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Baumann v. Chase Investment Services Corp.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

March 13, 2014

JOSEPH BAUMANN, individually, and on behalf of other members of the general public similarly situated, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
CHASE INVESTMENT SERVICES CORP., a Delaware corporation; JPMORGAN CHASE BANK NA; JPMORGAN CHASE & CO., a Delaware corporation, Defendants-Appellees

Resubmitted, Pasadena, California: March 6, 2014.

Argued and Submitted: March 5, 2013.

Submission Vacated: August 13, 2013.

Page 1118

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. D.C. No. 2:11-cv-06667-GHK-FMO. George H. King, Chief District Judge, Presiding.

Glenn A. Danas (argued), and Ryan H. Wu, Capstone Law APC, Los Angeles, California; Marc Primo, Initiative Legal Group APC, Los Angeles, California, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Carrie A. Gonell (argued) and John A. Hayashi, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Irvine, California; Samuel S. Shaulson, New York, New York; and Alison B. Willard, San Francisco, California, for Defendants-Appellees.

Allen Graves (argued) and Elizabeth Sullivan, The Graves Firm, Pasadena, California, for Amicus Curiae Stacy Thompson.

George W. Abele and Melinda A. Gordon, Paul Hastings LLP, Los Angeles, California; Robin S. Conrad, Kate Comerford Todd, and Shane B. Kawka, National Chamber Litigation Center, Washington, D.C., for Amicus Curiae California Employment Law Council and Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America.

Before: Michael Daly Hawkins, Sidney R. Thomas, and Andrew D. Hurwitz, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Hurwitz; Concurrence by Judge Thomas.

OPINION

Page 1119

HURWITZ, Circuit Judge:

This is a civil action filed in California state court under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (" PAGA" ), Cal. Lab. Code § § 2698-2699.5, and then removed to the United States District Court for the Central District of California. PAGA authorizes aggrieved employees, acting as private attorneys general, to recover civil penalties from their employers for violations of the Labor Code. See Arias v. Super. Ct., 46 Cal.4th 969, 95 Cal.Rptr.3d 588, 209 P.3d 923, 929-30 (Cal. 2009). The sole question presented on appeal is whether the district court had subject matter jurisdiction over this removed action.

In Urbino v. Orkin Services, 726 F.3d 1118 (9th Cir. 2013), we held that potential PAGA penalties against an employer may not be aggregated to meet the minimum amount in controversy requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). The remaining issue in this appeal is whether a district court may instead exercise original jurisdiction over a PAGA action under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (" CAFA" ), 28 U.S.C. § § 1332(d), 1453, 1711-15. We hold that CAFA provides no basis for federal jurisdiction.

I.

Factual and Procedural Background

Joseph Baumann sued his employer, Chase Investment Services Corporation (" Chase" ), under PAGA in California superior court, alleging that Chase had failed to pay him and other " Aggrieved Parties" (Chase financial advisors) for overtime, provide for meal breaks, allow rest periods, and timely reimburse expenses. The complaint sought PAGA statutory civil penalties ...


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