United States District Court, C.D. California
(In Chambers): ORDER RE MOTION TO REMAND TO STATE COURT 
the Court are two motions, both filed by Plaintiff the Sunset
Landmark Investment, LLC (“Sunset Landmark”): The
first is Sunset Landmark's Motion to Remand to State
Court (the “Remand Motion”), filed June 29, 2017.
(Docket No. 7). On August 7, 2017, Defendant Chubb Custom
Insurance Company (“Chubb”) filed its Opposition.
(Docket No. 10). Sunset Landmark replied on August 14, 2017.
(Docket No. 13).
31, 2017, Sunset Landmark filed a Motion for Sanctions
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 (the
“Sanctions Motion”). (Docket No. 8). Chubb filed
its Opposition on August 7, 2017 (Docket No. 9), and on
August 14, 2017, Sunset Landmark replied (Docket No. 12). The
Court has read and considered the papers filed on the Motions
and held a hearing on August 28, 2017.
reasons set forth below, the Remand Motion is DENIED. The
Court expressed the view at the hearing that the Remand
Motion should be granted, and the Court continues to believe
that, factually, Chubb was well aware of the basis for
removal at the time Sunset Landmark filed the Complaint.
Nonetheless, under the Ninth Circuit's bright-line test,
the Complaint was insufficient to start the running of the
first 30-day time period, for removal.
Sanctions Motion is DENIED.
action concerns a six- or seven-year old dispute between
Sunset Landmark and its insurer, Chubb. (See
generally Complaint (Docket No. 1-1)). In 2010, a water
supply pipe burst on Sunset Landmark's property, and the
parties still dispute the benefits to which Sunset Landmark
is entitled. (Id. ¶¶ 6-11).
March 14, 2017, after several agreements to extend the
tolling period, Sunset Landmark filed a claim for breach of
contract against Chubb in Los Angeles Superior Court. The
Complaint states that Sunset Landmark “is, and at all
time relevant hereto was, a Limited Liability Company doing
business in Los Angeles County, California.” (Compl.
¶ 1). The Complaint neither stated that Plaintiff was
organized pursuant to the laws of California nor did it
disclose the citizenship of all of its members. The Complaint
does not include estimated damages. Chubb received a copy of
the Complaint on March 18, 2017. (Notice of Removal ¶ 2
(Docket No. 1)).
30, 2017, about two months after it received the Complaint,
Chubb filed a Notice of Removal to this Court, invoking 28
U.S.C. § 1441(b) and the Court's diversity
jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (Notice of Removal
¶ 3). The Notice of Removal states simply that removal
is appropriate because Sunset Landmark “is a limited
liability company organized and existing under the laws of
the State of California” whereas Chubb “was and
is a corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of
Delaware with its principal place of business in the State of
New Jersey” and the insurance policy at issue exceeds
$75, 000. (Id. ¶¶ 3-4). The Notice of
Removal adds that “Saeed Nourmand is a member of
[Sunset Landmark] . . . and is a citizen of the State of
California.” (Id. ¶ 5).
Landmark now moves for remand, contending that the Notice of
Removal was untimely, and further requests the Court impose
sanctions for what it considers to be Chubb's frivolous
decision to remove.
general, “any civil action brought in a State court of
which the district courts of the United States have original
jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant or the
defendants, to the district court[.]” 28 U.S.C. §
1441(a). A removing defendant bears the burden of
establishing that removal is proper. See Abrego Abrego v.
The Dow Chem. Co., 443 F.3d 676, 684 (9th Cir. 2006)
(per curiam) (noting the “longstanding, near-canonical
rule that the burden on removal rests with the removing
defendant”). If there is any doubt regarding the
existence of subject matter jurisdiction, the court must
resolve those doubts in favor of remanding the action to
state court. See Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564,
566 (9th Cir. 1992) (“Federal jurisdiction must be
rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in
the first instance.”). Indeed, “[i]f 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); see Kelton
Arms Condo. Owners Ass'n, Inc. v. Homestead Ins.
Co., 346 F.3d 1190, 1192 (9th Cir. 2003) (“Subject
matter jurisdiction may not be waived, and, indeed, we have
held that the district court must remand if it lacks
jurisdiction.”). Here, the parties do not dispute that
the underlying facts show removal was proper. The parties
contest only the timing of Chubb's removal.
28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(1), a defendant must file a notice
of removal “within 30 days after the receipt by the
defendant, through service or otherwise, of a copy of the
initial pleading setting forth the claim for relief upon
which such action or proceeding is based[.]” Section
1446(b)(3) additionally permits removal “within 30 days
after receipt by the defendant . . . of a copy of an amended
pleading, motion, order or other paper from which it may
first be ascertained that the case is one which is or has
become removable.” Either way, a notice of removal must
be filed within one year of the action's commencement.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(1). Although the time
limit is procedural rather than jurisdictional, it “is
mandatory and a timely objection to a late petition will
defeat removal . . . .” Smith v. Mylan Inc.,
761 F.3d 1042, 1045 (9th Cir. 2014) (quoting Fristoe v.
Reynolds Metals Co., 615 F.2d 1209, 1212 (9th Cir.
Landmark contends that Chubb's Notice of Removal was
untimely because it was filed more than 30 days after
receiving the Complaint, and no “other paper” was
filed that triggered discovery of the parties' diversity.
(Remand Mot. at 5). Chubb responds that, under Roth v.
CHA Hollywood Med. Ctr., L.P., 720 F.3d 1121 (9th Cir.
2013), a defendant may notice removal “outside the two
thirty-day periods on the basis of its own ...