United States District Court, D. Nevada
before the court is 180 Land Company, LLC; Fore Stars, Ltd.;
and Seventy Acres, LLC's (“plaintiffs”)
motion to remand. (ECF No. 7). Defendant City of Las Vegas
(“the city”) filed a response (ECF No. 9), to
which plaintiffs replied (ECF No. 10).
instant action is an inverse condemnation claim against the
city. (ECF No. 9 at 4). Plaintiffs'
predecessor-in-interest designated a 250-acre property in Las
Vegas, which was formerly known as the Badlands Gold Course,
as open space. Id. at 3. Plaintiffs acquired the
property in 2015 and now seek to redevelop it. Id.
Plaintiffs applied to the city to rezone the property and
approve various construction projects. Id.
The City Council approved the [plaintiff's] applications
for 435 condominiums, denied the
[plaintiff's]applications for 61 single family homes and
struck some of the [plaintiff's]applications because they
failed to meet procedural requirements of the City's
Unified Development Code and that were established in an
earlier court proceeding.
Id. In response to the city's decisions,
plaintiffs filed this action and three others in the Eighth
Judicial District Court. Id. at 3-4.
particular action, plaintiffs are “seeking just
compensation for the [c]ity's taking of [their] 65 Acre
private undeveloped residentially zoned property.” (ECF
No. 7 at 2). The city avers that “[t]he instant case
alleges the taking of a 65-acre portion of the [p]roperty for
which the [plaintiffs] did not file any particular land use
applications for the City Council's consideration.”
(ECF No. 9 at 4).
city filed a motion to dismiss this action while it was
pending in state court and filed various motions and writ
petitions in the three related cases. (ECF No. 7 at 4-7).
“The case was bounced from one department to another
and sat idle in an empty department for some time.”
(ECF No. 9 at 4). Before the state court could address the
motion to dismiss, the United States Supreme Court issued its
opinion in Knick v. Twp. of Scott, Pennsylvania, 139
S.Ct. 2162 (2019). Id. The city then removed this
case and each related case. (ECF No. 1); see also
Nos. 2:19-cv-01467-KJD-DJA; 2:19-cv-0149-JAD-NJK; and
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction,' possessing
‘only that power authorized by Constitution and
statute.'” Gunn v. Minton, 568 U.S. 251,
256 (2013) (quoting Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of
America, 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)). Pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a), “any civil action brought in a
State court of which the district courts of the United States
have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant
or the defendants, to the district court of the United States
for the district and division embracing the place where such
action is pending.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a).
the court's jurisdiction is limited by the constitution
and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332, “[t]he threshold
requirement for removal under 28 U.S.C. § 1441 is a
finding that the complaint contains a cause of action that is
within the original jurisdiction of the district
court.” Ansley v. Ameriquest Mortg. Co., 340
F.3d 858, 861 (9th Cir. 2003) (quoting Toumajian v.
Frailey, 135 F.3d 648, 653 (9th Cir. 1998)). Thus,
“it is to be 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).
notice of removability, a defendant has thirty days to remove
a case to federal court once he knows or should have known
that the case was removable. Durham v. Lockheed Martin
Corp., 445 F.3d 1247, 1250 (9th Cir. 2006) (citing 28
U.S.C. § 1446(b)(2)). Defendants are not charged with
notice of removability “until they've received a
paper that gives them enough information to remove.”
Id. at 1251.
“the ‘thirty day time period [for removal] . . .
starts to run from defendant's receipt of the initial
pleading only when that pleading affirmatively reveals on its
face' the facts necessary for federal court
jurisdiction.” Id. at 1250 (quoting Harris
v. Bankers Life & Casualty Co., 425 F.3d 689, 690-91
(9th Cir. 2005) (alterations in original)). “Otherwise,
the thirty-day clock doesn't begin ticking until a
defendant receives ‘a copy of an amended pleading,
motion, order or other paper' from which it can determine
that the case is removable.” Id. (quoting 28
U.S.C. § 1446(b)(3)).
plaintiff may challenge removal by timely filing a motion to
remand. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). On a motion to remand, the
removing defendant must overcome the “strong
presumption against removal jurisdiction” and establish
that removal is proper. Hunter, 582 F.3d at 1042
(quoting Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th
Cir.1992) (per curiam)). Due to this strong presumption
against removal jurisdiction, the court resolves all
ambiguity in favor of remand to state court. Id.