Guarneri v. Federal National Mortgage Association et al

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

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE AS TO WHY THIS CASE SHOULD NOT BE REMANDED TO STATE COURT. Show Cause Response due by 5/27/2015. Signed by Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley on 4/30/2015.

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 DOMINICK M. GUARNERI, 7 Case No. 15-cv-01826-JSC Plaintiff, 8 v. ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE AS TO 9 WHY THIS CASE SHOULD NOT BE FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE REMANDED TO STATE COURT 10 ASSOCIATION, et al., 11 Defendants. 12 Northern District of California United States District Court 13 Plaintiff Dominick M. Guarneri, proceeding pro se, initiated this civil action by filing a 14 document entitled "Verified Complaint" and "Removal of State Case #BAC1400863." (Dkt. No. 15 1.) Mr. Guarneri appears to be attempting to remove an unlawful detainer action filed against him 16 in the Superior Court for the County of Riverside. Mr. Guarneri is thus the defendant in the state 17 court action, not the plaintiff as he otherwise contends. 18 A defendant may remove an action from state court to federal court so long as the federal 19 court has original jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Federal subject matter jurisdiction under 28 20 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) requires complete diversity of citizenship and an amount in controversy in excess of $75,000. Federal subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 requires a civil 21 action to arise under the constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. A claim "arises 22 under" federal law only if a "well-pleaded complaint" alleges a cause of action based on federal 23 law—"an actual or anticipated defense" does not confer federal jurisdiction. Vaden v. Discover 24 Bank, 556 U.S. 49, 60 (2009). The defendant seeking removal "bears the burden of establishing 25 that removal is proper" and the "removal statute is strictly construed against removal 26 jurisdiction." Provincial Gov't of Marinduque v. Placer Dome, Inc., 582 F.3d 1083, 1087 (9th 27 Cir. 2009). Further, when a case is removed to federal court, the court has an independent 28 obligation to satisfy itself that it has federal subject matter jurisdiction. Valdez v. Allstate Ins. 1 Co., 372 F.3d 1115, 1116 (9th Cir. 2004). A case removed to federal court must be remanded 2 back to state court "if at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court lacks 3 subject matter jurisdiction." 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). 4 Here, Mr. Guarneri bases removal on both federal question jurisdiction and diversity 5 jurisdiction. The removed complaint, however, makes only a state-law claim for unlawful 6 detainer. 1 Thus, that Mr. Guarneri advances certain claims in his Notice of Removal arising under 7 federal law is of no moment because "federal jurisdiction exists only when a federal question is 8 presented on the face of the plaintiff's properly pleaded complaint." Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 9 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987); see also U.S. Bank Nat'l Ass'n v. Terrenal, No. 12–5540, 2013 WL 10 124355, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 8, 2013) (finding "no basis for asserting federal claim jurisdiction" 11 where "[t]he complaint asserts only one state law claim for unlawful detainer"). With respect to 12 diversity jurisdiction, Mr. Guarneri has not established that the parties are diverse or that the Northern District of California United States District Court 13 amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. Instead, the face of the state court complaint states that 14 the amount demanded is less than $10,000. See Federal National Mortgage Association v. 15 Dominick M Guarneri et al., No. 14-1997 TJH (C.D. Cal.), Dkt. No. 1-1 at p. 8 (the caption states 16 that the "[a]mount demanded does not exceed $10,000."). Further, even were Mr. Guarneri's 17 contentions as to federal jurisdiction maintainable, he appears to be a citizen of California as the 18 underlying complaint alleges that he occupies property in California. The removal therefore 19 contravenes the provision of 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b) that precludes removal where any defendant is a 20 21 1 Mr. Guarneri did not attach the state court complaint to his notice of removal despite 28 U.S.C. § 22 1446(a)'s requirement that he do so. The Court thus takes judicial notice of a prior notice of removal filed by Mr. Guarneri in the District Court for the Central District of California. See 23 Federal National Mortgage Association v. Dominick M Guarneri, et al., No. 14-1997 TJH (C.D. Cal.). The Court may take judicial notice of a fact "that is not subject to reasonable dispute 24 because it ... can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned." Fed. R. Evid. 201(b)(2). Further, a court may "take judicial notice of 25 court filings and other matters of public record" which are "readily verifiable." Reyn's Pasta Bella, LLC v. Visa USA, Inc., 442 F.3d 741, 746 (9th Cir. 2006). Mr. Guarneri attached the state 26 court complaint to his notice of removal in the prior action in the Central District. Federal National Mortgage Association v. Dominick M Guarneri et al., No. 14-1997 TJH (C.D. Cal.), Dkt. 27 No. 1-1 (filed September 25, 2014). The complaint bears the same Riverside County Superior Court case number as on Mr. Guarneri's Complaint here: BAC 1400863 and is captioned 28 "Complaint for Unlawful Detainer Following Foreclosure Sale Action Based on Code of Civil Procedure Section 1161a." (Id. at p. 8.) 2 1 citizen of the state in which the action was brought (the "no local defendant rule"). 2 In light of the foregoing, the Court ORDERS Mr. Guarneri to SHOW CAUSE as to why 3 this action should not be remanded to state court. Mr. Guarneri shall respond to this Order in 4 writing by May 27, 2015. Failure to respond will result in remand of this case to the Riverside 5 County Superior Court. 6 7 IT IS SO ORDERED. 8 Dated: April 30, 2015 9 10 ________________________ JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY 11 United States Magistrate Judge 12 Northern District of California United States District Court 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3