MG Canyon Villa Apartments BSR, LLC. v. Avila et al

Filing 4

ORDER of Remand to State Court [Doc. No. 2 ]. Signed by Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo on 6/16/2017. (Certified Copy mailed to State Court) (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(jjg)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 MG CANYON VILLA APARTMENTS BSR, LLC, 15 ORDER OF REMAND TO STATE COURT Plaintiff, 13 14 Case No.: 3:17-CV-1221-CAB-JLB v. RAFAEL AVILA, [Doc. No. 2] Defendant. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 On April 18, 2017, MG Canyon Villa Apartments BSR, LLC filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against Defendant Rafael Avila in San Diego County Superior Court. [Doc. No. 1 at 6.] On June 16, 2017, Avila, proceeding pro se, removed the action to this court [Doc. No. 1], and filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) [Doc. No. 2. After reviewing the application, the notice of removal and the underlying complaint, the Court finds that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this case. Accordingly, the motion to proceed IFP is DENIED AS MOOT, and the Court REMANDS this action to state court. A suit filed in state court may be removed to federal court by the defendant or defendants if the federal court would have had original subject matter jurisdiction over that suit. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a); Moore-Thomas v. Alaska Airlines, Inc., 553 F.3d 1241, 1243 1 3:17-CV-1221-CAB-JLB 1 (9th Cir. 2009). On the other hand, “[i]f at any time before final judgment it appears that 2 the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.” 28 U.S.C. 3 § 1447(c); see also Kelton Arms Condo. Owners Ass’n, Inc. v. Homestead Ins. Co., 346 4 F.3d 1190, 1192 (9th Cir. 2003) (“Subject matter jurisdiction may not be waived, and, 5 indeed, we have held that the district court must remand if it lacks jurisdiction.”). The 6 Court may remand sua sponte or on motion of a party. Snell v. Cleveland, Inc., 316 F.3d 7 822, 826 (9th Cir. 2002) (“Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(h)(3) provides that a court 8 may raise the question of subject matter jurisdiction, sua sponte, at any time during the 9 pendency of the action . . . .”). “The defendant bears the burden of establishing that removal 10 was proper.” Provincial Gov’t of Marinduque v. Placer Dome, Inc., 582 F.3d 1083, 1087 11 (9th Cir. 2009). “The removal statute is strictly construed, and any doubt about the right 12 of removal requires resolution in favor of remand.” Moore-Thomas, 553 F.3d at 1244. 13 Generally, subject matter jurisdiction is based on the presence of a federal question, 14 see 28 U.S.C. § 1331, or on complete diversity between the parties, see 28 U.S.C. § 1332. 15 In the notice of removal, Avila argues only that this Court has federal-question jurisdiction. 16 “The presence or absence of federal-question jurisdiction is governed by the ‘well-pleaded 17 complaint rule,’ which provides that federal jurisdiction exists only when a federal question 18 is presented on the face of the plaintiff’s properly pleaded complaint.” Caterpillar Inc. v. 19 Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987). The complaint must establish “either that federal law 20 creates the cause of action or that the plaintiff’s right to relief necessarily depends on 21 resolution of a substantial question of federal law.” Franchise Tax Bd. v. Constr. Laborers 22 Vacation Trust, 463 U.S. 1, 27-28 (1983). 23 Here, federal question jurisdiction is absent because no “federal question is 24 presented on the face of plaintiff’s properly pleaded complaint.” Caterpillar, 482 U.S. at 25 392. Plaintiff’s complaint asserts a single claim for unlawful detainer, a cause of action 26 that is purely a matter of state law. See Muhammad v. N. Richmond Senior Hous., Inc., 27 No. 15-CV-00629-WHO, 2015 WL 1154209, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 13, 2015) (“California 28 federal courts have repeatedly held that unlawful detainer cases brought under California’s 2 3:17-CV-1221-CAB-JLB 1 unlawful detainer statute do not raise federal questions.”); Fed. Nat’l. Mortg. Ass’n v. 2 Enshiwat, No. 12-631 CAS (CWx), 2012 WL 683106, at *1 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 2, 2012) 3 (“Unlawful detainer actions are strictly within the province of state court.”) (quotations 4 omitted). Accordingly, the face of the complaint does not present a federal question 5 justifying removal. 6 Avila argues that federal question jurisdiction exists because the demurrer he filed 7 in state court depended on the determination of his rights and Plaintiff’s duties under 8 federal law. The notice of removal does not specify what specific federal laws are 9 implicated, but regardless, “a case may not be removed to federal court on the basis of a 10 federal defense. . . .” Franchise Tax Bd., 463 U.S. at 14. Thus, “Defendant cannot create 11 federal subject matter jurisdiction by attempting to raise a defense or a counterclaim under 12 the federal constitution or other body of federal law.” Colfin A1-CA4 LLC v. Clark, No. 13 EDCV 13-1162-CAS SPX, 2013 WL 3967656, at *1 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 1, 2013). 14 15 16 17 Based on the foregoing, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this matter and therefore REMANDS the case to San Diego County Superior Court. It is SO ORDERED. Dated: June 16, 2017 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 3:17-CV-1221-CAB-JLB

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