Kotapati v. Kim et al
ORDER by Judge Robert S. Lasnik. The Clerk of Court shall immediately transfer this matter to Snohomish CountySuperior Court. (SWT) (cc: Defendant Hae Young Kim via USPS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
SIVA RAMA RAO KOTAPATI,
Case No. C17-0593RSL
HAE YOUNG KIM, and All Occupants of the
Premises located at 18611 37th Dr. SE,
Bothell, WA 98102,
Plaintiff Siva Rama Rao Kotapati filed this unlawful detainer action in state court.
On April 17, 2017, defendant Hae Young Kim removed the case to federal court alleging
that the Court has jurisdiction based on an issue of federal bankruptcy law and/or
diversity of citizenship. The Court ordered defendant to show cause why this case should
not be remanded to state court for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Although no
response was received by the date specified in the Court’s order, there seems to have been
a delay in service: a response to the order to show cause was received on May 15, 2017.
The Court finds that remand is nevertheless appropriate. Defendant argues that this
Court has jurisdiction over this unlawful detainer action because he is a dependent of
active military personnel under 50 U.S.C. § 3932. This argument is factually and legally
deficient. The “Enlisted Record Brief” submitted by defendant is for Eugene Young Kim
who, according to the document, has no dependents. The statute upon which defendant
ORDER - 1
relies, 50 U.S.C. § 3932, applies only where a named party is in military service.
Defendant does not claim to be in the military service: whether he is the dependant of
active military personnel is therefore irrelevant.
Assuming, for purposes of this analysis, that Eugene Young Kim is another
occupant of the foreclosed premises and therefore a defendant in the state court action,
the statute enables him to request a stay utilizing the procedures set forth in 50 U.S.C.
§ 3932(b)(2). There is no indication in the statute or the case law that an intrinsically state
law matter such as an unlawful detainer action is preempted or becomes a federal claim
simply because a service member is a named party. Plaintiff could not have filed this
complaint in federal court originally, and the fact that Eugene Young Kim may have a
right to stay the state court action does not justify its removal to federal court.
The Clerk of Court shall immediately transfer this matter to Snohomish County
Dated this 17th day of May, 2017.
Robert S. Lasnik
United States District Judge
ORDER - 2
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