(PS) Deutsche Bank National Trust Company v. Griffith et al, No. 2:2011cv03280 - Document 3 (E.D. Cal. 2011)

Court Description: FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS signed by Magistrate Judge Dale A. Drozd on 12/23/11: Recommending that defendant Stacey Griffith's 2 MOTION to PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS be denied. This action be summarily remanded to the Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin and this case be closed. These findings and recommendations referred to Judge Lawrence K. Karlton. Objections to F&R due within fourteen days. (Kaminski, H)
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(PS) Deutsche Bank National Trust Company v. Griffith et al Doc. 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 DEUTSCHE BANK, NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY 11 Plaintiff, No. CIV S-11-3280 JAM DAD PS 12 vs. 13 STACEY J GRIFFITH, et al., FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 14 Defendants. 15 / 16 By Notice of Removal filed December 12, 2011, this unlawful detainer action has 17 been removed from San Joaquin County Superior Court by defendants Stacey Griffith and Daniel 18 Griffith, both of whom are proceeding pro se. The matter has been referred to the undersigned 19 for all purposes encompassed by Local Rule 302(c)(21). 20 Defendants’ Notice of Removal is signed only by defendant Stacey Griffith, and 21 defendant Stacey Griffith is the only defendant who has filed an application to proceed in forma 22 pauperis. Defendants are advised that one party proceeding pro se may not represent any other 23 party proceeding pro se. See Local Rule 183. Thus, each document submitted for filing by 24 defendants must bear the signatures of all defendants. In the absence of the signature of 25 defendant Daniel Griffith, the attempted removal is tantamount to a notice of removal filed solely 26 by defendant Stacey Griffith. 1 Dockets.Justia.com 1 Moreover, it is well established that the statutes governing removal jurisdiction 2 must be “strictly construed against removal.” Libhart v. Santa Monica Dairy Co., 592 F.2d 1062, 3 1064 (9th Cir. 1979) (citing Shamrock Oil & Gas Corp. v. Sheets, 313 U.S. 100, 108 (1941)). 4 See also Syngenta Crop Prot., Inc. v. Henson, 537 U.S. 28, 32 (2002); Provincial Gov’t of 5 Martinduque v. Placer Dome, Inc., 582 F.3d 1083, 1087 (9th Cir. 2009). “Federal jurisdiction 6 must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance.” Gaus v. 7 Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). “‘The burden of establishing federal jurisdiction 8 falls on the party invoking removal.’” Harris v. Provident Life & Accident Ins. Co., 26 F.3d 930, 9 932 (9th Cir. 1994) (quoting Gould v. Mut. Life Ins. Co., 790 F.2d 769, 771 (9th Cir.1986)). See 10 also Provincial Gov’t of Martinduque, 582 F.3d at 1087. Moreover, “the existence of federal 11 jurisdiction depends solely on the plaintiff’s claims for relief and not on anticipated defenses to 12 those claims.” ARCO Envtl. Remediation, LLC v. Dep’t of Health & Envtl. Quality, 213 F.3d 13 1108, 1113 (9th Cir. 2000). Where it appears, as it does here, that the district court lacks subject 14 matter jurisdiction over a removed case, “the case shall be remanded.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). 15 Here, defendants contend that this is a civil action over which the federal court 16 has original jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (Doc. No. 1 at 2.) Defendants’ assertion 17 of jurisdiction based on diversity of citizenship is without merit because removal on such a 18 ground is not permitted if any defendant in the action is a citizen of the state in which the action 19 is brought. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b) (providing that civil actions not removed on the basis of 20 federal question “shall be removable only if none of the parties in interest properly joined and 21 served as defendants is a citizen of the State in which such action is brought”). It is evident that 22 both of the defendants in this action are citizens of the State of California, which is the state in 23 which this action was brought. Accordingly, the defendants have improperly removed plaintiff’s 24 unlawful detainer action on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. 25 26 Defendants’ notice of removal also cites, without discussion, “Federal Question” jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 as a basis of jurisdiction. (Doc. No. 1 at 1.) It is 2 1 evident however from a reading of plaintiff’s complaint that plaintiff’s action is nothing more 2 than a garden-variety unlawful detainer action filed against the former owner of real property 3 located in California and is based wholly on California law. As such, the complaint does not 4 involve any “claim or right arising under the Constitution, treaties or laws of the United States” 5 that would have permitted plaintiff to file this action originally in federal court. See 28 U.S.C. § 6 1441(b). 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 The court finds that defendants have failed to meet their burden of establishing any basis for federal jurisdiction over this action. Accordingly, IT IS RECOMMENDED that: 1. Defendant Stacey Griffith’s December 12, 2011 application to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. No. 2) be denied; 2. This action be summarily remanded to the Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin; and 14 3. This case be closed. 15 These findings and recommendations will be submitted to the United States 16 District Judge assigned to the case, pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l). Within 17 fourteen days after being served with these findings and recommendations, any party may file 18 written objections with the court and serve a copy on all parties. A document presenting 19 objections should be titled “Objections to Magistrate Judge’s Findings and Recommendations.” 20 Any reply to objections shall be filed and served within seven days after service of the objections. 21 DATED: December 23, 2011. 22 23 24 25 DAD:6 Ddad1\orders.pro se\deutschebank-griffith3280.ifpden.f&r.remand.ud 26 3