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Serrano v. Bay Bread LLC

United States District Court, N.D. California

September 10, 2014

NORMA SERRANO, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
BAY BREAD LLC, et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' RENEWED MOTION TO REMAND AND VACATING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT

THELTON E. HENDERSON, District Judge.

This matter came up for oral argument on September 8, 2014. Having considered the arguments of the parties in the papers submitted and at oral argument, the Court now GRANTS Plaintiffs' renewed motion to remand the case to state court, and VACATES Defendants' motion for a more definite statement, for the reasons set forth below.

BACKGROUND

In this class action, employees of two bakeries in the San Francisco Bay Area allege denial of meal and rest breaks and related wages by Defendants Bay Bread LLC, FullBloom Baking LLC, and Aerotek, Inc. On March 7, 2014, Aerotek removed the case from San Mateo County Superior Court. Plaintiffs moved to remand in April, arguing that this Court must decline jurisdiction under the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA"), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(d). The Court denied Plaintiffs' motion in May, concluding that they had not satisfied the local controversy exception because they did not put forward sufficient evidence that two-thirds of the putative class were California citizens. May 6, 2014 Order Denying Mot. to Remand at 2-3 (Docket No. 19). The Court granted leave for Plaintiffs to perform jurisdictional discovery, id. at 3-4, and Plaintiffs renewed their motion to remand in July, submitting evidence of the class members' addresses in California. Also in July, Defendant Aerotek moved for a more definite statement, arguing that Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint ("FAC") alleges conclusory statements of law and does not provide a clear legal basis for Aerotek's liability. Defendant Bay Bread joined in Aerotek's motion. Oral argument on Plaintiffs' renewed motion to remand was heard on September 8, 2014.

LEGAL STANDARD

The local controversy exception requires that a district court decline jurisdiction where more than two-thirds of putative class members are citizens of the state in which the action was originally filed; at least one defendant from whom significant relief is sought is a citizen of the state in which the action was originally filed; the principal injuries resulting from the alleged conduct were incurred in the state in which the action was originally filed; and during the three-year period preceding the filing, no other class action has been filed asserting the same or similar factual allegations against any of the defendants on behalf of the same or other persons. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(1)(4)(A). The party moving for remand has the burden of proving that the local controversy exception applies by a preponderance of the evidence. Mondragon v. Capital One Auto Finance, 736 F.3d 880, 884 (9th Cir. 2013).

DISCUSSION

I. Plaintiffs' Renewed Motion to Remand

Plaintiffs move to remand under the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(4)(A). This exception provides:

A district court shall decline to exercise jurisdiction under paragraph (2)-
(A)(i) over a class action in which-
(I) greater than two-thirds of the members of all proposed plaintiff classes in the aggregate are citizens of the State in which the action was originally filed;
(II) at least 1 defendant is a defendant-
(aa) from whom significant relief is sought by members of the ...

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