United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable BEVERLY REID O'CONNELL, United
States District Judge
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
RE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND , DEFENDANTS'
MOTION TO DISMISS , AND PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RELIEF
FROM LOCAL RULE 23-3 
before the Court are: (1) Plaintiff Andres Salazar's
(“Plaintiff”) Motion to Remand Action to State
Court, (see Dkt. No. 9 (hereinafter,
“Motion” or “Mot.”));
Plaintiff's Motion for Relief from Local Rule 23-3,
(see Dkt. No. 11); and, (3) Defendants' Motion
to Dismiss First Amended Complaint, (see Dkt. No.
10). After considering the papers filed in support of and in
opposition to the instant motions, the Court deems these
matters appropriate for resolution without oral argument of
counsel. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; C.D. Cal. L.R.
7-15. For the following reasons, (1) Plaintiff's Motion
to Remand is GRANTED, while (2) Plaintiff's Motion for
Relief from Local Rule 23-3, and Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss are DENIED as moot.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
worked for Clougherty Packing, LLC dba Farmer John and Hormel
Foods Corporation (collectively, “Defendants”).
(See Dkt. No. 1-2, Ex. B (hereinafter,
“FAC”) ¶ 1.) Plaintiff is represented by the
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 770.
(See Dkt. No. 12 (hereinafter,
“Opp'n”) at 1.) The United Food and
Commercial Workers Union Local 770 maintained a collective
bargaining agreement with Defendants (“Parties'
CBA”) that governed the terms of Plaintiff's
employment. (Opp'n at 1.) Article 9 of the Parties'
CBA details employees' entitlement to and the duration of
meal periods and rest breaks. (See Opp'n at 2.)
1, 2016, Plaintiff filed a class action complaint in Los
Angeles Superior Court, alleging eight causes of action.
(See Dkt. No. 1-2.) The eight causes of action
include: (1) failure to pay minimum wages; (2) failure to pay
overtime wages; (3) failure to provide meal periods or
compensation in lieu thereof; (4) failure to authorize or
permit rest breaks or provide compensation in lieu thereof;
(5) failure to provide accurate itemized wage statements; (6)
failure to pay all wages due upon separation of employment;
(7) violation of Business and Professions Code §§
17200, et seq.; and, (8) enforcement of the Private
Attorney General Act of 2004, Cal. Labor Code § 2698
et seq. (“PAGA”). (See id.)
While in state court, Plaintiff filed a First Amended
Complaint (“FAC”) on July 20, 2016 that contained
the same eight causes of action. (See FAC.)
to the state court's order, the parties filed a Joint
Initial Status Conference Response Statement. (See
Dkt. No. 1-1, Ex. 1.) In that filing, Plaintiff alleged that
“Defendants maintained facially illegal meal and rest
break policies and applied those policies to all non-exempt
employees.” (Id. at 3.) Because Plaintiff
attacked the Parties' CBA, Defendants believe that
Plaintiff's argument created a basis for federal
subject-matter jurisdiction under § 301 of the Labor
Management Relations Act (“LMRA”), 29 U.S.C.
§ 185. (Opp'n at 3-5). Section 301 of the LMRA
creates federal jurisdiction in “[s]uits for violation
of contracts between an employer and a labor organization
representing employees in an industry affecting
commerce.” 29 U.S.C. § 185(a).
on this perceived federal jurisdiction, Defendants filed a
Notice of Removal on December 22, 2016 invoking the
Court's jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
(Dkt. No. 1-1.) On January 20, 2017, Plaintiff filed the
instant Motion seeking to remand the case to state court.
(See Mot.) On January 23, 2017, Defendants filed a
Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint.
(See Dkt. No. 10.) Then, on January 27, 2017,
Plaintiff filed a Motion for Relief from Local Rule 23-3.
(See Dkt. No. 11.) Defendants filed their Opposition
to Plaintiff's Motion to Remand on February 6, 2017.
(See Opp'n.) Also on February 6, 2017, the
parties stipulated to permit Plaintiff to amend the FAC.
(See Dkt. Nos. 14, 15.) Accordingly, Plaintiff filed
his Second Amended Complaint on February 8, 2017. (Dkt. No.
16 (“SAC”).) Finally, on February 10, 2017,
Plaintiff replied in support of his Motion to Remand.
(See Dkt. No. 17 (hereinafter,
courts are of limited jurisdiction and possess only that
jurisdiction which is authorized by either the Constitution
or federal statute. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of
Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). Under 28 U.S.C. §
1331, federal courts have jurisdiction over “all civil
actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of
the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331. A case
“arises under” federal law if a plaintiff's
“well-pleaded complaint establishes either that federal
law creates the cause of action” or that the
plaintiff's “right to relief under state law
requires resolution of a substantial question of federal law
in dispute between the parties.” Franchise Tax Bd.
v. Constr. Laborers Vacation Trust for S. Cal., 463 U.S.
1, 13 (1983). 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a) provides that a civil
action may be removed to the district court only if the
district court has original jurisdiction over the issues
alleged in the state court complaint.
determining whether removal in a given case is proper, a
court should “strictly construe the removal statute
against removal jurisdiction.” Gaus v. Miles,
Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). “Federal
jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the
right of removal in the first instance.” Id.
The removing party, therefore, bears a heavy burden to rebut
the presumption against removal. See Id.
“[T]he court resolves all ambiguity in favor of remand
to state court.” Hunter v. Philip Morris USA,
582 F.3d 1039, 1042 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing Gaus,
980 F.2d at 566).