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Thee Sombrero, Inc. v. Murphy

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 17, 2015

THEE SOMBRERO, INC., ETC., ET AL
v.
JAMES MURPHY, ETC., ET AL

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL PROCEEDINGS: MINUTE ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO REMAND CASE (DOC. NO. 18) (IN CHAMBERS)

VIRGINIA A. PHILLIPS, District Judge.

Plaintiffs Thee Sombrero, Inc. and Henry Aguila, President of Thee Sombrero (collectively, "Thee Sombrero"), filed a Complaint in the San Bernardino Superior Court on February 20, 2015, alleging breach of contract claims against Defendants James Murphy and Scottsdale Insurance Company. (See Doc. No. 1, Exh. A ("Complaint").) Shortly after, Defendant Scottsdale removed the case to this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. (See Doc. No. 1 ("Notice of Removal") ¶ 3.)

In its Notice of Removal, Scottsdale alleges that it and Thee Sombrero are diverse, but it does not allege Defendant Murphy's citizenship. (See id. ¶¶ 4-5.) Scottsdale has not, therefore, alleged complete diversity of citizenship exists. Instead, Scottsdale asserts that the Court should disregard Murphy's citizenship "under the doctrine of fraudulent misjoinder." (Id. ¶ 5.)

On June 11, 2015, Thee Sombrero filed the instant Motion to Remand. (Doc. No. 18 ("Motion").) Scottsdale filed an opposition. (See Doc. No. 20. ("Opposition").)[1] The Court finds the Motion appropriate for resolution without a hearing, and accordingly, VACATES the July 20, 2015 hearing. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; L.R. 7-15. After considering the papers filed in support of, and in opposition to, the Motion, the Court GRANTS the Motion.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Other Pending Motions

A few days before Thee Sombrero filed the Motion to Remand, Scottsdale filed a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim and a Motion to Strike Portions of Complaint. (Doc. Nos. 12-13). All three motions were set for hearing on the same day.

Motions to remand take precedence over other pending motions because they deal with a court's jurisdiction. See Kromer v. McNabb, 308 F.2d 863, 865 (10th Cir. 1962). If a court grants the motion to remand, it leaves the disposition of the pending motions to the state court. See Christopher v. Stanley-Bostitch, Inc., 240 F.3d 95, 100 (1st Cir. 2001) ("When a federal court concludes that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over a case, it is precluded from rendering any judgments on the merits of the case."); Wages v. I.R.S., 915 F.2d 1230, 1234 (9th Cir. 1990) ("[W]e have held that a judge ordering a dismissal based upon lack of subject matter jurisdiction retains no power to make judgments relating to the merits of the case.").

As the Court determines it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, it takes no actions on the pending Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 12) and Motion to Strike (Doc. No. 13), leaving their disposition to the state court.

B. Request for Judicial Notice

Along with its Opposition, Scottsdale filed a request for judicial notice of the following documents:

(1) the complaint filed in Thee Sombrero Inc. v. Manuel Calderon dba Solutions2Security, No. CIVSS801381 (Cal. Sup.Ct. Feb. 4, 2008) ("the Calderon action");
(2) the request for default judgment filed in the Calderon action on May 24, 2012;
(3) the declaration of Henry Aguila in support of the request for default judgment filed in the ...

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