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City of Los Angeles v. Hamada

October 16, 2012

CITY OF LOS ANGELES
v.
HAMADA, INC. ET AL



The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Gary Allen Feess

JS-6

LINKS: 9, 12

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

Present: The Honorable GARY ALLEN FEESS

Renee Fisher None N/A Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No. Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants: None None

Proceedings: (In Chambers)

ORDER RE: MOTION TO REMAND AND MOTION TO DISMISS

I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

Before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion to Remand this action to the superior court and Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's claims. Because the Court concludes that Defendants' Notice of Removal was procedurally defective, Plaintiff's Motion is GRANTED, the case is REMANDED to Los Angeles Superior Court, and Defendants' Motion to Dismiss is DENIED as moot.

Plaintiff City of Los Angeles ("City") alleges that after operating a restaurant at Los Angeles International Airport, Defendant Hamada, Inc. defaulted under its contract with City. (Docket No. 12 [Mot. to Remand] at 2.) City therefore filed a complaint against Hamada, Inc. and personally served Mariko Hamada, one of the corporation's principals. (Id.) Hamada, Inc. never responded to the complaint and the superior court ultimately entered a default judgment against it. (Id.) City then discovered that Hamada, Inc., was insolvent and named Jay and Mariko Hamada as additional defendants after "discovering evidence of commingling and other indicia of alter ego." (Id. at 3.) Jay and Mariko Hamada, represented by the same counsel as Hamada, Inc., filed a Notice of Removal on August 15, 2012. (Docket No. 1 [Not. of Removal].) The notice did not specifically allege that Hamada, Inc., consented to the removal. On August 21, 2012, Jay and Mariko filed a Notice of Errata correcting a number of errors in their initial Notice of Removal, but again failing to allege that Hamada, Inc. consented to the removal (Docket No. 7 [Not. of Errata].) City filed a timely Motion to Remand the case to superior court on September 6, 2012. (Docket No. 12 [Mot. to Remand].)

II. DISCUSSION

LEGAL STANDARD FOR REMOVAL UNDER 28U.S.C.§1441

"Remand may be ordered either for lack of subject matter jurisdiction or for any defect in removal procedure." Flatwire Solutions, LLC v. Sexton, 2009 WL 5215757, at *1 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 29, 2009) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c)). "Courts strictly construe the removal statutes against removal jurisdiction, and jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal." Id. (citing Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992)). "The party seeking removal bears the burden of establishing federal jurisdiction." Id. (citing Prize Frize, Inc. v. Matrix, Inc., 167 F.3d 1261, 1265 (9th Cir. 1999). "The defendant also has the burden of showing that it has complied with the procedural requirements for removal." Id. (citation ).

"In a case involving multiple defendants, '[a]ll defendants must join in a removal petition.'" Proctor v. Vishay Intertechnology Inc., 584 F.3d 1208, 1224 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Hewitt v. City of Stanton, 798 F.2d 1230, 1232 (9th Cir. 1986)). Furthermore, the Ninth Circuit has concluded that "[o]ne defendant's timely removal notice containing an averment of the other defendants' consent and signed by an ...


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