Creekside Holdings, LTD v. Hernandez et al

Filing 4

ORDER Remanding Case. Defendant has failed to establish this Court's subject matter jurisdiction over this action. Therefore, the Court Remands this action to the Superior Court of San Diego, County of San Diego. Signed by Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz on 12/21/2016.(All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(cc: Superior Court of SD)(rlu)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 CREEKSIDE HOLDINGS, LTD., Plaintiff, 12 13 ORDER REMANDING CASE v. 14 Case No.: 16-cv-2942-BTM-BGS VALERIE HERNANDEZ; MARINA VEGA; MARIA VEGA, 15 Defendant. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 On December 2, 2016, Valerie Hernandez (“Defendant”), a defendant in an unlawful detainer action originally filed in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, filed a Notice of Removal removing the action to this Court. (Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1.) On December 12, 2016, Plaintiff filed a request for a sua sponte remand. (Pl.’s Opp’n 3, ECF No. 3.) The Court finds that Defendant’s Notice of Removal fails to establish that this Court has subject matter jurisdiction over the removed action, and accordingly REMANDS the action to state court. Subject to exceptions not applicable here, “any civil action brought in a State court of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant or the defendants, to the district 1 16-cv-2942-BTM-BGS 1 court of the United States for the district court and division embracing the place 2 where such action is pending.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). The removal statute is 3 strictly construed against removal jurisdiction, and the removing defendant bears 4 the burden of establishing federal jurisdiction. California ex rel. Lockyer v. 5 Dynegy, Inc., 375 F.3d 831, 838 (9th Cir. 2004). 6 Defendant asserts that removal is proper on the basis of federal question 7 jurisdiction. (Notice of Removal 2.) She argues that Plaintiff’s complaint rests on 8 federal law, namely the “Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act 2009” (“PFTA”), 9 12 U.S.C. 5220. (Id.) Plaintiff, on the other hand, asserts that there is no federal 10 question on the face of its complaint and that instead, Defendant is attempting to 11 assert a federal defense. (Pl.’s Opp’n 2.) 12 “Congress has given the lower federal courts jurisdiction to hear, originally 13 or by removal from a state court, only those cases in which a well-pleaded 14 complaint establishes either that federal law creates the cause of action or that 15 the plaintiff’s right to relief necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial 16 question of federal law.” Franchise Tax Bd. Of State of Calif. V. Constr. Laborers 17 Vacation Tr. for S. Calif., 463 U.S. 1, 27–28 (1983). Whether a case “arises 18 under” federal law thus turns on the nature of the claims asserted in plaintiff’s 19 complaint. See id. at 10 (“For better or worse . . . a defendant may not remove a 20 case to federal court unless the plaintiff’s complaint establishes that the case 21 ‘arises under’ federal law”). “A federal defense, however, is ‘inadequate to confer 22 federal jurisdiction.’” Dennis v. Hart, 724 F.3d 1249, 1253 (9th Cir. 2013) 23 (quoting Merrell Dow Pharm. Inc. v. Thompson, 478 U.S. 804, 808 (1986)). 24 Here, Plaintiff filed a complaint asserting only a cause of action for unlawful 25 detainer under California state law. The complaint therefore does not state a 26 federal claim, nor does the asserted cause of action rest on federal law. 27 Defendant’s allegations that Plaintiff violated the PFTA are, at most, a defense to 28 Plaintiff’s unlawful detainer action. The PFTA is a federal statute that provides 2 16-cv-2942-BTM-BGS 1 certain protections to tenants who reside in properties subject to foreclosure. 12 2 U.S.C. 5220. However, the law is clear that federal defenses do not confer 3 federal question jurisdiction. Dennis, 724 F.3d at 1253. Moreover, the Ninth 4 Circuit has held that the PFTA does not create a private right of action. Logan v. 5 U.S. Bank N.A., 722 F.3d 1163, 1173 (9th Cir. 2013). 6 The removing defendant bears the burden of establishing that removal is 7 proper, and the Court resolves all ambiguity in favor of remand to state court. 8 Matheson v. Progressive Specialty Ins. Co., 319 F.3d 1089, 1090 (9th Cir. 2003) 9 (“Where doubt regarding the right to removal exists, a case should be remanded 10 to state court.”). Defendant has failed to establish this Court’s subject matter 11 jurisdiction over this action. Therefore, the Court REMANDS this action to the 12 Superior Court of San Diego, County of San Diego. 13 Defendant also filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. 14 Because the Court remands this action to state court, Defendant’s motion is 15 DENIED as moot. 16 IT IS SO ORDERED. 17 18 Dated: December 21, 2016 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 16-cv-2942-BTM-BGS

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?