United States District Court, C.D. California
ALEX SLOAN, individually, and on behalf of other members of the general public similarly situated, Plaintiff,
1st AMERICAN AUTOMOTIVE SALES TRAINING; TOM ROSS; KIRBY KOOPMAN; and DOES 1-50, inclusive, Defendants.
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS 
D. WRIGHT, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a putative consumer class action. Before the Court is
Defendants 1st American Automotive Sales Training (“1st
Auto”), Tom Ross, and Kirby Koopman's motion to
dismiss pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)
and 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 44.) For the following reasons, the
Court DENIES Defendants' motion.
advertised a three-day automotive sales training course
online. (First Am. Compl. (“FAC”) ¶ 6, ECF
No. 42.) An advertisement on 1st Auto's website described
the sales training course as a combination “of
fundamentals, role playing, tests, and homework” and
suggested that the trainer “will place” trainees
with dealerships and that trainees will be “working
within the first few days.” (Id. ¶¶
6-7.) A separate advertisement on Craigslist.com indicated
that 1st Auto offers “[c]omprehensive training with
national certification[, ] $2000/month or very liberal
commissions[, ] general incentives and bonuses[, ] ¶ 5
day work week[, ] employee medical and dental benefits[, and
a] friendly work environment.” (Id. ¶ 5.)
alleges that the reality for those who responded to the
advertisements was quite different. Respondents were charged
$695 for the course, did not receive national certification,
and were not offered employment at the course's
conclusion despite further promises during the training of
“guaranteed” positions. (Id.
alleges that he went to a Volvo dealership in Culver City,
California, on Wednesday, May 27, 2015, to “begin his
training after responding to the Craigslist advertisement
describing the job opening.” (Id. ¶ 28.)
After arriving at the dealership, Plaintiff paid $695 for the
course and was told that he would be reimbursed within ninety
days. (Id. ¶¶ 29, 37.) Plaintiff was
promised national certification and a position
“multiple times” during the training.
(Id. ¶ 30.) At some point, Plaintiff signed
paperwork and was told that he would need to complete a
background check before beginning work on “Monday of
the following week.” (Id. ¶ 31.)
Ultimately, Plaintiff did not receive national certification,
a position, or reimbursement for the course-in short, he was
provided with “nothing of benefit.” (Id.
¶ 37.) Plaintiff complained to the General Sales Manager
of the Volvo dealership but the Sales Manager told Plaintiff
“there was nothing he could do because Defendant Tom
Ross was in charge of hiring.” (Id. ¶
filed this putative class action in federal court on July 19,
2016, pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act
(“CAFA”). (ECF No. 1.) In his Class Action
Complaint, Plaintiff alleged two causes of action against
Defendants: (1) violation of the False Advertising Law
(“FAL”) pursuant to California Business and
Professions Code section 17500; and (2) violation of the
Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) pursuant to
California Business and Professions Code section 17200.
(Id.) On February 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed a First
Amended Complaint adding a cause of action for violation of
the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CRLA”) pursuant
to California Civil Code section 1750. (FAC ¶¶
81-83.) On March 17, 2017, Defendants filed the pending
motion to dismiss pursuant to Rules of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 44.) The motion is now fully
briefed and ready for decision. (ECF Nos.
Dismissal Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1)
contend that Plaintiff has not established the requisite
amount in controversy for CAFA jurisdiction. (Mot. 1-2, ECF
No. 44.) “Under CAFA, federal courts have original
jurisdiction over a class action if (1) the parties are
minimally diverse, (2) the proposed class has more than 100
members, and (3) the aggregate amount in controversy exceeds
$5 million.” See Lockhart v. Columbia Sportswear
Co., No. 515CV02634ODWPLAX, 2016 WL 2743481, at *2 (C.D.
Cal. May 11, 2016) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2),
(d)(5)(B)). “[T]he claims of the individual class
members shall be aggregated to determine whether the matter
in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $5, 000, 000,
exclusive of interest and costs.” 28 U.S.C. §
have applied the facial attack/factual attack framework in
Rule 12(b)(1) challenges to CAFA's $5 million amount in
controversy requirement. See, e.g.,
Zapata Fonseca v. Vigo Importing Co., No.
5:16-CV-02055-EJD, 2016 WL 6249006, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 26,
2016). A facial attack examines whether allegations contained
in the complaint are sufficient to establish the amount in
controversy. See Wolfe v. Strankman, 392 F.3d 358,
362 (9th Cir. 2004) (“In a facial attack, the
challenger asserts that the allegations contained in a
complaint are insufficient on their face to invoke federal
proponent of federal jurisdiction, in this case, Plaintiff,
bears the initial burden of establishing federal jurisdiction
including that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million.
In re Wilshire Courtyard, 729 F.3d 1279, 1284 (9th
Cir. 2013). However, the plaintiff may satisfy this burden by
merely alleging in good faith that its damages exceed the
relevant jurisdictional threshold. See Naffe v.
Frey, 789 F.3d 1030, 1040 (9th Cir. 2015).
the plaintiff satisfies its burden, the defendant must show
to a legal certainty that the claims do not satisfy the
amount in controversy requirement. See Richardson v.
Servicemaster Global Holdings, Inc., No. 09-CV-4044 SI,
2009 WL 4981149, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 15, 2009) (“In
other words, when a plaintiff brings suit in federal court
alleging that the amount in controversy exceeds the
jurisdictional minimum, a defendant challenging the federal
court's jurisdiction must establish to a legal certainty
that plaintiff's claim does not satisfy the requisite
jurisdictional amount.”); Taylor v. Enter.
Rent-A-Car Co., No. CV 10-1849-JST SHX, 2011 WL 1195898,
at *3 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 30, 2011) (“Defendants must show
that from . . . the face of the ...