Waypoint Homes Inc v. Fagorala

Filing 7

ORDER by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers denying 3 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis; granting 5 Motion to Remand to Contra Costa Superior Court. The Court VACATES the hearing set for December 4, 2012. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service) (fs, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/14/2012)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 6 7 WAYPOINT HOMES, INC., Plaintiff, 8 9 10 Case No.: 12-CV-05282-YGR ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO REMAND CASE AND DENYING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS vs. ADE FAGORALA, Northern District of California United States District Court 11 Defendant. 12 13 Defendant Ade Fagorala removed this unlawful detainer case from the Superior Court of the 14 State of California, County of Contra Costa, on October 12, 2012. (Dkt. No. 1 (Notice of 15 Removal).) Defendant removed this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. sections 1441 and 1446, invoking 16 this Court’s federal question jurisdiction based on the “Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act” 17 (“FDCPA”) and the Fourth Amendment’s “Federal Search and Seizure Rules.” (Notice of 18 Removal at 2.) Defendant also asserted that diversity jurisdiction exists. (Id. at 4.) 19 Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Remand Case on October 25, 2012. (Dkt. No. 5 20 (“Motion”).) Defendant did not file a response to the Motion. The Court hereby GRANTS the 21 pending Motion because no federal question is presented in this action, and no diversity jurisdiction 22 exists.1 23 Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 1441(a), “any civil action brought in a State court of which 24 the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant 25 or the defendants, to the district court of the United States for the district and division embracing 26 the place where such action is pending.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Under 28 U.S.C. section 1331, a 27 28 1 Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78(b) and Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court finds that this motion is appropriate for decision without oral argument. Accordingly, the Court VACATES the hearing set for December 4, 2012. 1 district court has original jurisdiction over “all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or 2 treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The burden of establishing federal jurisdiction is 3 on the party seeking removal, and courts strictly construe the removal statute against removal 4 jurisdiction. Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566–67 (9th Cir. 1992) (internal citations omitted). 5 Accordingly, “federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in 6 the first instance.” Id. at 566. A district court must remand the case to state court if it appears at 7 any time before final judgment that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 8 1447(c). 9 Defendant characterizes this action as one for unlawful debt collection under the FDCPA Northern District of California and also seeks to cross-complain based on the same. However, Defendant’s claim under the 11 United States District Court 10 FDCPA (nor the Fourth Amendment) does not create a federal question. A claim “arises under” 12 federal law if, based on the “well-pleaded complaint rule,” the plaintiff alleges a federal claim for 13 relief. Vaden v. Discovery Bank, 556 U.S. 49, 60 (2009). Defenses and counterclaims asserting a 14 federal question do not satisfy this requirement. Id.; Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 393 15 (1987) (“[I]t is now settled law that a case may not be removed to federal court on the basis of a 16 federal defense.”). The federal question must be presented by the plaintiff’s complaint as it stands 17 at the time of removal. The record indicates that Plaintiff’s state court complaint presents one state 18 law claim for unlawful detainer under California Code of Civil Procedure section 1161. The 19 complaint is clearly captioned as a “Complaint for Unlawful Detainer – Real Property” and does 20 not allege any federal claims whatsoever. Defendant’s allegations in the Notice of Removal cannot 21 provide this Court with federal question jurisdiction. 22 Moreover, there is no diversity jurisdiction in this matter. The complaint indicates that the 23 amount demanded does not exceed $10,000. As such, removal to federal court cannot be based on 24 diversity jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C §§ 1441(b) & 1332(a). 25 For the foregoing reasons, this action is hereby REMANDED to the Contra Costa County 26 Superior Court. The pending Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis by Defendant (Dkt. No. 3) 27 is DENIED AS MOOT based on this Order. This Order terminates Dkt. Nos. 3 & 5. 28 2 1 2 3 The Clerk of this Court is further ordered to forward certified copies of this Order and all docket entries to the Clerk of the Contra Costa County Superior Court. IT IS SO ORDERED. 4 5 6 Dated: November 14, 2012 _______________________________________ YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE 7 8 9 10 Northern District of California United States District Court 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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