United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendants Svetlana Garagan
and Nikolay Garagan’s Motion for Reconsideration. Dkt.
#15. On September 10, 2019, this Court granted Plaintiff
Gretchen Enger’s Motion to Remand. Dkt. #12. Defendants
now request that the Court reconsider its order based on the
counterclaim they attached to their Notice of Removal.
Id; Dkt. #1, Ex 5. Defendants also argue that their
untimely opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion should be
considered given they are pro se and should be held to less
stringent standards than lawyers. Id. For the
reasons stated below, the Court DENIES the Motion for
previous order, the Court granted Plaintiff’s Motion to
Remand based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. First,
the Court determined that no federal question jurisdiction
exists in this matter. Dkt. #12 at 3. Plaintiff’s sole
cause of action is a state law action for unlawful detainer,
not a federal question, and a counterclaim cannot confer the
federal question jurisdiction. Id. Second, the Court
determined that no diversity jurisdiction exists in this
matter. Id. 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, ” and
both Mr. and Ms. Garagan are residents of Washington state.
Id.; see also 28. U.S.C. § 1441
now request reconsideration of the Order to Remand based on
their counterclaim, the national interest exception, and
their pro se status. Dkt. #15.
for reconsideration are disfavored.” Local Rules W.D.
Wash. LCR 7(h)(1). “The court will ordinarily deny such
motions in the absence of a showing of manifest error in the
prior ruling or a showing of new facts or legal authority
which could not have been brought to its attention earlier
with reasonable diligence.” Id.
Lack of Manifest Error
Motion does not demonstrate manifest error by the Court in
its prior ruling, provide new evidence, or identify a change
in the controlling law. Defendants reiterate their argument
that federal question jurisdiction exists based on their
counterclaim. Dkt. #15 at 1. Defendants also argue that
jurisdiction may exist without a federal cause of action so
long as an important national interest would be served.
Id. at 2. Here, Defendants argue that show cause
hearings at the state level “deprive individuals and
families of a roof over their head.” Id.
Defendants cite to Grable & Sons Metal Products,
Inc., v. Darue Engineering, which held that providing a
federal forum for federal tax litigation was deemed to be an
important national interest. Id.; 125 S.Ct. 2363,
2364 (2005). This is not a federal tax case, and the Court is
not persuaded that the Plaintiff’s state law action for
unlawful detainer circumvents due process. The Court finds
that providing a federal forum for the current matter would
not serve an important national interest.
Defendants’ Pro Se Status
the Court agrees that pro se parties are held to less
stringent standards, these standards typically address the
substance of a complaint or allegation-not procedural issues
such as filing deadlines. See, e.g., Haines v.
Kerner, 92 S.Ct. 594, 596 (1972) (Holding that
allegations of the pro se complaint are held to a less
stringent standard than pleadings drafted by lawyers). Here,
the Court declined to consider Defendants’ opposition
to Plaintiff’s motion based on its untimely filing by
even if the Court had considered Defendants’
opposition, it still provides no basis for federal
jurisdiction. The opposition merely reiterates
Defendants’ arguments regarding federal question
jurisdiction and the exception for cases with