Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americasv. McBride et al

Filing 8

SUA SPONTE REMAND ORDER. Signed by Judge Beth Labson Freeman on 6/1/2017. (blflc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/1/2017)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 SAN JOSE DIVISION 6 7 DEUTSCHE BANK TRUST COMPANY AMERICAS, AS TRUSTEE, 8 Plaintiff, 9 Case No. 17-cv-02925-BLF SUA SPONTE REMAND ORDER v. 10 CONCETTA MCBRIDE, et al., 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Defendants. 12 On May 22, 2017, Defendant Concetta Mcbride, a natural woman standing sui juris in Her 13 14 Natural Capacity and non-party Eeon, a natural individual standing sui juris in his Natural 15 Capacity, filed a Notice of Removal removing this unlawful detainer action from the Superior 16 Court of California for Monterey County.1 Notice of Removal (“NOR”), ECF 1; Compl., ECF 1- 17 7. For the following reasons, the Court sua sponte remands this case to the Superior Court of 18 California for Monterey County for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. “There is a ‘strong presumption against removal jurisdiction,’ and the removing party has 19 20 the burden of establishing that removal is proper.” Lindley Contours, LLC v. AABB Fitness 21 Holdings, Inc., 414 Fed. Appx. 62, 64 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 22 566 (9th Cir. 1992)). “If at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court lacks 23 subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). “The court may— 24 indeed must—remand an action sua sponte if it determines that it lacks subject matter 25 26 27 28 1 Because Eeon is not a party, he cannot participate in the removal process. Moreover, there is no indication that Defendant Gregory McBride has consented to this removal. 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(2)(A) (all defendants who have been served must join in or consent to the removal of the action). The Court does not address these procedural defects because it finds that it does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the action. 1 jurisdiction.” GFD, LLC v. Carter, No. CV 12-08985, 2012 WL 5830079, at *2 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 2 15, 2012) (citing Kelton Arms Condo. Owners Ass’n v. Homestead Ins. Co., 346 F.3d 1190, 1192 3 (9th Cir. 2003)). 4 Eeon and McBride allege that the above-titled action is properly removed on the basis of 5 diversity and federal question jurisdiction. NOR ¶ 32. As best the Court can tell, Eeon and 6 McBride assert that this Court has federal jurisdiction because (1) complete diversity exists and 7 they seek $9 million in damages; (2) various proposed counterclaims under federal law. See 8 generally NOR. Diversity jurisdiction exists where the matter in controversy exceeds $75,000 and is 10 between citizens of different states. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). The Complaint and Notice of Removal 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 9 indicate that Eeon and McBride are both citizens of California. NOR ¶ 30 (Eeon, McBride, and 12 others live at the home in question); Compl. ¶¶ 1 (the property is located in Salinas, California), 4 13 (Eeon sublets the property in question). Additionally, in the Notice of Removal, Eeon and 14 McBride allege that Plaintiff Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas (“Deutsche Bank”) is a 15 California corporation. NOR ¶ 15. Regardless of the accuracy of the assertion regarding 16 Deutsche Bank’s citizenship, the amount in controversy alleged in the complaint plainly does not 17 exceed $75,000. See generally Compl. (amount not to exceed $10,000); see also Fed. Home Loan 18 Mortg. Corp. v. Cantillano, No. CV 12-1641, 2012 WL 1193613, at *2 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 9, 2012) 19 (“The appropriate dollar amount in determining the amount of controversy in unlawful detainer 20 actions is the rental value of the property, not the value of the property as a whole.”). That Eeon 21 and McBride seek $9 million in damages is of no avail. See NOR ¶¶ 14, 37; Takeda v. Nw. Nat’l 22 Life Ins. Co., 765 F.2d 815, 821–22 (9th Cir. 1985) (federal question jurisdiction arises only from 23 the face of a well-pleaded complaint, not the defenses or counterclaims alleged by a defendant). 24 Additionally, a review of the Complaint reveals no federal question. Here, Deutsche 25 Bank’s “one cause of action is for unlawful detainer under state law, and under the well-pleaded 26 complaint rule, a defendant’s claims or defenses may not serve as a basis for removal.” Polymatic 27 Props., Inc. v. Mack, No. 12-cv-2848, 2012 WL 5932618, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 27, 2012) (citing 28 Takeda, 765 F.2d at 822); see also Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust Co. v. Ghosal, No. 14cv2582, 2014 2 1 WL 5587199, at *2 (S.D. Cal. Nov. 3, 2014) (remanding unlawful detainer action sua sponte). 2 Therefore, Eeon and McBride have not shown the existence of federal question removal 3 jurisdiction. 4 5 6 For the stated reasons, this case is REMANDED to the Superior Court of California for Monterey County. IT IS SO ORDERED. 7 8 9 10 Dated: June 1, 2017 ______________________________________ BETH LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge 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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