8 at 1. Further, as Judge Westmore noted, Plaintiff declared the 27 action a “Limited Civil Case” under California law, with the complaint seeking not more than 28 $10,000. Id.; see also ECF No. 1, Ex. A at 7. In order for this Court to have diversity jurisdiction over this action, the parties must be 1 2 completely diverse—i.e., be citizens of different states—and more than $75,000 must be in 3 controversy in the action. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Despite Plaintiff’s assertion that it seeks no more 4 than $10,000, Defendant states in his notice of removal that diversity jurisdiction is satisfied 5 because the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. ECF No. 1 at 3. Defendant provides no 6 support for this allegation, which therefore is inadequate to support jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 7 1446(c)(2) (“If removal of a civil action is sought on the basis of the jurisdiction conferred by 8 section 1332(a), the sum demanded in good faith in the initial pleading shall be deemed to be the 9 amount in controversy, except [in circumstances not applicable here]”). Likewise, Defendant has not sufficiently alleged that the parties are completely diverse: in the notice of removal, 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 Defendant states that “Plaintiff is a Corporation doing business in California,” but mentions 12 nothing regarding Plaintiff’s citizenship—i.e., its state of incorporation or its principal place of 13 business. See London v. Standard Oil Co. of Cal., 417 F.2d 820, 822 (9th Cir. 1969) (holding that 14 diversity jurisdiction was not adequately alleged where notice of removal failed to allege corporate 15 party’s principal place of business). 16 Given that Defendant has failed to adequately allege the basis of diversity jurisdiction in 17 this Court or to respond to Judge Westmore’s Report and Recommendation1, and that the Court 18 can find no other basis for its jurisdiction, the Court finds that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction 19 under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 over this action. Accordingly, the Court hereby ADOPTS Judge 20 /// 21 /// 22 /// 23 /// 24 /// 25 26 27 28 1 The Court notes that mail sent from the Court to the Defendant was recently returned as undeliverable. See ECF No. 12. Civil Local Rule 3-11(a) provides that any attorney or party proceeding pro se “whose address changes while an action is pending must promptly file with the Court and serve upon all opposing parties a Notice of Change of Address specifying the new address.” 2 1 Westmore’s Report and Recommendation and REMANDS this case, No. 14-cv-02138-JST, to the 2 Contra Costa County Superior Court from which it was removed. 3 4 5 6 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: September 17, 2014 ______________________________________ JON S. TIGAR United States District Judge 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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