Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Rice v. Crst International Enterprise

United States District Court, C.D. California

March 13, 2014

MARGARET RICE, Plaintiff,
v.
CRST INTERNATIONAL ENTERPRISE; CRST VAN EXPEDITED, INC.; ROBERT GROSS; DOES 1-60, inclusive, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO REMAND [14]

ORIS D. WRIGHT, II, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Margaret Rice filed suit against Defendants CRST International Enterprise and CRST Van Expedited, Inc. (collectively, "CRST")-her former employer-as well as Defendant Robert Gross, her former supervisor, for state and federal sexual-harassment and retaliation claims. Defendants subsequently removed the action to this Court. But Rice then amended her Complaint to omit any federal claims and moved to remand the case back to state court. Since Rice and Gross are both California citizens, the Court has neither federal-question nor diversity jurisdiction over this case. The Court therefore GRANTS Rice's Motion to Remand.[1]

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

In February 2007, Rice, a California resident, began working for CRST as a truck driver. (FAC ¶¶ 1, 19.) Rice worked under the supervision of Gross-also a California resident. ( Id. ¶ 20.) On February 23 and 24, 2007, Gross allegedly made several sexually motivated comments and gestures toward Rice. ( Id. ¶ 21-22.)

On February 25, 2007, Rice alleges that Gross drugged her after they stopped to get gas. ( Id. ¶ 23.) Rice awoke three days later, discovering that she had been raped and sodomized. ( Id. ¶ 23-25.)

Rice reported the incident to CRST's Human Resources Department. ( Id. ¶ 28.) But on April 1, 2007, CRST terminated Rice's employment, stating that she was "too much trouble." ( Id. ¶ 31.)

On September 27, 2007, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") filed suit against CRST in the United States District Court for the District of Iowa on behalf of 267 "aggrieved individuals." (Opp'n 3.) Rice was one such individual. ( Id. )

On August 13, 2009, the District Judge dismissed the EEOC's lawsuit for failure to investigate or attempt conciliation and entered judgment in CRST's favor. ( Id. ) The Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit subsequently affirmed the dismissal with respected to, among others, Rice's claims. ( Id. at 4.)

On December 24, 2013, Rice filed suit against CRST and Gross in San Bernardino County Superior Court. (Not. of Removal Ex. A.) Rice alleged sexual-harassment and retaliation claims under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA") and Title VII.

Defendants subsequently removed the action to this Court, invoking only federal-question jurisdiction. (ECF No. 1.) But Rice then amended her complaint to drop her Title VII claims, thereby leaving only her state-law FEHA claims. (ECF No. 10.)

On February 21, 2014, Rice moved to remand this action to state court. (ECF No. 14.) Defendants timely opposed. That Motion is now before the Court for decision.

III. LEGAL STANDARD

Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having subject-matter jurisdiction only over matters authorized by the Constitution and Congress. U.S. Const. art. III, § 2, cl. 1; e.g., Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). A defendant may remove a suit filed in state court only if the federal court would have had original jurisdiction over the case. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). But courts strictly construe the removal statute against removal jurisdiction, and federal jurisdiction "must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance." Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). The party seeking removal bears the burden of establishing federal jurisdiction. Durham v. Lockheed Martin ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.