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Gold v. Medartis, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 10, 2015

Stephanie R. Gold
v.
Medartis, Inc.

CIVIL MINUTES-GENERAL

DOLLY M. GEE, District Judge.

Proceedings: IN CHAMBERS-ORDER RE: PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND [9]

I.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On December 11, 2014, Plaintiff Stephanie R. Gold filed a Complaint against Medartis, Inc. in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging (1) employment discrimination; (2) failure to engage in a timely good faith interactive process; (3) failure to provide reasonable accommodation; (4) retaliation; (5) failure to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent discrimination from occurring; (6) wrongful termination in violation of public policy; and (7) intentional infliction of emotional distress. (Notice of Removal, Ex. A ("Complaint") [Doc. # 1-1.]) Gold's claims relate to Medartis's alleged failure to accommodate her through a requested leave of absence after she suffered injuries from falling down a flight of stairs and her ultimate termination by Medartis while she was on medical leave. ( Id. )

The Complaint states that the "Amount demanded exceeds $25, 000.00." (Complaint at 1.) Gold seeks compensatory damages including, but not limited to, past and future lost wages and benefits, emotional distress damages, declaratory and injunctive relief, including reinstatement, reasonable attorneys' fees, cost of suit, exemplary and punitive damages according to proof, and any other relief the court considers proper. ( Id. at 12, Prayer for Relief.)

On February 5, 2015, Gold mailed the Summons and Complaint to the "President and CEO, Medartis Inc." at 127 West Street Road, Suite 203, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, 19348 ("Kennett Square address"). (Declaration of Hider Al-Mashat ("Al-Mashat Decl.") ¶ 3 [Doc. # 9 at 7].) This is the address where Medartis was registered with the Pennsylvania Secretary of State. ( Id.; Ex. 2 (Pennsylvania Department of State Business Entity information page for Medartis, Inc., printed on May 27, 2015).) Gold has produced no signed return receipt and has submitted no other evidence of actual receipt of service by Medartis at that time.

Medartis was located at the Kennett Square address during Gold's employment, but left that location in April of 2013 when it moved to 224 Valley Creek Boulevard, Suite 100, Exton, PA 19341 ("Exton address"). (Declaration of Richard Danoff ("Danoff Decl.") ¶ 2 [Doc. # 10-2.].) On March 25, 2015, Gold mailed a copy of the Summons and Complaint to Medartis's "Human Resources" office at the Exton address. (Al-Mashat Decl. ¶ 4.)

On April 20, 2015, Medartis filed an Answer to the Complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court. (Notice of Removal, Ex. B [Doc. # 1-2.]) On April 29, 2015, Medartis filed a Notice of Removal to this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. (Notice of Removal.)

On May 29, 2015, Gold filed a motion to remand this case to state court on the grounds that (1) Medartis failed to timely remove this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1446(b) and (2) Medartis has failed to prove that the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000 pursuant to 28 U.SC. § 1332. [Doc. # 9.] On June 5, 2015, Medartis filed an Opposition. [Doc. # 10.] On June 12, 2015, Gold filed a Reply. [Doc. # 11.]

II.

LEGAL STANDARD

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 1332, a district court shall have jurisdiction over a civil action where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000 and there is complete diversity of citizenship between the parties. A civil action brought in a state court over which a federal district court has original jurisdiction may be removed by the defendants to a district court where such an action could have been brought. 28 U.S.C. §1441.

The notice of removal of a civil action shall be filed within 30 days after the receipt by the defendant, through service or otherwise, of a copy of the initial pleading setting forth the claim for relief upon which such action is based. 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(1). The 30-day period to remove a case commences with formal service on the defendant. Murphy Bros. v. Michetti Pipe Stringing, Inc., 526 U.S. 344, 354, 119 S.Ct. 1322, 1328, 143 L.Ed.2d 448 (1999). Whether service has been properly effected is determined by the relevant state provisions for service and filing of the complaint and summons. ...


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