United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable Philip S. Gutierrez, United States
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
(In Chambers): Order GRANTING Plaintiff's Motion to
the Court is Plaintiff Elijah Stiny's motion to remand
this action to state court. See Dkt. # 11. The Court
finds this matter appropriate for decision without oral
argument. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; L.R. 7-15. After
considering the papers, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's
motion to remand.
Elijah Stiny, a California citizen, worked as an engineer at
Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation (“NGSC”)
from June 11, 2007 to June 18, 2014. See Complaint
(“Compl.”), Dkt. # 1-1, 2:13-20. In this
suit against his former employer, Plaintiff alleges that he
was wrongfully terminated because, among other things, he
expressed disagreement with a company policy regarding
diversity hiring and promotions. See generally id.
filed this case in Los Angeles County Superior Court on
September 1, 2016. See generally Id. He pled only
one state-law cause of action: wrongful termination. See
generally Id. The original Complaint named only one
party as a Defendant: NGSC. See generally Id. NGSC
is incorporated and has its principal place of business in
Virginia; thus, NGSC is a citizen of Virginia for diversity
purposes. See Defendant's Notice of Removal,
Dkt. # 1, 4:8-24.
removed this case to federal court on November 16, 2016, on
grounds of diversity jurisdiction. See generally Id.
Two days before removal, on November 14, 2016, Plaintiff
named as Defendants three California citizens: Dale Krasnow,
Marilyn Aja, and Jerome Edwards (collectively,
“Non-Diverse Defendants”). See
Plaintiff's Motion to Remand
(“Mot.”), Dkt. # 11, 1:11-2:7. Plaintiff
failed to notify NGSC about the amendment until after NGSC
removed the case, and there is no evidence that Plaintiff
served the Non-Diverse Defendants. See Opp. 4:4-11.
now moves to remand the action to state court because the
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. See generally
Mot. NGSC opposes the motion. See generally
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. See Gunn v.
Minton, 133 S.Ct. 1059, 1064 (2013). Under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1441, a defendant may remove a civil action from state
court to federal district court only if the federal court has
subject matter jurisdiction over the case. See Chicago v.
Int'l Coll. of Surgeons, 522 U.S. 156, 163 (1997)
(“The propriety of removal thus depends on whether the
case originally could have been filed in federal
court.”). The case shall be remanded to state court if
at any time before final judgment it appears a removing court
lacks subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1447(c); Int'l Primate Prot. League v.
Adm'rs of Tulane Educ. Fund, 500 U.S. 72, 87 (1991).
There is a strong presumption against removal jurisdiction,
so the party seeking removal always has the burden of
establishing that removal is proper. See Geographic
Expeditions, Inc. v. Estate of Lhotka ex rel. Lhotka,
599 F.3d 1102, 1107 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing Gaus v.
Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 567 (9th Cir. 1992)).
argues Plaintiff's motion to remand should be denied
because: (1) the Court should ignore the Non-Diverse
Defendants' citizenship because they were not served when
the case was removed; (2) the Non-Diverse Defendants were
fraudulently joined; and (3) Plaintiff's joinder is
procedurally defective. See generally Opp.
Service Is Not Required to Consider the Non-Diverse
Defendants' Citizenship for Diversity Purposes
28 U.S.C. § 1332, for the Court to properly have subject
matter jurisdiction based on the diversity of the parties,
each defendant must be a citizen of a different state from
each plaintiff and the amount in controversy must exceed $75,
000. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332. A person's
domicile, meaning a person's permanent home where he or
she resides with the intention to remain or to which he or
she intends to return, determines ...