United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Gretchen
Enger's Motion for Remand. Dkt. #6. Plaintiff moves for
immediate remand to Snohomish County Superior Court with an
award for costs and fees under 28 U.S.C. §1447(c) and
Rule 11 sanctions on Defendants for willful abuse of the
judicial process. Id. Defendants filed an untimely
opposition to Plaintiff's Motion. Dkt. #10. For the
reasons below, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion and
REMANDS to Snohomish County Superior Court with an award of
costs and fees.
case was originally filed in Snohomish County Superior Court
on April 26, 2019, and Plaintiff served the Complaint on
Defendants on the same date. See Dkt. #1; Dkt. #6,
Ex. C. On July 25, 2019, Defendants removed the case to this
Court. Dkt. #1. Defendants attached to their Notice of
Removal a purported “Counter Complaint” that
alleges violations of the Washington State Deed of Trust Act
and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act
(“RICO”). Dkt. #1, Ex. 5. Furthermore, Defendants
added numerous entities as their opposing parties: East Side
Funding LLC, Aztec Foreclosure Corporation of Washington,
Carrington Mortgage Services LLC, and Kaitlyn Jackson.
August 6, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Remand to State
Superior Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1447(c),
requesting attorneys' fees and costs and Rule 11
sanctions. Dkt. #6. Defendants filed an untimely response to
Plaintiff's Motion on September 3, 2019. Dkt. #10.
Because Plaintiff filed the Motion to Remand on August 6,
2019, Defendants' response was due on August 26, 2019.
See LCR (7)(d)(3). Defendants' response did not
meet the deadline requirements, and Defendants did not
include an explanation for their delay pursuant to LCR 7(j).
Therefore, the Court will not consider Defendants'
case is filed in state court, removal is typically proper if
the complaint raises a federal question or where there is
diversity of citizenship between the parties and an amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331,
1332(a). Typically, it is presumed “that a cause lies
outside [the] limited jurisdiction [of the federal courts]
and the burden of establishing the contrary rests upon the
party asserting jurisdiction.'” Hunter v.
Philip Morris USA, 582 F.3d 1039, 1042 (9th Cir. 2009).
A motion to remand the case based on any defect other than
lack of subject matter jurisdiction must be made within 30
days after the filing of the notice of removal. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1447(c). An order remanding the case may require
payment of just costs and any actual expenses, including
attorney fees, incurred as a result of the removal.
Federal Question Jurisdiction
argue that federal question exists on the basis that their
counterclaims include a RICO violation. Dkt. #1. Under the
longstanding well-pleaded complaint rule, a suit arises under
federal law only when the plaintiff's statement of their
own cause of action shows that it is based upon federal law.
Louisville & Nashville R.R. Co. v. Mottley, 211
U.S. 149, 152 (1908). A counterclaim does not confer federal
question jurisdiction. Vaden v. Discover Bank, 556
U.S. 49, 59-60 (2009). Here, Plaintiff's sole cause of
action is a state law action for unlawful detainer and not a
federal question. Accordingly, even if Defendants had
properly filed their counterclaims, there is no federal
question jurisdiction in this matter.
Other Bases for Federal Jurisdiction
also appear to argue that diversity jurisdiction exists. Dkt.
#1, Ex. 5 at 3. Diversity jurisdiction requires diversity of
citizenship between the parties and an amount in controversy
exceeding $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). A case may not
be removed to federal court based on diversity if any
defendant “is a citizen of the State in which such
action is brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b)(2). Both
Mr. and Ms. Garagan are residents of Washington state.
Accordingly, there is no basis for diversity jurisdiction.