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Title: Susan Naudin v. Emcor Government Services

June 13, 2012

TITLE: SUSAN NAUDIN
v.
EMCOR GOVERNMENT SERVICES, INC.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Cormac J. Carney, United States District Judge

CIVIL MINUTES -- GENERAL

PRESENT: HONORABLE CORMAC J. CARNEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Michelle Urie N/A Deputy Clerk Court Reporter

ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR PLAINTIFF: ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR DEFENDANT:

None Present None Present

PROCEEDINGS: (IN CHAMBERS) ORDER REMANDING CASE FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION

I. Introduction & Background

On May 7, 2012, Plaintiff Susan Naudin filed suit against her former employer and Defendant Emcor Government Services, Inc. ("Emcor") in Orange County Superior Court arising from her purported wrongful termination from Emcor based on her physical disability incurred while working for Emcor. Ms. Naudin asserts four state claims against Emcor under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA"), Cal. Govt. Code §§ 12900 et seq., and wrongful adverse employment action in violation of public policy. Ms. Naudin requests, inter alia, general, incidental, and consequential damages "in an amount exceeding the jurisdictional limits of this court." (Compl., Prayer.) Emcor removed the action to this Court on May 25, 2012 based on diversity jurisdiction. (Dkt. No. 1.) For the reasons provided below, the Court, on its own motion, REMANDS this case to state court.

II. Discussion

A. Legal Standard

A civil action brought in a state court, but over which a federal court may exercise original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant to a federal district court. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). "A suit may be removed to federal court under 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a) only if it could have been brought there originally." Sullivan v. First Affiliated Sec., Inc., 813 F.2d 1368, 1371 (9th Cir. 1987); Infuturia Global Ltd. v. Sequus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 631 F.3d 1133, 1135 n.1 (9th Cir. 2011) ("[A] federal court must have both removal and subject matter jurisdiction to hear a case removed from state court."). Removal jurisdiction must be determined from the "four corners" of the complaint as it existed at the time of removal. See Harris v. Bankers Life and Cas. Co., 425 F.3d 689, 694 (9th Cir. 2005). The burden of establishing subject matter jurisdiction falls on the party seeking removal, and the removal statute is strictly construed against removal jurisdiction. Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir.1992) ("Federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance.").

A federal court can assert subject matter jurisdiction over cases that (1) involve questions arising under federal law or (2) are between diverse parties and involve an amount in controversy that exceeds $75,000. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332. If it appears that the federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction at any time prior to the entry of final judgment, the federal court must remand the action to state court. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).

B. Federal Question Jurisdiction

A cause of action arises under federal law only when a question arising under federal law appears on the face of the plaintiff's well-pleaded complaint. Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. Taylor, 481 U.S. 58, 63 (1987). Here, all of Ms. Naudin's claims arise under state law. Emcor also does not assert removal based on federal question ...


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