United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION RE DOCUMENT NO.: 2
RUDOLPH CONTRERAS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Plaintiff's Motion to Remand
judgment from the Superior Court for the District of Columbia
ordering the foreclosure sale of her home, Defendant Zenobia
Wilson removed this case to this Court on October 16, 2018,
alleging diversity jurisdiction and federal question
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) and 28
U.S.C. § 1331. Plaintiff Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. moves to
remand the case to the Superior Court for the District of
Columbia on a number of grounds, including, as relevant here,
untimeliness and lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Because
this Court finds that Wilson's notice of removal was
untimely and that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over
Wells Fargo's claims, the Court grants the motion to
January 2007, Defendant Zenobia Wilson (“Wilson”)
obtained a $250, 000 loan from World Savings Bank FSB
(“World Savings”) and executed a promissory note
with World Savings identifying property located at 2651
Myrtle Ave, NE, Washington, DC (the “property”)
as the collateral securing the loan. See Compl. at
2, Notice of Removal Ex. 1 at 6, ECF No. 1-1. Plaintiff Wells
Fargo Bank, N.A. (“WFB”) is the successor in
interest to World Savings, and the current holder of the Note
and beneficiary of the Deed of Trust. Id.
Wilson defaulted on her mortgage in March of 2017, WFB began
a foreclosure action in D.C. Superior Court in September
2017. Id. at 1; see also
Docket, Wells Fargo Bank v. Wilson, No. 2017 CA
006164 R(RP) (D.C. Super. Ct.). On September 1, 2018, the
D.C. Superior Court granted summary judgment in WFB's
favor and issued a decree of sale for the property. Order
Granting Pl.'s Mot. Summ. J. at 1, Wilson, No.
2017 CA 006164 R(RP) (D.C. Super. Ct. Sept. 1, 2018). Wilson
filed her Notice of Removal with this Court on October 16,
2018 on the grounds of diversity jurisdiction and federal
question jurisdiction. See Wilson Notice of Removal
at 2, ECF No. 1; Wilson Civil Cover Sheet at 1, ECF No. 1-2.
WFB filed a Motion to Remand on October 19, 2018. WFB's
Mem. Supp. Mot. Remand at 1, ECF No. 2-1.
a defendant in a civil action brought in state court may
remove the action to a federal district court if the action
is one over which the federal district courts have original
jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). The
Superior Court for the District of Columbia is considered a
state court for this purpose. See Id. §
1451(1). The D.C. Circuit has explained, however, that
“[w]hen it appears that a district court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction over a case that has been removed from a
state court, the district court must remand the
case.” Republic of Venezuela v. Philip Morris
Inc., 287 F.3d 192, 196 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (citing 28
U.S.C. § 1447(c)) (emphasis added). Because removal
implicates federalism concerns, the court “strictly
construes the scope of its removal jurisdiction.”
Downey v. Ambassador Dev., LLC, 568 F.Supp.2d 28, 30
(D.D.C. 2008) (citing Shamrock Oil & Gas Corp. v.
Sheets, 313 U.S. 100, 107-09 (1941)) (other citations
omitted). “The party seeking removal of an action bears
the burden of proving that jurisdiction exists in federal
court.” Id. at 30 (citing Mulcahey v.
Columbia Organic Chems. Co., 29 F.3d 148, 151 (4th
Cir.1994)) (other citations omitted); see also Reed v.
AlliedBarton Sec. Servs., LLC, 583 F.Supp.2d 92, 93
courts may exercise diversity jurisdiction over civil cases
where the matter in controversy exceeds $75, 000 and both
parties are citizens of different states. 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a)(1). However, removal based on diversity jurisdiction
is improper where one of the defendants is a citizen of the
state where the action is brought. Id. §
courts may also exercise federal question jurisdiction when a
matter arises out of the Constitution or laws of the United
States. Id. § 1331. “To bring a case
within the statute, a right or immunity created by the
Constitution or laws of the United States must be an element,
and an essential one, of the plaintiff's cause of
action.” Gully v. First Nat. Bank, 299 U.S.
109, 112 (1936). The cause of action must be plainly stated
on the face of the complaint. Id. at 113. If the
complaint does not present an action that arises under
federal law, removal based on federal question is improper.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1441(c)(A).
moved to remand this case on a number of grounds, including
untimeliness and subject matter jurisdiction. First, the
Court finds that removal was untimely pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1446(b)(1). Second, the Court finds that, regardless
of the timeliness of removal, it lacks subject matter
jurisdiction either based on diversity jurisdiction pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b)(2) or federal question
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Accordingly,
the Court grants the motion to remand.