The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Christina A. Snyder, U.S. District Judge
Present: The Honorable CHRISTINA A. SNYDER, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
Proceedings: (In Chambers:) PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR ORDER REMANDING CASE TO STATE COURT (filed 11/14/2011)
INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
The Court finds this motion appropriate for decision without oral argument. Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; Local Rule 7-15. Accordingly, the hearing date of December 12, 2011, is vacated, and the matter is hereby taken under submission.
On September 19, 2011, plaintiff Mary-K. Erickson ("plaintiff"), on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, filed a class action complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court against Q.S.P., Inc., TI Media Solutions ("TI"), and DOES 1--100 (collectively, "defendants") alleging that defendants violated California employment laws by failing to pay employees vested vacation pay, failing to reimburse expenses, and taking illegal commission deductions. Plaintiff's complaint primarily seeks recovery of monies allegedly owed, statutory penalties pursuant to Cal. Labor Code § 203 and attorneys' fees. On October 24, 2011, defendants removed the instant action based on diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
On November 14, 2011, plaintiff filed her motion to remand the instant action to Los Angeles Superior Court. On November 21, 2011, defendants filed their opposition. On November 28, 2011, plaintiff filed her reply. After carefully considering the arguments set forth by both parties, the Court finds and concludes as follows.
Removal is proper only where the federal courts have original jurisdiction over an action brought in state court. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), the federal courts have original jurisdiction over state law actions only where the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 and the action is between parties of diverse citizenship. In a class action lawsuit, if at least one named plaintiff has more than the jurisdictional amount in controversy, the other class members' claims can be joined through supplemental jurisdiction. Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Services, Inc., 545 U.S. 546, 559 (2005).
A motion for remand is the proper procedure for challenging removal. Remand may be ordered either for lack of subject matter jurisdiction or for any defect in removal procedure. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). The Court strictly construes the removal statutes against removal jurisdiction, and jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal. See Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). The party seeking removal bears the burden of establishing federal jurisdiction. See Prize Frize, Inc. v. Matrix, Inc., 167 F.3d 1261, 1265 (9th Cir. 1999). A party removing pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) has a particularly heavy burden if the plaintiff's state court complaint seeks less than the required $75,000 jurisdictional amount in controversy; in such cases, the party seeking removal must ...