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Derosier v. Global Hawk Insurance Co. (RRG)

United States District Court, N.D. California

March 27, 2017

BRITTNEY DEROSIER, Plaintiff,
v.
GLOBAL HAWK INSURANCE COMPANY (RRG), Defendant.

          AMENDED ORDER REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S RENEWED MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES AND COSTS; ORDER DISCHARGING ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: DKT. NOS. 20, 26

          KANDIS A. WESTMORE United States Magistrate Judge.

         On January 26, 2017, the Court converted Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of the denial of attorneys' fees in connection with the granting of the motion to remand to state court into into a renewed motion for attorneys' fees and costs under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). (See Pl.'s Mot., Dkt. No. 20.)

         On March 16, 2017, the Court held a hearing, and, after careful consideration of the parties' arguments, and moving papers, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS the renewed motion for attorneys' fees and costs, and discharges the order to show cause against Mr. Flamiano.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Brittney Derosier filed this case against Defendant Global Hawk Insurance Company (RRG) in Alameda County Superior Court on October 11, 2016. Defendant removed the case to federal court on October 20, 2016. On October 25, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion to remand the case to state court and requested that she be awarded attorney's fees.

         On November 23, 2016, the Court granted in part and denied in part Plaintiff's motion. Specifically, the Court granted the motion to remand, but denied the request for attorney's fees and costs. (Remand Order, Dkt. No. 17.)

         On December 3, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration of the denial of attorneys' fees in connection with the granting of the motion to remand to state court. (Pl.'s Mot., Dkt. No. 20.) Therein, Plaintiff informed the Court that defense couunsel Dominic G. Flamiano had filed a 2015 lawsuit on behalf of Defendant, in which he stated that it was a citizen of California. Thereafter, the Court converted the motion into a renewed motion for attorney's fees and costs and issued an order to show cause to Mr. Flamiano why he should not be personally sanctioned and referred to the Northern District's Standing Committee on Professional Conduct. (1/26/17 Order, Dkt. No. 26.)

         On February 17, 2017, Defendant filed an opposition, and Mr. Flamiano filed a response to the order to show cause. (Def.'s Opp'n, Dkt. No. 29-3; OSC Resp., Dkt. No. 29.) On February 21, 2017, Plaintiff filed a reply. (Pl.'s Reply, Dkt. No. 31.)

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A. Removal and attorneys' fees on remand

         District courts have jurisdiction in civil actions where there is complete diversity of citizenship among the parties and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). There is a “strong presumption against removal jurisdiction.” Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir.1992). This principle dictates that the removal statute be “strictly construed against removal jurisdiction.” Id.

         Upon remand, the court may “require payment of just costs and any actual expenses, including attorney fees, incurred as a result of the removal.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). The Court retains “jurisdiction to consider a motion for sanctions filed after an action has been remanded to state court.” City of Santa Rosa v. Patel, 2007 WL 2790687, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 25, 2007) (citing Moore v. Permanente Medical Group, Inc., 981 F.2d 443, 445 (9th Cir. 1992)).

         B. Request for Judicial Notice

         As a general rule, a district court may not consider any material beyond the pleadings in ruling on a motion. Lee v. City of Los Angeles,250 F.3d 668, 688 (9th Cir. 2001). A district court may take notice of facts not subject to reasonable dispute that are “capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.” Fed.R.Evid. 201(b); United States v. Bernal-Obeso,989 F.2d 331, 333 (9th Cir. 1993). “[A] court may take judicial notice of ‘matters of public record, '” Lee, 250 F.3d at 689 (citing Mack v. S. Bay Beer Distrib., 798 F.2d 1279, 1282 (9th Cir. 1986)), and may also consider “documents whose contents are alleged in a complaint and whose authenticity no party questions, but which are not physically attached to the pleading.” Branch v. Tunnell, 14 F.3d 449, 454 (9th Cir. 1994), overruled on other grounds by Galbr ...


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