Jaojoco v. Rocha et al

Filing 9

ORDER REMANDING CASE., ***Civil Case Terminated.. Signed by Judge ARMSTRONG on 11/1/10. (lrc, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/2/2010)

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Jaojoco v. Rocha et al Doc. 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 OSCAR LITO JAOJOCO, 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA OAKLAND DIVISION Case No: C 10-4560 SBA ORDER REMANDING ACTION Plaintiff, vs. DOES 1 to 5, inclusive, 9 CANDY ROCHA, MARCO ROCHA, and 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Defendants. On August 12, 2010, Plaintiff Oscar Lito Jaojoco filed an unlawful detainer action against Defendants Candy Rocha and Marco Rocha in San Mateo County Superior Court. Plaintiff allegedly purchased the residence in which Defendants are residing through a judicial foreclosure sale. On October 8, 2010, Defendants, who are acting pro se, filed a notice of removal. Though no federal claims are alleged in the pleadings, Defendants predicate the removal on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. A district court has "a duty to establish subject matter jurisdiction over the removed action sua sponte, whether the parties raised the issue or not." United Investors Life Ins. Co. v. Waddell & Reed, Inc., 360 F.3d 960, 967 (9th Cir. 2004); accord Attorneys Trust v. Videotape Computer Prods., Inc., 93 F.3d 593, 594-95 (9th Cir. 1996) (lack of subject matter jurisdiction may be raised at any time by either party or by the court sua sponte). The federal removal statute permits the removal of an action which could have been brought originally in federal court. See 28 U.S.C. 1441(a). "The burden of establishing federal jurisdiction is on the party seeking removal, and the removal statute is strictly construed against removal jurisdiction." Prize Frize Inc. v. Matrix Inc., 167 F.3d 1261, 1265 (9th Cir.1999). A district court must remand a case to state court "if at any time before the final judgment it appears that the district Dockets.Justia.com 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 court lacks subject matter jurisdiction." 28 U.S.C. 1447(c); Kelton Arms Condominium Owners Ass'n v. Homestead Ins. Co., 346 F.3d 1190, 1192 (9th Cir.2003) ("[W]e have held that the district court must remand if it lacks jurisdiction") (citing Sparta Surgical Corp. v. Nat'l Ass'n Sec. Dealers, Inc., 159 F.3d 1209, 1211 (9th Cir. 1998)). District courts have diversity jurisdiction over all civil actions "where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between ... citizens of different States." 28 U.S.C. 1332(a). The amount in controversy is determined by the amount of damages or the value of the property that is the subject matter of the action. Hunt v. Washington State Apple Advertising Comm'n, 432 U.S. 433 (1977). The diversity statute is strictly construed, and any doubts are resolved against finding jurisdiction. Kantor v. Wellesley Galleries, Ltd., 704 F.2d 1088, 1092 (9th Cir. 1983). Because the citizenship of the parties is a jurisdictional fact in diversity actions, the burden is on the plaintiff--the party invoking federal jurisdiction--to plead and prove such facts. Bautista v. Pan American World Airlines, Inc., 828 F.2d 546, 552 (9th Cir. 1987). Here, both the Complaint and the Notice of Removal are silent as to the citizenship of Plaintiff and Defendants. In addition, Defendants have not alleged facts to establish that the minimum amount is in controversy. The damages sought in the Complaint consist of the "reasonable rental value of the property" in the amount of $75.00 per day. Compl. 8. Plaintiff alleges that such sum began accruing on July 29, 2010, when he served Defendants with a notice to surrender possession. Id. 6. Thus, when the action was removed, seventytwo days of rent had accrued. At a rental rate of $75.00 per day, the amount of accrued rent was $5,400--well below the $75,000 jurisdictional minimum. Remand is therefore warranted. See Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 567 (9th Cir. 1992) (lack of specific facts demonstrating that the amount in controversy at the time of removal met the jurisdictional minimum justified remand). Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT the instant action is REMANDED to San Mateo County Superior Court. The Clerk shall terminate all pending matters and close the file. -2- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: November 1, 2010 ______________________________ SAUNDRA BROWN ARMSTRONG United States District Judge -3- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA OSCAR L. JAOJOCO, Plaintiff, v. MARCO ROCHA et al, Defendant. / Case Number: CV10-04560 SBA CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I, the undersigned, hereby certify that I am an employee in the Office of the Clerk, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. That on November 2, 2010, 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 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. Candy Rocha 1259 Madera Avenue Menlo Park, CA 94025 Marco Rocha 1259 Madera Avenue Menlo Park, CA 94025 Dated: November 2, 2010 Richard W. Wieking, Clerk By: LISA R CLARK, Deputy Clerk -4-

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