United States District Court, D. Nevada
THOMAS J. MCGRATH, Plaintiff
CREDIT ONE FINANCIAL, d/b/a CREDIT ONE BANK; DOES I through X, inclusive; ROE ENTITIES, I through X, inclusive, Defendant
ORDER REMANDING CASE TO STATE COURT AND DENYING
MOTIONS FOR SANCTIONS AND ENTRY OF DEFAULT [ECF NOS. 13, 14,
P. GORDON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Credit One Financial removed this case from state court based
on federal question jurisdiction. Plaintiff Thomas McGrath,
appearing pro per, moves to remand the case to state
court, asserting that he never intended to plead claims based
on federal law and that his references to federal law were
inadvertent. ECF No. 14. McGrath also moves for sanctions
against Credit One for removing the case. ECF No. 13. Because
McGrath has disavowed any claims arising under federal law, I
will remand the case to state court. I will not sanction
Credit One because removal was based McGrath's
allegations in his Second Amended Complaint.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. . . . It is to be
presumed that a cause lies outside this limited jurisdiction,
and the burden of establishing the contrary rests upon the
party asserting jurisdiction.” Corral v. Select
Portfolio Servicing, Inc., 878 F.3d 770, 773-74 (9th
Cir. 2017) (internal quotations and citations omitted). This
burden is particularly stringent for removing defendants
because “[t]he removal statute is strictly construed,
and any doubt about the right of removal requires resolution
in favor of remand.” Moore-Thomas v. Alaska
Airlines, Inc., 553 F.3d 1241, 1244 (9th Cir. 2009);
see also Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th
Cir. 1992) (noting the “strong presumption”
against removal jurisdiction).
Second Amended Complaint asserts claims based on various
Nevada statutes and Title VII. Thus, Credit One removed the
case based on federal question jurisdiction. In his motion to
remand, McGrath states several times that his references to
Title VII were “erroneously included” in his
Second Amended Complaint and were “a mistake.”
See ECF No. 14 at 7:4-5. See also Id. at
7:17-19 (“To be clear, it is not necessary for the
plaintiff to seek any relief whatsoever under federal law, so
the claims upon which the Plaintiff mistakenly makes
reference to Title VII cannot conceivably create a federal
question in this case. . . . Even if Plaintiff was seeking
relief under federal law (which Plaintiff is not). . .
.”); Id. at 7:6-7 (confirming that the Nevada
statutes “offer all the protections and relief sought
by the plaintiff”). McGrath even agrees to amend his
complaint “to remove all mention of federal law from
his pleading and reference only state law.” ECF No. 26
plaintiff [is] the master of the claim; he or she may avoid
federal jurisdiction by exclusive reliance on state
law.” Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S.
386, 392 (1987). See also Rains v Criterion Systems,
Inc., 80 F.3d 339, 343-47 (9th Cir. 1996) (removal
improper when the complaint alleged state, not federal,
discrimination claim). McGrath never intended to assert any
claims arising under federal law. The references to Title VII
were included only because he is representing himself and is
not well educated in the law. Had he properly pleaded his
claims as he intended, asserting only state law claims, this
case would not have been removable. And because McGrath
agrees to dismiss those federal law references (ECF No. 26 at
6:20-22), this court has no subject matter jurisdiction over
Credit One's removal was based on McGrath's mention
of Title VII in his Second Amended Complaint, sanctions
against Credit One are not appropriate.
THEREFORE ORDER that the plaintiffs motion to remand
(ECF No. 14) is granted.
FURTHER ORDER that the plaintiffs motion for sanctions
(ECF No. 13) is denied.
FURTHER ORDER that the plaintiffs motion to order the state
court to enter default (ECF No. 15) is denied without
FURTHER ORDER this case remanded to the state court from
which it was removed for all further proceedings. The Clerk
of the Court is instructed to close this case.
 McGrath also seeks an order from this
court directing the state court to enter default against
Credit One. ECF No. 15. This court has no authority over the
state court, so I deny the motion.
 If McGrath attempts to pursue federal
claims upon remand to state court, Credit One could
reasonably remove the case to federal ...