Sarcedo v. Asato et al
ORDER REMANDING CASE - Signed by JUDGE JILL A. OTAKE on 2/17/2021. Based on the foregoing, the Court REMANDS this case to the Family Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawai'i. (emt, )COURT'S CERTIFICATE of Service - Waila Sarcedo served by First Class Mail to the address of record listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) on February 17, 2021.
Case 1:21-cv-00086-JAO-KJM Document 8 Filed 02/17/21 Page 1 of 3
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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF HAWAII
CIVIL NO. 21-00086 JAO-KJM
ORDER REMANDING CASE
ERIN ASATO, et al.
ORDER REMANDING CASE
Pro se Plaintiff Waila Sarcedo (“Plaintiff”) “removed” this case from the
Family Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawai‘i on February 11, 2021. This
case must be remanded for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1441, a defendant may remove a civil action brought in a
state court to federal district court if the district court has original jurisdiction. See
Abrego Abrego v. The Dow Chemical Co., 443 F.3d 676, 679-80 (9th Cir. 2006).
“Removal . . . statutes are ‘strictly construed,’ and a ‘defendant seeking removal
has the burden to establish that removal is proper and any doubt is resolved against
removability.’” Hawaii ex rel. Louie v. HSBC Bank Nevada, N.A., 761 F.3d 1027,
1034 (9th Cir. 2014) (quoting Luther v. Countrywide Home Loans Serv. LP, 533
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F.3d 1031, 1034 (9th Cir. 2008)); Hunter v. Phillip Morris USA, 582 F.3d 1039,
1042 (9th Cir. 2009) (“The ‘strong presumption against removal jurisdiction means
that the defendant always has the burden of establishing that removal is proper,’
and that the court resolves all ambiguity in favor of remand to state court.”
(quoting Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992) (per curiam)));
Durham v. Lockheed Martin Corp., 445 F.3d 1247, 1252 (9th Cir. 2006). Courts
should presume that a case lies outside the limited jurisdiction of the federal courts.
See Hunter, 582 F.3d at 1042.
As best the Court can discern, Plaintiff is attempting to remove a 2018
family court case concerning the termination of her parental rights with a trial date
of March 22, 2021.1 ECF No. 1 at 13–14. Although Plaintiff has not identified the
legal bases entitling her to removal, it is improper under § 1441. First, the limited
record before the Court suggests that Plaintiff is not a “defendant” in the family
court proceedings.2 Id. Section 1441 expressly limits the right of removal to
defendants. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a) (“[A]ny civil action brought in a State court
of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction, may be
In her initial filing, she also asserts claims against Defendants in support of her
removal and identifies herself as a plaintiff. ECF No. 1 at 2–4. Removal is not the
proper mechanism to present such claims which, if anything, could potentially be
the subject of a separate lawsuit.
The case caption is “In the Interest of [minor children].” ECF No. 1 at 13.
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removed by the defendant or the defendants.”); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1446
(discussing requirements for defendants wishing to remove civil actions from state
courts to federal court).
Moreover, federal courts do not have original jurisdiction over family court
proceedings concerning parental rights. See Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S.
386, 392 (1987) (“Only state-court actions that originally could have been filed in
federal court may be removed to federal court by the defendant. Absent diversity
of citizenship, federal-question jurisdiction is required.” (footnotes omitted)). For
these reasons, removal is improper.3 The Court accordingly remands the case for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
Based on the foregoing, the Court REMANDS this case to the Family Court
of the First Circuit, State of Hawai‘i.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Honolulu, Hawai‘i, February 17, 2021.
Civil No. 21-00086 JAO-KJM; Sarcedo v. Asato, et al.; ORDER REMANDING CASE
Plaintiff also failed to comply with § 1446’s procedural requirements, but it is
unnecessary to address the deficiencies because jurisdiction is lacking.
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