Lorenzo Commons LLC v. Eberwein

Filing 9

ORDER REMANDING CASE. Signed by Judge James Donato on 9/19/2016. (jdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/19/2016)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 LORENZO COMMONS LLC, Plaintiff, 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Case No. 16-cv-04896-JD ORDER RE: NOTICE OF REMOVAL v. Re: Dkt. No. 1 ROBERT D. EBERWEIN, Defendant. 12 13 This case involves an action for unlawful detainer filed by plaintiff Lorenzo Commons, 14 LLC for damages under $10,000 in Alameda County on June 16, 2016. Dkt. No. 1 at 10. On 15 August 24, 2016, pro se defendant Robert D. Eberwein removed this action and filed an 16 accompanying application to proceed in forma pauperis. Dkt. Nos. 1 & 2. The Court finds this 17 case was removed improvidently and without jurisdiction. The Court remands the action to 18 Alameda County Superior Court. 19 A defendant may remove a civil action from state court to federal court if original 20 jurisdiction would have existed at the time the complaint was filed. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). “The 21 ‘strong presumption against removal jurisdiction means that the defendant always has the burden 22 of establishing that removal is proper,’ and that the court resolves all ambiguity in favor of remand 23 to state court.” Hunter v. Philip Morris USA, 582 F.3d 1039, 1042 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Gaus 24 v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992)). 25 Defendant Eberwein has indicated that the basis for this Court’s jurisdiction rests on 26 federal question. Dkt. No. 1 at 25. For this court to have federal question jurisdiction, the 27 plaintiff’s case must arise under federal law. 28 U.S.C. § 1331. And the federal question on 28 which jurisdiction is premised must “‘be disclosed on the face of the complaint’” not “supplied via a defense.” Provincial Gov’t of Marinduque v. Placer Dome, Inc., 582 F.3d 1083, 1086 (9th Cir. 2 2009) (quoting Phillips Petroleum Co. v. Texaco, Inc., 415 U.S. 125, 127–28 (1974)). Plaintiff’s 3 complaint alleges a single claim for unlawful detainer and no other causes of action. Dkt. No. 1 at 4 10-13. It is established that “the right to relief on the unlawful detainer action does not depend on 5 the resolution of a substantial question of federal law.” Litton Loan Servicing, L.P. v. Villegas, 6 Case No. C 10-05478 PJH, 2011 WL 204322, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 21, 2011). Defendant’s brief 7 description of the cause of action states “Whisateblower retaliation for Attorney’s [banks as 8 attorneys for RMBS] filing in the wrong court and seizing property.” Dkt. No. 1 at 25. It is 9 impossible to discern from defendant’s notice of removal any of the essential details that would 10 trigger federal court jurisdiction or the legal theories for which he seeks relief in federal court. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 1 Even so, any possible federal question defenses would not arise as part of the well-pleaded 12 complaint. Defendant has not met his burden of establishing federal question jurisdiction under 28 13 U.S.C. § 1331. 14 Federal district courts may also have jurisdiction over suits for more than $75,000 where 15 the citizenship of each plaintiff is different from that of each defendant. 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The 16 damages sought in the complaint are less than $10,000. Dkt. No. 1 at 10. In unlawful detainer 17 actions, the amount of damages sought in the complaint, not the value of the real property, 18 determines the amount in controversy. See Litton Loan Servicing, 2011 WL 204322 at *2. 19 Although the defendant indicates that the parties are diverse, this Court lacks diversity jurisdiction 20 under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 because the jurisdictional amount in controversy is not satisfied. 21 Accordingly, the case is remanded to Alameda County Superior Court. 22 23 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: September 19, 2016 24 25 JAMES DONATO United States District Judge 26 27 28 2

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