United States District Court, D. Utah
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY CASE SHOULD NOT BE REMANDED
TO STATE COURT
N. PARRISH DISTRICT JUDGE
matter was removed from state court by defendant General R.V.
Center on July 29, 2019. (ECF No. 2).
Court must satisfy itself of its power to adjudicate in
“every case and at every stage of the
proceedings.” State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v.
Narvaez, 149 F.3d 1269, 1270-71 (10th Cir. 1998). As the
party invoking federal jurisdiction, General R.V. Center
bears the burden of establishing that jurisdiction exists.
Penteco Corp. Ltd. P'ship-1985A v. Union Gas Sys.,
Inc., 929 F.2d 1519, 1521 (10th Cir. 1991). But as
explained below, the allegations in General R.V. Center's
notice of removal are plainly insufficient to establish
either diversity or federal question jurisdiction.
diversity jurisdiction, General R.V. Center's notice of
removal completely ignores the existence of an individual
defendant, Brett A. Moore, who would appear to destroy
diversity. Moreover, the notice of removal alleges only the
residence of the individual plaintiff and defendant. But in
the Tenth Circuit such allegations are insufficient to
establish diversity jurisdiction. “An individual's
residence is not equivalent to his domicile and it is
domicile that is relevant for determining citizenship.”
Siloam Springs Hotel, L.L.C. v. Century Surety Co.,
781 F.3d 1233, 1238 (10th Cir. 2015) (citing Whitelock v.
Leatherman, 460 F.2d 507, 514 n.14 (10th Cir. 1972)).
Indeed, “an allegation that a party . . . is a resident
of a state is not equivalent to an allegation of citizenship
and is insufficient to confer jurisdiction upon the District
Court.” Whitelock, 460 F.2d at 514
it does not appear that the notice of removal adequately
establishes federal question jurisdiction in that the
complaint appears to assert only state law causes of action.
For the parties' benefit, the court briefly exposits some
rudimentary principles of federal question jurisdiction
below. General R.V. Center's response must establish how,
under the following legal framework, plaintiff's
complaint avails this court of federal question jurisdiction.
28 U.S.C. § 1331, “district courts shall have
original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
“[W]hether a claim ‘arises under' federal law
must be determined by reference to the ‘well-pleaded
complaint.'” Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc. v.
Thompson, 478 U.S. 804, 808 (1986). Thus, a plaintiff is
master of his complaint, and “[j]urisdiction may not be
sustained on a theory that the plaintiff has not
advanced.” Id. at 809 n.6. “Nor can
federal question jurisdiction depend solely on ‘a
federal defense, . . . even if the defense is anticipated in
the plaintiff's complaint, and even if both parties
concede that the federal defense is the only question truly
at issue.'” Becker v. Ute Indian Tribe of the
Uintah & Ouray Reservation, 770 F.3d 944, 947 (10th
Cir. 2014) (quoting Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams,
482 U.S. 386, 393 (1987)).
general, for purposes of § 1331,  a suit
“aris[es] under” the law that creates the cause
of action. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 478 U.S. at
808. Indeed, “the vast majority of cases brought under
the general federal-question jurisdiction of the federal
courts are those in which federal law creates the cause of
action.” Id. “As a rule of inclusion,
this ‘creation' test admits of only extremely rare
exceptions . . . .” Gunn v. Minton, 568 U.S.
251, 257 (2013).
‘substantial question' branch of federal question
jurisdiction is exceedingly narrow-a ‘special and small
category' of cases.” Gilmore v.
Weatherford, 694 F.3d 1160, 1171 (10th Cir. 2012)
(quoting Empire Healthchoice Assurance, Inc. v.
McVeigh, 547 U.S. 677, 699 (2006)). This slim path to
federal court is available only when a state law claim
contains “a federal issue [that] is: (1) necessarily
raised, (2) actually disputed, (3) substantial, and (4)
capable of resolution in federal court without disrupting the
federal-state balance approved by Congress.”
Gunn, 568 U.S. at 258.
narrow boundaries of the substantial question category are
marked by a few important principles.” Becker,
770 F.3d at 947. One principle is that the Supreme
Court's recognition of this special and rare category of
cases “does not ‘disturb the long-settled
understanding that the mere presence of a federal issue in a
state cause of action does not automatically confer
federal-question jurisdiction.” Id. (quoting
Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 478 U.S. at 813). And,
“[t]o determine whether an issue is
‘necessarily' raised, the Supreme Court has focused
on whether the issue is an ‘essential element' of a
plaintiff's claim.” Gilmore, 694 F.3d at
1173. “Finally, if a claim does not present ‘a
nearly pure issue of law, one that could be settled once and
for all and thereafter would govern numerous . . .
cases,' but rather is ‘fact-bound and
situation-specific,' then federal question jurisdiction
will generally be inappropriate.” Becker, 770
F.3d at 947-48 (quoting Empire Healthchoice Assurance,
Inc., 547 U.S. at 700-01).
R.V. Center is hereby ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE
why this case should not be remanded for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction. General R.V. Center's response to
this order must be filed no later than August 30, 2019.
Failure to respond will result in remand of the case.
 The Supreme Court has interpreted
§ 1331 as conveying a more limited grant of
federal-question jurisdiction than is permissible under
Article III. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 478 U.S. at
807 (“Although the constitutional meaning of
‘arising under' may extend to all cases in which a
federal question is ‘an ingredient' of the action,
we have long construed the statutory grant of