Bank of New York Mellon Corp. v. Mann

Filing 31

ORDER. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that 4 Plaintiff's Motion to Remand is GRANTED and this case is hereby REMANDED to the Eighth Judicial District Court. The Clerk of Court shall remand this case back to state court and thereafter close this Court's case. Signed by Chief Judge Gloria M. Navarro on 3/31/17. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - cc: Certified Copy of Order and Docket Sheet sent to State Court - MR)

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1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON CORP., ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) vs. ) ) JOHN W. MANN, ) ) Defendant. ) ) Case No.: 2:16-cv-01895-GMN-CWH ORDER 10 11 Pending before the Court is the Motion for Remand, (ECF No. 4), filed by Plaintiff Bank 12 of New York Mellon, Corp. (“Plaintiff”). Pro se Defendant John W. Mann (“Defendant”) filed 13 a Response, (ECF No. 12), and Plaintiff filed a Reply, (ECF No. 18). For the following 14 reasons, the Court GRANTS the Motion. 15 I. 16 BACKGROUND Plaintiff initiated this case in state court by filing a Verified Complaint for Unlawful 17 Detainer (“Complaint”), seeking possession of the real property located at 775 Spanish Drive, 18 Las Vegas, NV 89110 (“the Property”). (See Ex. A to Pet. for Removal (“Compl.”), ECF No. 19 1). Plaintiff alleges that it purchased the Property at a trustee’s sale, but Defendant remained in 20 possession of the Property. (Id. ¶¶ 4–8). Plaintiff requests as relief possession of the Property, 21 rent of no more than $1,000.00, and costs and fees in the total amount of $596. (Id. at 9–10). 22 Defendant subsequently removed the case to this Court. (See Pet. for Removal, ECF No. 1). 23 II. 24 25 LEGAL STANDARD Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, possessing only those powers granted by the Constitution and by statute. See United States v. Marks, 530 F.3d 799, 810 (9th Cir. 2008). Page 1 of 3 1 For this reason, “[i]f at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court lacks 2 subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). Among other 3 cases, the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction of civil actions where 4 there is diversity of citizenship between the parties and the amount in controversy, exclusive of 5 interest and costs, exceeds $75,000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). The “burden of establishing federal jurisdiction is on the party seeking removal, and the 6 7 removal statute is strictly construed against removal jurisdiction.” Prize Frize, Inc. v. Matrix 8 Inc., 167 F.3d 1261, 1265 (9th Cir. 1999). Any doubt as to the right of removal is resolved in 9 favor of remand. Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). “The strong 10 presumption against removal jurisdiction means that the defendant always has the burden of 11 establishing that removal is proper.” Id.; see also Nishimoto v. Federman–Bachrach & Assoc., 12 903 F.2d 709, 712 n.3 (9th Cir. 1990). 13 III. DISCUSSION 14 Defendant asserts that removal is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 because a 15 separate case involving the same parties and Property has been removed to this Court. (See Pet. 16 for Removal ¶ 18, ECF No. 4). In addition, Defendant “concedes that he is a resident of the 17 state of Nevada” and contends that “the amount in controversy exceeds the sum of $75,000.” 18 (Resp. 5:16–19). 19 Defendant misconstrues the requirements for diversity jurisdiction. The existence of a 20 related case in federal court does not allow the Court to exercise subject matter jurisdiction over 21 a separately filed case. See, e.g., Viropro, Inc. v. Amsel, No. 2:06-cv-01367-LRH-GWF, 2007 22 WL 37670, at *1 (D. Nev. Jan. 4, 2007). Instead, to establish subject matter jurisdiction 23 pursuant to diversity of citizenship, the party asserting jurisdiction must show: (1) complete 24 diversity of citizenship among opposing parties; and (2) an amount in controversy exceeding 25 $75,000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Where a defendant removes a plaintiff’s state action on the basis Page 2 of 3 1 of diversity jurisdiction, the defendant must either: (1) demonstrate that it is facially evident 2 from the plaintiff’s complaint that the plaintiff seeks in excess of $75,000; or (2) prove, by a 3 preponderance of the evidence, that the amount in controversy meets the jurisdictional limit. 4 Valdez v. Allstate Ins. Co., 372 F.3d 1115 (9th Cir. 2004). 5 As a preliminary matter, even where complete diversity exists between parties, an action 6 cannot be removed by a local defendant, i.e. a defendant who is a citizen of the state in which 7 the action is brought. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b); Spencer v. U.S. Dist. Ct., 393 F.3d 867, 870 (9th 8 Cir. 2004). In the instant action, Defendant is a citizen of Nevada. (See Pet. for Removal, ECF 9 No. 1). Therefore, Defendant, a local citizen, cannot remove the action. Notwithstanding this 10 defect, removal is nevertheless improper for failure to satisfy the amount in controversy 11 requirement. Plaintiff seeks possession of the Property and claims up to $1,000.00 in rent. (See 12 Compl. ¶ 10). Clearly, the amount at stake in the underlying action is less than $75,000. 13 IV. 14 CONCLUSION IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand, (ECF No. 4), is 15 GRANTED and this case is hereby REMANDED to the Eighth Judicial District Court. The 16 Clerk of Court shall remand this case back to state court and thereafter close this Court’s case. 17 31 DATED this _____ day of March, 2017. 18 19 20 ___________________________________ Gloria M. Navarro, Chief Judge United States District Judge 21 22 23 24 25 Page 3 of 3

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