Eldee-K Rental Properties v. DIRECTV

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Property Law
  • Date Filed: 04-09-2014
  • Case #: 11-17994
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Ikuta for the Court; Circuit Judges Farris and Black
  • Full Text Opinion

The local action doctrine applies to “actions to recover or determine rights or interests in real property, actions to remedy injuries to real property, and actions to foreclose on liens and mortgages on real property.” As a result, other actions not falling into those categories are transitory.

Plaintiff, Eldee-K Rental Properties, LLC (“Eldee”) sued DIRECTV for permanently placing satellite reception equipment on their apartment buildings in Connecticut without their consent. DIRECTV moved to dismiss the claim due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The district court ruled that the claim was substantially related to a trespass on real property and therefore directly related to the local action doctrine, which did not allow the district court subject-matter jurisdiction over the claim. The Plaintiff appealed, arguing that Congress amended the location action doctrine and its requirement of venue decisions. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit held the local action doctrine applied.In their analysis, the panel first noted that the case was brought before the effective date of the amendment. As a result, the local action doctrine stands. Furthermore, venue cannot be waived in this case. The claim that Eldee brought falls under the second prong of the local action doctrine. The panel found that Eldee's complaint was not substantially related to the trespass of real property in any state located in the Ninth Circuit due to the fact that the resulting injury took place in Connecticut. As a result, the relief sought by the Plaintiff under the claim cannot be awarded. Therefore, the panel affirmed the district court’s ruling that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction to hear the case because the local action doctrine applied. AFFIRMED.

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