United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: Honorable PERCY ANDERSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT
Honorable PERCY ANDERSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a Notice of Removal filed by defendant Savino
Del Bene USA, Inc. ("Defendant") on July 7, 2016.
(Docket No. 1.) Defendant asserts that this Court has
jurisdiction over the action brought against it by plaintiff
Daisy Nomura ("Plaintiff") based on the Court's
diversity jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having subject
matter jurisdiction only over matters authorized by the
Constitution and Congress. See, e.g., Kokkonen
v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S.Ct.
1673, 1675, 128 L.Ed.2d 391 (1994). A suit filed in state
court may be removed to federal court if the federal court
would have had original jurisdiction over the suit. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1441(a). A removed action must be remanded to state
court if the federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). "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). "[T]he defendant always
has the burden of establishing that removal is proper."
attempting to invoke this Court's diversity jurisdiction,
Defendant must prove that there is complete diversity of
citizenship between the parties and that the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332. To
establish citizenship for diversity purposes, a natural
person must be a citizen of the United States and be
domiciled in a particular state. Kantor v. Wellesley
Galleries, Ltd., 704 F.2d 1088, 1090 (9th Cir. 1983).
Persons are domiciled in the places they reside with the
intent to remain or to which they intend to return. See
Kanter v. Warner-Lambert Co., 265 F.3d 853, 857 (9th
Cir. 2001). For the purposes of diversity jurisdiction, a
corporation is a citizen of any state where it is
incorporated and of the state where it has its principal
place of business. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c); see also
Indus. Tectonics, Inc. v. Aero Alloy, 912 F.2d 1090,
1092 (9th Cir. 1990).
Notice of Removal alleges that "[t]he Complaint, at
paragraph 1, discloses that [Plaintiff] is a citizen of the
State of California." (Notice of Removal ¶ 4.)
However, paragraph 1 of the Complaint merely states that
Plaintiff "is an individual who resides in the State of
California in the County of Los Angeles." Because an
individual is not necessarily domiciled where he or she
resides, Defendant's allegation that Plaintiff is a
California resident is insufficient to establish
Plaintiff's citizenship. See Kanter, 265 F.3d at
857. "Absent unusual circumstances, a party seeking to
invoke diversity jurisdiction should be able to allege
affirmatively the actual citizenship of the relevant
parties." Id.; Bradford v. Mitchell Bros.
Truck Lines, 217 F.Supp. 525, 527 (N.D. Cal. 1963)
("A petition [for removal] alleging diversity of
citizenship upon information and belief is
insufficient."). As a result, Defendant's
allegations are insufficient to invoke this Court's
must also establish that the amount in controversy exceeds
$75, 000. When an action has been removed and the amount in
controversy is in doubt, there is a "strong
presumption" that the plaintiff has not claimed an
amount sufficient to confer jurisdiction. Gaus, 980
F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992) (citing St. Paul Mercury
Indem. Co. v. Red Cab Co., 303 U.S. 283, 288-90, 58
S.Ct. 586, 590-91, 82 L.Ed. 845 (1938)). "When not
facially evident from the complaint that more than $75, 000
is in controversy, the removing party must prove, by a
preponderance of the evidence, that the amount in controversy
meets the jurisdictional threshold." Matheson v.
Progressive Specialty Ins. Co., 319 F.3d 1089, 1090 (9th
Cir. 2003). "Conclusory allegations as to the amount in
controversy are insufficient." Id. at 1090-91.
"Under this burden, the defendant must provide evidence
establishing that it is ‘more likely than not' that
the amount in controversy exceeds [$75, 000]."
Sanchez v. Monumental Life Ins. Co., 102 F.3d 398,
404 (9th Cir. 1996).
Defendant notes that the California Code of Civil Procedure
"prohibits Plaintiff from stating an amount of damages
in her Complaint" and claims, without any factual basis,
that "Defendant understands that plaintiff's claim
exceeds $75, 000." (Notice of Removal ¶ 6.) The
fact that damages are not stated in the Complaint does not
preclude Defendant from, for example, analogizing the facts
of this case to others in which damages exceeded $75, 000 or
seeking discovery regarding the amount in controversy.
Defendant's conclusory "understanding" does not
satisfy its burden to establish that the amount in
controversy requirement is satisfied.
foregoing reasons, Defendant has failed to satisfy its burden
of showing that diversity jurisdiction exists over this
action. Accordingly, this action is hereby remanded to Los
Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. BC622057, for ...