Kim v. Camacho

Filing 7

ORDER Remanding Case to San Diego County Superior Court. Defendant's motion for leave to proceed IFP (ECF No. 3) and Plaintiff's ex parte motion to shorten time (ECF No. 6) are TERMINATED AS MOOT. The Clerk of the Court shall close the file. Signed by Judge Cynthia Bashant on 4/7/17. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(cc: State Court)(kas)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 JI SUN KIM, Plaintiff, 12 13 14 15 Case No. 17-cv-00566-BAS-WVG ORDER REMANDING CASE TO STATE COURT v. JORGE CAMACHO; ANNA M. CAMACHO-TIZNADO, 16 Defendants. 17 18 19 On March 22, 2017, Defendant Jorge Camacho, proceeding pro se, removed 20 this unlawful detainer action from San Diego County Superior Court. (ECF No. 1.) 21 Camacho argues that removal is proper based on federal question jurisdiction, 22 presumably because he intends to assert a counterclaim under the Protecting Tenants 23 at Foreclosure Act, 12 U.S.C. § 5220. (Id.) Concurrent with his notice of removal, 24 Camacho filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”). (ECF No. 25 3.) 26 The Court finds that this case was improperly removed. Although a defendant 27 may remove a civil action by filing a notice of removal with the relevant federal 28 district court within 30 days after receiving the complaint, see 28 U.S.C. § 1441, –1– 17cv566 1 removal does not by its own force confer federal jurisdiction. Rather, with exceptions 2 not applicable here, only cases that could originally have been filed in federal court 3 may be properly removed. See Merrell Dow Pharm. Inc. v. Thompson, 478 U.S. 804, 4 808 (1986). 5 The question whether a case could originally have been filed in federal court 6 is determined by the well-pleaded complaint rule. The well-pleaded complaint rule 7 holds that the basis for federal jurisdiction must be found in plaintiff’s statement of 8 his or her own cause of action, rather than in defendant’s anticipated defenses or 9 counterclaims. See Franchise Tax Bd. of State of Cal. v. Constr. Laborers Vacation 10 Trust for S. Cal., 463 U.S. 1, 10 (1983); Louisville & Nashville R.R. Co. v. Mottley, 11 211 U.S. 149, 152 (1908). In other words, the grounds for federal jurisdiction must 12 be rooted in the complaint itself, rather than defendant’s anticipated response to the 13 complaint. See, e.g., Provincial Gov’t of Marinduque v. Placer Dome, Inc., 582 F.3d 14 1083, 1086 (9th Cir. 2009) (“[T]he federal question on which jurisdiction is premised 15 cannot be supplied via a defense; rather, the federal question must ‘be disclosed upon 16 the face of the complaint, unaided by the answer.’”) (quoting Phillips Petroleum Co. 17 v. Texaco, Inc., 415 U.S. 125, 127–28 (1974)). 18 Here, no such basis for federal jurisdiction exists. Defendant invokes federal 19 question removal presumably on the basis of a defense or counterclaim based on the 20 Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act. But this argument fails because Plaintiff’s 21 complaint states a single claim for unlawful detainer, a state law cause of action. That 22 Defendant intends to assert a federal defense or counterclaim does not establish 23 removal jurisdiction because such assertions do not form an essential part of 24 plaintiff’s complaint. See, e.g., Holmes Grp., Inc. v. Vornado Air Circulation Sys., 25 Inc., 535 U.S. 826, 831 (2002) (“[A] counterclaim—which appears as part of the 26 defendant’s answer, not as part of the plaintiff’s complaint—cannot serve as the basis 27 for [federal question removal] jurisdiction.”) (citations omitted); Merrell Dow, 478 28 U.S. at 808 (“A defense that raises a federal question is inadequate to confer federal –2– 17cv566 1 jurisdiction.”) (citing Mottley, 211 U.S. at 152). Further, in this case, plaintiff’s right 2 to relief does not depend on the resolution of a substantial question of federal law. 3 See Proctor v. Vishay Intertechnology Inc., 584 F.3d 1208, 1219 (9th Cir. 2009). 4 Therefore, Defendant has not stated a proper grounds for removal, and the Court 5 lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this claim. 6 For the foregoing reasons, the Court REMANDS this matter to San Diego 7 County Superior Court. Defendant’s motion for leave to proceed IFP (ECF No. 3) 8 and Plaintiff’s ex parte motion to shorten time (ECF No. 6) are TERMINATED AS 9 MOOT. The Clerk of the Court shall close the file. 10 IT IS SO ORDERED. 11 12 DATED: April 7, 2017 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 –3– 17cv566

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?