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Case 2:13-cv-05053-ABC-SH Document 10 Filed 07/31/13 Page 1 of 4 Page ID #:110

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST
COMPANY, AS INDENTURE TRUSTEE
FOR NEW CENTURY ALTERNATIVE
MORTGAGE LOAN TRUST 2006-ALT1,

Plaintiff,

vs.

RUBIN KNIGHT; PATRICIA KNIGHT;
and Does 1 to 10, Inclusive



Defendant.

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CASE NO. CV 13-05053 ABC (SHx)

ORDER REMANDING CASE TO STATE
COURT AND GRANTING IN PART
PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR
SANCTIONS

On July 19, 2013, Plaintiff Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Indenture
Trustee for New Century Alternative Mortgage Loan Trust 2006-ALT1, filed a motion
to remand and for monetary sanctions against Defendant Patricia Knight in the sum of
$6,000. (Docket No. 7.) The case was subsequently transferred to this Court. The
Court finds that it need not await Defendants’ opposition to resolve this motion. It
further finds this matter appropriate for resolution without oral argument and
VACATES the August 26, 2013 hearing date. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; Local Rule 7-15.
Having reviewed the motion and record in this and the six previous unlawful detainer
actions that pro se Defendants Rubin and Patricia Knight have removed (all of which
have been remanded), the Court GRANTS Plaintiff’s motion to remand and GRANTS
IN PART Plaintiff’s motion for monetary sanctions in the amount of $1,000.

Case 2:13-cv-05053-ABC-SH Document 10 Filed 07/31/13 Page 2 of 4 Page ID #:111

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On June 4, 2012, Plaintiff filed the instant unlawful detainer action against pro se

Defendants in Los Angeles Superior Court. LASC Case No. 12C01581. Defendants
proceeded to remove this action six separate times, all of which have resulted in a
remand to state court:













Case No. 2:12-cv-08818-ABC-SH: Remanded on 11/13/2012. (Dkt. No.
8.)
Case No. 2:13-cv-00217-ABC-SH: Remanded on 2/8/2013 with a further
order that “Defendant PATRICIA KNIGHT may not file any additional
Notice of Removal” in this matter. (Dkt. No. 10.)
Case No. 2:13-cv-01713-PA-VBK: Remanded on 3/14/2013. (Dkt. No.
7.)
Case No. 2:13-cv-02470-JFW-SH: Remanded on 4/11/2013. (Dkt. No.
6.)
Case No. 2:13-cv-03218-CAS-PJW: Remanded on 6/11/2013, stating
“Defendant is admonished that any attempt to remove this action again
may result in an award of attorney’s fees against defendant as well as other
monetary and/or terminating sanctions.” (Dkt. No. 8.)
Case No. 2:13-cv-03597-GHK-JEM: Remanded on 7/9/2013 (Dkt. No.
5.)

As with her previous six attempts, Defendant Patricia Knight’s latest attempt to

remove this unlawful detainer action fails. At the outset, the removal is untimely
because it was done more than 30 days after Defendants were served.

Moreover, as a routine unlawful detainer action, Plaintiff could not have brought
this action in federal court initially because the complaint does not competently allege
facts creating subject matter jurisdiction, rendering removal improper. 28 U.S.C.
§1441(a); see Exxon Mobil Corp v. Allapattah Svcs., Inc., 545 U.S. 546, 563, 125 S.Ct.
2611, 162 L.Ed.2d 502 (2005).

First, the amount in controversy does not exceed the diversity jurisdiction

threshold of $75,000. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441(b). The Complaint clearly states
that the damages sought by Plaintiff do not exceed $10,000 (Compl. at 1) and that

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Case 2:13-cv-05053-ABC-SH Document 10 Filed 07/31/13 Page 3 of 4 Page ID #:112

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Plaintiff expressly waives all damages in excess of the Superior Court’s jurisdictional
limit. (Id. at 3.) Defendants’ apparent assertion that an action commenced by Ms.
Knight against Plaintiff in which she seeks $300,000 (Los Angeles Superior Court Case
No. 13-CF-0521) satisfies the amount in controversy requirement is incorrect because
only the allegations in the complaint are assessed in determining the amount in
controversy. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. V. Galindo, No. ED CV 10-01893-RGK
(DTBx), 2011 WL 662324, at *2 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 11, 2011).

Second, Plaintiff alleges only a single unlawful detainer claim, which does not

give rise to a federal question. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1441(b). Defendants references
to numerous U.S.C. sections in the Notice of Removal are irrelevant under the well-
pleaded complaint rule. (NOR at 4.)

Plaintiff requests sanctions in the amount of $6,000 for Defendants’ repeated
improper removals pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). That section states, “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.” The Court finds that
sanctions are appropriate in this case for Defendant Patricia Knight’s repeated
violations of this Court’s February 8, 2013 Order prohibiting her from filing additional
notices of removal and that Ms. Knight was given ample warning in Judge Snyder’s
June 11, 2013 Order that such sanctions could be imposed should she continue in her
attempts to remove this action. The fact that Ms. Knight is not represented by counsel
does not relieve her from complying with Court Orders or applicable federal rules. See
Local Rule 83-2.2.3. Sanctions are necessary to prevent further abuse of the removal
procedure by Ms. Knight.

In determining the amount of sanctions, the Court has reviewed the Declaration

of Michael L. Withem in support of Plaintiff’s motion to remand, which approximates a
“sum of not less than $1,000.00” per motion for having to prepare and file each of the
motions to remand. (Withem Decl. ¶¶ 21-22.) The Withem Declaration does not,
however, take into account the fact that later motions to remand should have taken less

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Case 2:13-cv-05053-ABC-SH Document 10 Filed 07/31/13 Page 4 of 4 Page ID #:113

time given that they were substantially similar to previous motions.1 As such, the Court
will GRANT Plaintiff’s request for sanctions, but only in the amount of $1,000, which
the Court finds is a reasonable amount for the drafting and filing of these substantially
similar motions.

Accordingly, the Court (1) REMANDS this case to the Superior Court of

California, Los Angeles County, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1447(c); (2) VACATES the August 26, 2013 hearing date; (3) ORDERS the
Clerk to send a certified copy of this Order to the state court; and (4) ORDERS the
Clerk to serve copies of this Order on the parties.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant Patricia Knight may not file any
additional Notice of Removal in the matter of Deutsche Bank National Trust Company,
as Indenture Trustee for New Century Alternative Mortgage Loan Trust 2006-ALT1,
Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. 12C01581.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant Patricia Knight shall pay

monetary sanctions in a sum of not less than $1,000.00 to Defendant Deutsche Bank
National Trust Company, as Indenture Trustee for New Century Alternative Mortgage
Loan Trust 2006-ALT1.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

DATED: July 31, 2013



AUDREY B. COLLINS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

1 Indeed, the present motion states it is the “FIFTH REMOVAL” when, in fact, it appears this is
Defendants’ seventh removal. (Mot. at 2:23.) That reference is likely a vestige of a previous version of
the motion.

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