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Norah Cole v. Target Corporation

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


March 27, 2012

NORAH COLE
v.
TARGET CORPORATION, ET AL.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable John F. Walter, United States District Judge

CIVIL MINUTES -- GENERAL

Shannon Reilly

Courtroom Deputy

ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR PLAINTIFFS: None None Present Court Reporter ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR DEFENDANTS: None

PROCEEDINGS (IN CHAMBERS): ORDER REMANDING ACTION TO LOS ANGELES

SUPERIOR COURT

On October 12, 2012, Plaintiff Norah Cole ("Plaintiff") filed a Complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court against Defendant Target Corporation ("Defendant"). On February 24, 2012, Defendant filed its Notice of Removal, alleging this Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §

Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having subject matter jurisdiction only over matters authorized by the Constitution and Congress. See Bender v. Williamsport Area School, 475 U.S. 534, 541 (1986). "Because of the Congressional purpose to restrict the jurisdiction of the federal courts on removal, the statute is strictly construed, and federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance." Duncan v., 76 F.3d 1480, 1485 (9th Cir. 1996) (citations and quotations omitted). There is a strong presumption that the Court is without jurisdiction unless the contrary affirmatively appears. See Fifty Associates v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, 446 F.2d 1187, 1190 (9th Cir. 1990). As the party invoking federal jurisdiction, Defendant bears the burden of demonstrating that removal is proper. See, e.g., Gaus v. Miles, 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992); Emrich v. Touche, 846 F.2d 1190, 1195 (9th Cir. 1988).

Diversity jurisdiction founded under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) requires that (1) all plaintiffs be of different citizenship than all defendants, and (2) the amount in controversy exceed $75,000.

In its Notice of Removal, Defendant alleges that it is "informed and believes that Plaintiff was, at the time she filed the Action and still is, a citizen of the State of California." Notice of Removal, ¶ 3. However, as the Supreme Court long ago held, a removing defendant "must show in [its] pleading, affirmatively and distinctly, the existence of whatever is essential to federal jurisdiction." Smith v. McCullough, 270 U.S. 456, 459 (1926) accord Rilling v. Burlington Northern, 909 F.2d 399, 400 (9th Cir. 1990). A petition alleging diversity of citizenship upon "information and belief" is insufficient to confer jurisdiction. Bradford v. Mitchell Bros. Truck Lines, 217 F.Supp. 525, 527 (N.D. Cal. 1963). Defendant's allegation on "information and belief" fails to "affirmatively and distinctly" establish Plaintiff's citizenship for purposes of conferring diversity

Accordingly, this action is REMANDED to Los Angeles Superior Court for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Initials of Deputy Clerk sr

20120327

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