United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
FILE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT AND DENYING PLAINTIFF’S
MOTION FOR REMAND 
D. WRIGHT, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
James King originally filed this action in state court
against Defendants Sodexo, Inc. and Sodexo Operations LLC
(collectively, “Sodexo”). (Complaint
“Compl.”, ECF No. 1-3.) Sodexo timely removed the
case to this Court based on diversity jurisdiction. (Notice
of Removal (“NOR”) 2-7, ECF No. 1.) One month
later, Plaintiff moved for leave to file a First Amended
Complaint to add two diversity-destroying defendants,
co-workers Ryan Moosman and Kevin Akrey. (Mot. 1, ECF No.
13.) Plaintiff also seeks to remand the action back to state
court. (Id.) The Court finds that there is bad
faith, dilatory motive, and undue delay on the part of
Plaintiff in seeking leave to amend. The Court also finds
that there is subject-matter jurisdiction over this action,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Therefore,
Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Amend and Remand is
James King filed the Complaint on February 16, 2016 in the
Los Angeles County Superior Court. (Compl., ECF No. 1-3.)
This action stems from Sodexo’s alleged unlawful
termination of Plaintiff as a senior area resource manager in
Agoura Hills, California. (Compl. ¶ 6.) In the operative
Complaint, Plaintiff raises state law claims against Sodexo
for retaliation, discrimination on the basis of his race and
disability, hostile work environment, wrongful termination,
harassment, and defamation. (Compl. ¶¶ 17-87.) King
contends that he was unlawfully terminated from Sodexo while
on medical leave due to an unsubstantiated complaint made
against him. (Compl. ¶ 12.) Sodexo, a Delaware
corporation with a principal place of business in Maryland,
answered the Complaint in state court on May 4, 2016, and
later removed the case to federal court on the basis of
diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (ECF No.
filed the instant Motion on June 09, 2016. (ECF No. 13.)
Plaintiff seeks leave to add new diversity-destroying
defendants, co-workers Moosman and Akery (“Individual
Defendants”), to his claims for harassment and
defamation. (Mot. 9.) As such, Plaintiff also seeks to remand
the action based on lack of diversity. (Id.) Sodexo
filed its Opposition to the Motion on June 20, 2016. (ECF No.
16.) Plaintiff filed its Reply on June 27, 2016. (ECF No.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having
subject-matter jurisdiction only over matters authorized by
the Constitution and Congress. U.S. Const. art. III, §
2, cl. 1; e.g., Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of
Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (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). But courts strictly construe the removal
statute against removal jurisdiction, and “[f]ederal
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). The
party seeking removal bears the burden of establishing
federal jurisdiction. Durham v. Lockheed Martin
Corp., 445 F.3d 1247, 1252 (9th Cir. 2006) (citing
Gaus, 980 F.2d at 566).
courts have original jurisdiction where an action presents a
federal question under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, or diversity of
citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. A defendant may
remove a case from a state court to a federal court pursuant
to the federal removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1441, on the
basis of federal question or diversity jurisdiction. To
exercise diversity jurisdiction, a federal court must find
complete diversity of citizenship among the adverse parties,
and the amount in controversy must exceed $75, 000, usually
exclusive of interest and costs. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
“[a] party may amend its pleading once as a matter of
course within . . . 21 days after service of a responsive
pleading.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). However, if a
plaintiff joins additional defendants after removal
“whose joinder would destroy subject matter
jurisdiction, the court may deny joinder.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1447(e). Thus, despite a plaintiff’s right to
amend under Rule 15(a), numerous courts have held it
appropriate for the court “to scrutinize the propriety
of a diversity-destroying amendment pursuant to Rule
15(a).” McGrath v. Home Depot USA, Inc., 298
F.R.D. 601, 607 (S.D. Cal. 2014).
argues that Plaintiff seeks to add the Individual Defendants
to the complaint after removal for the sole purpose of
destroying complete diversity, and that the Court should deny
his Motion to file a First Amended Complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1447(e). (Opp’n to Pla.’s Mot. 1, ECF No.
16.) The Court agrees. Plaintiff’s Motion is not based
on the discovery of new facts; the identity of the Individual
Defendants and the facts surrounding their potential
liability were previously alleged in the original Complaint.
(Compl. ¶¶ 7-16.) In addition, because Sodexo has
demonstrated that all of the parties in the operative
Complaint are diverse and the amount in controversy exceeds
$75, 000, Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand must also be
Motion for Leave to Amend
determining whether to allow a diversity-destroying amendment
under Rule 15(a), courts have considered the following
factors: “(1) whether the party sought to be joined
[i]s needed for just adjudication and would be joined under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19(a); (2) whether the
statute of limitations would preclude an original action
against the new defendants in state court; (3) whether there
has been unexplained delay in requesting joinder; (4) whether
joinder is intended solely to defeat federal jurisdiction;
(5) whether the claims against the new defendant appear
valid; and (6) whether denial of joinder will prejudice the
plaintiff.” McGrath, 298 F.R.D. at 607 (citing
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