United States District Court, C.D. California
PRESENT: HONORABLE JOHN F. WALTER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT
CIVIL MINUTES -- GENERAL
(IN CHAMBERS): ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF MARIE HERNANDEZ'S
RENEWED MOTION TO REMAND PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1447
[filed 6/19/2017; Docket No. 34]
19, 2017, Plaintiff Marie Hernandez (“Plaintiff”)
filed a Renewed Motion to Remand Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1447 (“Renewed Motion to Remand”). On June 26,
2017, Defendants Starbucks Corporation and Teavana
Corporation (collectively, “Defendants”) filed
their Opposition. On July 3, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Reply.
Pursuant to Rule 78 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
and Local Rule 7-15, the Court finds that this matter is
appropriate for decision without oral argument. The hearing
calendared for July 17, 2017 is hereby vacated and the matter
taken off calendar. After considering the moving, opposing,
and reply papers, and the arguments therein, the Court rules
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
March 20, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint in Ventura County
Superior Court, alleging claims against Defendants for
violation of the California Labor Code, including failure to
provide meal breaks and rest breaks, failure to provide
minimum wages and overtime wages, failure to timely pay final
wages, and failure to provide accurate wage statements. She
also alleges a claim for violation of California Business
& Professions Code § 17200, et seq. She alleges
these claims on behalf of a putative class that includes all
of Defendants' “non-exempt manager employees who
worked in California during the period from March 20, 2013,
to the present.” Complaint at ¶ 15.
April 26, 2017, Defendants filed a Notice of Removal of
Action Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(d)(2), 1441,
1446, and 1453 (“Notice of Removal”), alleging
that this Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1332(d), the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005
Renewed Motion to Remand,  Plaintiff argues that Defendants have
failed to meet their burden of proof that the amount in
controversy exceeds $5, 000, 000, and moves to remand this
action to Ventura County Superior Court. Since filing the
Renewed Motion to Remand, Plaintiff has filed a First Amended
Complaint, which adds a claim for failure to reimburse
business expenses under California Labor Code § 2802.
provides expanded original diversity jurisdiction for class
actions meeting the amount in controversy and minimal
diversity and numerosity requirements set forth in 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(d)(2).” United Steel, Paper &
Forestry, Rubber, Mfg., Energy, Allied Indus. & Serv.
Workers Int'l Union, AFL-CIO, CLC v. Shell Oil Co.,
602 F.3d 1087, 1090-91 (9th Cir. 2010); see Ibarra v.
Manheim Investments, Inc., 775 F.3d 1193, 1195 (9th Cir.
2015) (“A CAFA-covered class action may be removed to
federal court, subject to more liberalized jurisdictional
requirements”). CAFA vests district courts with
“original jurisdiction of any civil action in which the
matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $5, 000,
000, exclusive of interest and costs, ” and is a class
action consisting of more than 100 members “in which .
. . any member of a class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a
State different from any defendant.” 28 U.S.C. §
1332(d); see also Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Knowles,
568 U.S. 558, 133 S.Ct. 1345, 1348 (2013).
antiremoval presumption attends cases invoking CAFA, which
Congress enacted to facilitate adjudication of certain class
actions in federal court.” Dart Cherokee Basin
Operating System Co., LLC v. Owens, 135 S.Ct. 547, 554
(2014). “[A] defendant's notice of removal need
include only a plausible allegation that the amount in
controversy exceeds the jurisdictional threshold. Evidence
establishing the amount is required by § 1446(c)(2)(B)
only when the plaintiff contests, or the court questions, the
defendant's allegation.” Id. When, as
here, “a defendant's assertion of the amount in
controversy is challenged ... both sides submit proof and the
court decides, by a preponderance of the evidence, whether
the amount-in-controversy requirement has been
satisfied.” Id.; see also Ibarra, 775
F.3d at 1195.
the amount in controversy is challenged, “the defendant
seeking removal bears the burden to show by a preponderance
of the evidence that the aggregate amount in controversy
exceeds $5 million . . . .” Ibarra, 775 F.3d
at 1197. “The parties may submit evidence outside the
complaint, including affidavits or declarations, or other
summary-judgment-type evidence relevant to the amount in
controversy at the time of removal.” Id.
(quotations and citations omitted). “Under this system,
a defendant cannot establish removal jurisdiction by mere
speculation and conjecture, with unreasonable
assumptions.” Id. “CAFA's
requirements are to be tested by consideration of real
evidence and the reality of what is at stake in the
litigation, using reasonable assumptions underlying the
defendant's theory of damages exposure.”
Id. at 1198.
based on certain assumptions, calculate the amount in
controversy to be at least $5, 118, 969. Specifically,
they calculate that ...