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Yarry Fine v. Cambridge International Systems

July 11, 2012

YARRY FINE,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEMS, INC., A VIRGINIA CORPORATION; HEATHER SUMMERS, A VIRGINIA RESIDENT; EDWARD HUGHES, A VIRGINIA RESIDENT; DOES 1 THROUGH 10, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hayes, Judge:

ORDER

The matters before the Court are (1) the Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) and for Improper Venue Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(3), or in the Alternative, to Transfer to Eastern District of Virginia (ECF No. 6) filed by Defendants Cambridge International Systems, Inc., Heather Summers, and Edward Hughes and (2) the Motion for Leave to File First Amended and/or Supplemental Complaint and Remand to State Court (ECF No. 12) filed by Plaintiff Yarry Fine.

I. Background

Plaintiff Yarry Fine is a resident of California. Defendants Cambridge International Systems, Inc. ("Cambridge International Systems"), Heather Summers, and Edward Hughes are residents of Virginia.

On December 20, 2011, Plaintiff initiated this action by filing a Complaint in the Superior Court of California for the County of San Diego. Plaintiff alleges that during the summer of 2011, Plaintiff was employed in San Diego, California as a business developer for a government services company. Plaintiff alleges that he began looking for a new job. Plaintiff alleges that he applied to Cambridge International Systems and spoke with Defendant Summers, Senior Vice President for Strategy, Enterprise, and Market Development for Cambridge. Plaintiff alleges that Summers offered Plaintiff a position as a Business Development Manager in the Cambridge International Systems San Diego office. Plaintiff alleges that he told Summers it was important to him that the "position being offered to him by Cambridge would not quickly disappear." (ECF No. 1 at 8). Plaintiff alleges that Summers represented that Cambridge was a large and stable company and that the position "was not being offered ... [to him] for a specific period of time," but that it "would last a reasonable period of time" and that Plaintiff's bonus period would cover 2011 and 2012. Id. at 9. Plaintiff alleges that he accepted the position with Cambridge and began work in October 2011.

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Hughes, Director of Human Resources for Cambridge, sent Plaintiff an email on December 1, 2011, explaining that Plaintiff was getting laid off due to a "reorganization." Id. at 10. Plaintiff alleges that he refused to sign the proposed separation agreement and represented to Cambridge International Systems, through counsel, that Plaintiff would file suit under California Labor Code section 970 unless Cambridge International Systems provided him with three months salary as a severance payment. Plaintiff alleges that Cambridge International Systems declined to provide him with the severance payment. Plaintiff alleges that he filed a request for unemployment compensation with the California Employment Development Department. Plaintiff alleges that on December 15, 2011, Defendant Hughes sent a letter to the California Employment Development Department stating that Plaintiff had been terminated for unsatisfactory performance.

Plaintiff asserts the following claims: (1) violation of Cal. Lab. Code § 970 regarding solicitation of employees by misrepresentation against Defendants Cambridge International Systems and Summers; (2) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (3) defamation; and (4) interference with prospective economic advantage against all Defendants.

On January 20, 2012, Defendants removed the matter to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 on the grounds of diversity jurisdiction. (ECF No. 1). On January 27, 2012, Defendants filed the Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction. (ECF No. 4).

On January 30, 2012, Defendants filed a request to strike and remove the Motion to Dismiss from the docket. (ECF No. 7). Defendants stated: "Subsequent to filing, Defendants were made aware that [the Motion to Dismiss] contained personal information of Plaintiff Yarry Fine that should be redacted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5.2." Id. at 2. The Motion to Dismiss was stricken and removed from the docket on February 7, 2012.

On January 30, 2012, Defendants filed the Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) and for Improper Venue Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(3), or in the Alternative, to Transfer to Eastern District of Virginia. (ECF No. 6). Defendants Summers and Hughes seek dismissal of the claims against them for lack of personal jurisdiction and Defendant Cambridge International Systems seeks dismissal of the claims against it for improper venue or, in the alternative, Defendant Cambridge International Systems seeks transfer to the Eastern District of Virginia.

On May 3, 2012, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to File First Amended and/or Supplemental Complaint and Remand to State Court. (ECF No. 12). Plaintiff submitted a copy of the proposed First Amended and/or Supplemental complaint which re-alleges the claims against Defendants Cambridge International Systems, Summers, and Hughes and adds defense counsel Dick Semerdjian and the law firm of Schwartz Semerdjian Ballard & Cauley LLP ("SSB&C") as defendants. Plaintiff alleges that Semerdjian and SSB&C submitted a copy of Plaintiff's employment application along with the Motion to Dismiss filed on January 27, 2012. Plaintiff alleges that the employment application contained "private and confidential information concerning Plaintiff, particularly ... his date of birth, social security number, residential address, home telephone number, and mobile telephone number, as well as Plaintiff's employment history from the period from October 2000 through August 2011, including Plaintiff's job titles and duties, starting pay, and ending pay, at the employers for which Plaintiff worked during that period." (ECF No. 12-1 at ¶ 65). Plaintiff asserts additional claims against all Defendants including: violation of Plaintiff's right to privacy under the California Constitution, violation of Plaintiff's common law right of privacy, violation of California Civil Code section 1798.85, and negligence. Semerdjian and SSB&C are citizens of California. Plaintiff seeks remand to the state court because the addition of California citizens as Defendants in this case destroys complete diversity.

II. Motion for Leave to File First Amended and/or Supplemental Complaint

Plaintiff contends that he should be permitted to file a supplemental pleading asserting claims regarding invasion of privacy which arose after Defendants and Defendants' counsel filed his personal and confidential information as part of the Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiff contends that the case should be remanded to state court because diversity is destroyed by the addition of California citizens as Defendants in this case.

Defendants contend that Plaintiff seeks to add Defense counsel and Defense counsel's firm as Defendants in this case to divest the Court of jurisdiction over the case. Defendants contend that the Court should exercise its discretion to deny the joinder of Defendants which destroys subject matter jurisdiction. Defendants contend that the additional claims are meritless because the litigation privilege applies to immunize Defendants and Defendants' counsel from liability for torts arising from communications with the court.

"On motion and reasonable notice, the court may, on just terms, permit a party to serve a supplemental pleading setting out any transaction, occurrence, or event that happened after the date of the pleading to be supplemented." Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(d). Rule 15(d) applies to claims that could not have been litigated until after the original complaint was filed. See Cabrera v. City of Huntington Park, 159 F.3d 374, 382 (9th Cir. 1998).

The standard for granting leave to file a supplemental complaint under Rule 15(d) is the same as the standard for granting leave to file an amended complaint under Rule 15(a). See Glatt v. Chicago Park District, 87 F.3d 190, 194 (7th Cir. 1996). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 mandates that leave to amend "be freely given when justice so requires." Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). "This policy is to be applied with extreme liberality." Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1051 (9th Cir. 2003) (quotation omitted). In Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178 ...


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