Peeling v. McCutheon et al

Filing 3

ORDER Remanding Case to the Superior Court of California.. Signed by Judge John A. Houston on 4/20/2017. (cc: Superior Court).(All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(jpp) (sjt).

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 Case No.: 17cv0771 JAH-RBB MARK PEELING, Plaintiff, 12 13 v. 14 ORDER REMANDING ACTION MICHAEL MCCUTHEON AKA MICHAEL MCCUTCHEON, et. al., 15 Defendant. 16 17 18 On March 10, 2017, Plaintiff Mark Peeling filed a complaint in the Superior Court 19 of California, County of San Diego for unlawful detainer against Michael McCutheon aka 20 Michael McCutcheon, Jennifer Romero, and Does 1 to 10 inclusive. The complaint only 21 alleges a state law claim and is a limited civil case with a demand under $10,000. 22 Defendant McCutheon aka McCutcheon, appearing pro se, filed a notice of removal on 23 April 17, 2017. For the reasons set forth below, this Court finds it lacks jurisdiction over 24 the complaint and, therefore, sua sponte remands the matter to state court for all further 25 proceedings. 26 // 27 // 28 // 1 17cv0771 JAH-RBB 1 2 DISCUSSION I. Legal Standard 3 The federal court is one of limited jurisdiction. Kokkoken v. Gardian Life Ins. Co., 4 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). As such, it cannot reach the merits of any dispute until it 5 confirms its own subject matter jurisdiction. See Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Environ., 6 523 U.S. 83, 94 (1998). Thus, at any time during the proceedings, a district court may sua 7 sponte remand a case to state court if the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the 8 case. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c); Brockman v. Merabank, 40 F.3d 1013, 1016 - 17 (9th Cir. 9 1994). 10 Removal jurisdiction is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1441 et seq. A state court action 11 can be removed if it could have originally been brought in federal court. See Caterpillar, 12 Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987). Thus, a party invoking the federal removal 13 statutes must establish jurisdiction by demonstrating the existence of: (1) a statutory basis; 14 (2) a federal question; or (3) diversity of the parties. See Ely Valley Mines, Inc. v. Hartford 15 Acc. And Indem. Co., 644 F.2d 1310, 1314 (9th Cir. 1981). District courts must construe 16 the removal statutes strictly against removal and resolve any uncertainty as to removability 17 in favor of remanding the case to state court. Boggs v. Lewis, 863 F.2d 662, 663 (9th Cir. 18 1988). The burden is on the removing party to demonstrate federal subject matter 19 jurisdiction over the case. See Emrich v. Touche Ross & Co., 846 F.2d 1190, 1195 (9th 20 Cir. 1988). 21 II. Analysis 22 Upon review of the notice of removal and the complaint, this Court finds it 23 appropriate to sua sponte remand the case to state court because the notice of removal fails 24 to establish a proper basis for this Court’s jurisdiction. The complaint asserts a single cause 25 of action for unlawful detainer. Defendant maintains he removed the action because the 26 Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (“PTFA”) preempts state law as to bona fide 27 residential tenants of foreclosed landlords. Preemption gives rise to federal question 28 jurisdiction only when an area of state law has been completely preempted by federal law. 2 17cv0771 JAH-RBB 1 See Caterpillar, 482 U.S. at 393. Defendant fails to demonstrate the PTFA completely 2 preempts state law. In fact, the express language of the statute indicates Congress did not 3 intend the PTFA to be the exclusive remedy. 12 U.S.C. § 5220 Note § (a) (Stating that the 4 Act does not affect the requirements of any state or local law providing for longer time 5 periods or additional protections for tenants); P.L. No. 111-22 § 702(a)(2)(A), see also 6 PNC Bank, National Association v. Branch, 2011 WL 281806 (D.Arizona 2011). To the 7 extent Defendant asserts the PTFA as a defense, a federal defense is insufficient to establish 8 federal question jurisdiction. See Caterpillar, 482 U.S. at 393. Plaintiff’s complaint for 9 unlawful detainer fails to support federal question or diversity jurisdiction. Accordingly, 10 the Court deems it appropriate to sua sponte remand the matter to state court. 11 12 CONCLUSION AND ORDER Based on the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED the instant complaint is sua 13 sponte REMANDED to state court for all further proceedings. 14 DATED: 15 16 17 April 20, 2017 ____________________________________ JOHN A. HOUSTON United States District Judge 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 17cv0771 JAH-RBB

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