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Moore v. CVS Health Corp.

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 14, 2017

Crystal Moore
v.
CVS Health Corporation, et al.

          Present: The Honorable JESUS G. BERNAL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

          CIVIL MINUTES-GENERAL

         Present Proceedings: Order (1) DENYING Plaintiff Crystal Moore's Motion to Remand (Dkt. No. 11.); and (2) VACATING the hearing on July 24, 2017 (IN CHAMBERS)

         Before the Court is a Motion to Remand by Plaintiff Crystal Moore (“Plaintiff”) (Dkt. No. 11.) The Court finds this matter appropriate for resolution without a hearing. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; L.R. 7-15. After consideration of the papers filed in support of, and in opposition to the motion, the Court DENIES the motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On February 1, 2017, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendants CVS Health Corporation, CVS Pharmacy, Inc., Garfield Beach CVS, LLC No. 9698, and Does 1-60 (collectively “Defendants”) in the Superior Court of the State of California County of San Bernardino. (“Complaint, ” Dkt. No. 1-1.) The Complaint alleged a single cause of action for negligence. (Id.) Defendants removed the action to this Court on May 8, 2017. (Dkt. No. 1.)

         Plaintiff moved to remand the case on June 5, 2017. (“Motion, ” Dkt. No. 11.) Defendant opposed the Motion on June 27, 2017. (“Opposition, ” Dkt. No. 12.) Plaintiff replied on July 6, 2017. (“Reply, ” Dkt. No. 13.)

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         “Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, possessing only that power authorized by the Constitution and statute.” Gunn v. Minton, 133 S.Ct. 1059, 1064 (2013) (internal citations omitted). As such, federal courts only have original jurisdiction over civil actions in which a federal question exists (federal question jurisdiction) or where there is complete diversity of citizenship between the parties and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000 (diversity jurisdiction). 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1332.

         “The right of removal is entirely a creature of statute and a suit commenced in a state court must remain there until cause is shown for its transfer under some act of Congress.” Syngenta Crop Prot., Inc. v. Henson, 537 U.S. 28, 32 (2002) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). Where Congress has acted to create a right of removal, those statutes are strictly construed against removal jurisdiction. Id.; Nevada v. Bank of Am. Corp., 672 F.3d 661, 667 (9th Cir. 2012). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a), “[a] suit filed in state court may be removed to federal court if the federal court would have had original jurisdiction over the suit.” Yad Abraham, LLC v. Disruptive Tech, Ltd., No. CV 17-4771 PA (AFMx), 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103760 (C.D. Cal. July 3, 2017). “If at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). “The strong presumption against removal jurisdiction means that the defendant always has the burden of establishing that removal is proper.” Kotulski v. FCA U.S. LLC, No. 17-CV-0527-AJB-BGS, 2017 W.L 2705429 at *2 (S.D. Cal. June 23, 2017) (quoting Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff challenges Defendants' removal, contending the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction in this matter because neither diversity jurisdiction nor federal question jurisdiction exist. (Mot. at 3-5.) As such, Plaintiff asserts the case must be remanded to the Superior Court for the County of San Bernardino. (Id. at 3.)

         A. Federal Question Jurisdiction

         “In determining federal question jurisdiction, the well-pleaded complaint rule ‘provides that federal jurisdiction exists only when a federal question is presented on the face of the plaintiff's properly pleaded complaint.'” Hunter v. Phillip Morris USA, 582 F.3d at 1039, 1042 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Fisher v. NOS Commc'ns (In re NOS Commc'ns), 495 F.3d 1052, 1057 (9th Cir. 2007)). To establish federal question jurisdiction, Plaintiff must show through its “‘well-pleaded complaint . . . . that federal law creates the cause of action or that the plaintiff's right to relief necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question of federal law.'” Proctor v. Vishay Intertech. Inc., 584 F.3d 1208, 1219 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting Empire Healthchoice Assurance, Inc. v. McVeigh, 547 U.S. 677, 689-90 (2006)).

         Here, Plaintiff's Complaint clearly states that it is “properly pleaded” and is “purely a state-law cause of action” not intending to invoke federal question jurisdiction under § 1331. (Reply at 5.) The Court agrees the Complaint asserts a single cause of action for negligence -a state law claim. Because the claim arises under state law and does not ...


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