Guarneri v. Federal National Mortgage Association et al

Northern District of California, cand-4:2015-cv-01826

ORDER REASSIGNING CASE; REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO REMAND. Objections due by 7/8/2015. Signed by Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley on 6/24/2015.

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 DOMINICK M. GUARNERI, 8 Case No. 15-cv-01826-JSC Plaintiff, 9 v. ORDER REASSIGNING CASE; 10 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE TO REMAND 11 ASSOCIATION, et al., 12 Defendants. Northern District of California United States District Court 13 14 Plaintiff Dominick M. Guarneri, proceeding pro se, initiated this civil action by filing a 15 document entitled "Verified Complaint" and "Removal of State Case #BAC1400863." (Dkt. No. 16 1.) Mr. Guarneri appears to be attempting to remove an unlawful detainer action filed against him 17 in the Superior Court for the County of Riverside. Mr. Guarneri is thus the defendant in the state 18 court action, not the plaintiff as he otherwise contends. Given the apparent lack of subject matter 19 jurisdiction, the Court issued an Order for Mr. Guarneri to Show Cause ("OSC") why this case 20 should not be remanded. (Dkt. No. 3.) After Mr. Guarneri failed to respond to the OSC, the Court 21 issued a further OSC which Mr. Guarneri likewise failed to respond to, and on June 15 and 22, 22 2015 documents mailed to Mr. Guarneri were returned as undeliverable with no forwarding address.1 (Dkt. Nos. 6, 8 & 10.) 23 As Mr. Guarneri has not consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge, the Clerk of 24 the Court is accordingly ordered to reassign this action to a district court judge. For the reasons 25 explained below, the Court recommends that this case be REMANDED. 26 27 1 28 A plaintiff is responsible for promptly notifying the Court of any address changes and failure to do so may result in dismissal of the complaint. See N.D. Cal. Civ. R. 3-1. 1 DISCUSSION 2 Mr. Guarneri, as the party seeking removal to this federal court, bears the burden of 3 establishing that subject matter jurisdiction exists, and courts strictly construe the removal statute 4 against removal jurisdiction. Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566-67 (9th Cir. 1992). Further, 5 when a case is removed to federal court, the court has an independent obligation to satisfy itself 6 that it has federal subject matter jurisdiction. Valdez v. Allstate Ins. Co., 372 F.3d 1115, 1116 7 (9th Cir. 2004). The Court has reviewed the Notice of Removal and has determined that subject 8 matter jurisdiction does not exist. 2 9 Mr. Guarneri bases removal on both federal question jurisdiction and diversity jurisdiction. 10 However, "federal jurisdiction exists only when a federal question is presented on the face of the 11 plaintiff's properly pleaded complaint," and the underlying complaint makes only a state-law 12 claim for unlawful detainer. Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987); see also U.S. Northern District of California United States District Court 13 Bank Nat'l Ass'n v. Terrenal, No. 12–5540, 2013 WL 124355, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 8, 2013) 14 (finding "no basis for asserting federal claim jurisdiction" where "[t]he complaint asserts only one 15 state law claim for unlawful detainer"). With respect to diversity jurisdiction, Mr. Guarneri has 16 not established that the parties are diverse or that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. 17 Instead, the face of the state court complaint states that the amount demanded is less than $10,000. See Federal National Mortgage Association v. Dominick M Guarneri et al., No. 14-1997 TJH 18 (C.D. Cal.), Dkt. No. 1-1 at p. 8 (the caption states that the "[a]mount demanded does not exceed 19 $10,000."). Further, even were Mr. Guarneri's contentions as to federal jurisdiction maintainable, 20 he appears to be a citizen of California as the underlying complaint alleges that he occupies 21 property in California. The removal therefore contravenes the provision of 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b) 22 23 2 24 Although Mr. Guarneri did not attach the state court complaint to his notice of removal despite 28 U.S.C. § 1446(a)'s requirement that he do so, the Court's Order to Show Cause took judicial 25 notice of a prior notice of removal filed by Mr. Guarneri in the District Court for the Central District of California. See Federal National Mortgage Association v. Dominick M Guarneri, et 26 al., No. 14-1997 TJH (C.D. Cal.). Mr. Guarneri attached the state court complaint to his notice of removal in the prior action in the Central District. Federal National Mortgage Association v. 27 Dominick M Guarneri et al., No. 14-1997 TJH (C.D. Cal.), Dkt. No. 1-1 (filed September 25, 2014). The complaint bears the same Riverside County Superior Court case number as on Mr. 28 Guarneri's Complaint here: BAC 1400863 and is captioned "Complaint for Unlawful Detainer Following Foreclosure Sale Action Based on Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161a." (Id. at p. 8.) 2 1 that precludes removal where any defendant is a citizen of the state in which the action was 2 brought (the "no local defendant rule"). 3 CONCLUSION 4 Based on the foregoing, this Court RECOMMENDS that the newly assigned district court 5 judge REMAND this action to the Superior Court for the County of Riverside. 6 Any party may file objections to this report and recommendation with the newly-assigned 7 district court judge within 14 days after being served with a copy. See 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(B); 8 Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b); Civil L.R. 72-3. Failure to file objections within the specified time may 9 waive the right to appeal the district court's ultimate order. 10 11 IT IS SO ORDERED. 12 Dated: June 24, 2015 Northern District of California United States District Court 13 14 ________________________ JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY 15 United States Magistrate Judge 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3