United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO STRIKE  AND DENYING AS
MOOT MOTION TO REMAND 
D. WRIGHT, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Kari and David Eisenacher (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”) filed this action in the Los
Angeles County Superior Court on December 8, 2016.
(See Not. of Removal, ECF No. 1.) The original
Complaint named BMW of North America, LLC (“BMW”)
and PAG Santa Ana B1, Inc. (“PAG Santa Ana”), as
defendants. (Compl., ECF No. 1-1.) BMW is a Delaware
corporation, and PAG Santa Ana is a California corporation.
(Id. ¶¶ 4, 5.) On January 27, 2017,
Plaintiffs dismissed PAG Santa Ana from the action without
prejudice. (Not. of Dismissal, ECF No. 1-3.) Following the
dismissal of PAG Santa Ana, there was no longer a California
corporation among the defendants, and thus BMW removed the
case to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction.
(See Not. of Removal.) Then, on February 13, 2017,
Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint
(“FAC”) naming SAI Monrovia B, Inc. (“SAI
Monrovia”), as an additional defendant. (ECF No. 9.)
SAI Monrovia is a California corporation. (Id.
parties now disagree about whether SAI Monrovia was properly
joined as a defendant and what its joinder means for the
case. BMW moves to strike the FAC, arguing that Plaintiff
needed the Court's permission to add SAI Monrovia. (ECF
No. 15.) Plaintiffs move to remand this case as there is no
longer complete diversity. (ECF No. 16.) For the reasons
discussed below, the Court GRANTS BMW's
Motion to Strike and DENIES AS MOOT Plaintiffs' Motion to
lawsuit relates to Plaintiffs' purchase of a 2012 BMW.
(FAC ¶ 7.) In connection with the purchase,
provided Plaintiffs with an express written warranty.
(Id. ¶ 8.) The warranty established BMW's
duty to preserve or maintain the function of the vehicle or
to compensate Plaintiffs in the event of a failure in utility
or performance in a specific timeframe. (Id.) The
warranty provided that if a defect developed within the
warranty period, BMW would repair the vehicle. (Id.)
Plaintiffs allege that during the warranty period, their
vehicle did develop defects, including: excessive oil
consumption, oil leakage, shimmy and noises in the steering
wheel, smoke and oil coming from the exhaust, fuel injector
failure, faulty timing chain, faulty fuel feed lines, faulty
vacuum pumps and crackcase vent hoses, and a faulty battery.
(Id. ¶ 9.) Plaintiffs claim that they attempted
to have BMW “and its representatives in this
state” repair the vehicle, but they were unable to do
so after a reasonable number of opportunities. (Id.
¶ 10.) Even though BMW could not repair the vehicle, it
failed to replace the vehicle or compensate Plaintiffs as
required by law. (Id.) Plaintiffs bring this suit
based on allegations of statutory violations, including the
Song-Beverly Act (California's Lemon Law), Breach of
Express Warranty, Breach of the Implied Warranty of
Merchantability, and violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies
Act. (See generally id.)
MOTION TO STRIKE
argues that Plaintiffs' entire FAC should be stricken
because Plaintiffs filed it outside of the window to do so as
a matter of right, and they failed to obtain BMW's
consent or leave from the Court. (Mot. to Strike 3.)
Plaintiffs, on the other hand, claim that BMW did not
properly remove this case to federal court in the first
instance, and additionally, that BMW failed to meet and
confer prior to filing their Motion to Strike. (See
Reply.) Plaintiffs also argue that they are subject to a
different window of time in which to file a new complaint as
a matter of right. (Id.) Moreover, BMW and
Plaintiffs take opposing positions on the issue of whether
the Court should allow Plaintiffs leave to amend their
Complaint if it treats their filing as a de facto
motion for leave.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f) provides that “[t]he
court may strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or
any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous
matter.” The decision to grant a motion to strike is at
the court's discretion. Fantasy, Inc. v.
Fogerty, 984 F.2d 1524, 1528 (9th Cir. 1993),
rev'd on other grounds sub nom. Fogerty v. Fantasy,
Inc., 510 U.S. 517 (1994). The court must view the
pleadings in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. In re 2TheMart.com Sec. Litig., 114 F.Supp.2d
955, 965 (C.D. Cal. 2000).
court may grant a motion to strike “to avoid the
expenditure of time and money that must arise from litigating
spurious issues by dispensing with those issues prior to
trial.” Whittlestone, Inc. v. Handi-Craft Co.,
618 F.3d 970, 973 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing Fantasy,
984 F.2d at 1527). Courts may also grant a motion to strike
in order to streamline the resolution of the action and focus
the jury's attention on the real issues in the case.
Fantasy, 984 F.2d at 1528. However, “motions
to strike are generally disfavored due to the limited role
that pleadings play in federal practice, and because they are
often used as a delaying tactic.” Cal. Dept. of
Toxic Substances Control v. Alco Pac., Inc., 217
F.Supp.2d 1028, 1033 (C.D. Cal. 2002).
an amended complaint is filed outside of the time to do so as
a matter of right, a court may strike the amended pleading if
the plaintiff has not obtained leave to amend or written
consent of the adverse party. Vazquez v. Select Portfolio
Servicing, No. 13-cv-03789-JST, 2014 WL 117390, at *4
(N.D. Cal. Jan. 13, 2014); see also Fed. R. Civ. P.
the Court declines to decide the matter based on
Plaintiffs' arguments that BMW failed to meet and confer
prior to filing its Motion to Strike. Plaintiffs claim that
BMW never notified them of its intention to file such a
motion, but BMW directly disputes this, stating that it met
and conferred with Plaintiffs on several occasions regarding
its issues with Plaintiffs' FAC. (Compare
Opp'n to Mot. to Strike 8-9, ECF No. 17, with
Reply to Mot. to Strike ...