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Langston v. T-Mobile US, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 24, 2018

Mark Langston
v.
T-Mobile US, Inc.

          PRESENT: THE HONORABLE JOHN A. KRONSTADT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

          CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

         Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS) ORDER RE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND ACTION TO STATE COURT (DKT. 18)

         I. Introduction

         Mark Langston (“Plaintiff”) brought this action in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on January 30, 2018. Ex. A to Notice of Removal, Complaint (“Compl.”), Dkt. 1-2 at 8-21. The Complaint advances five claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), Cal. Gov't Code §§ 12940 et seq. against T-Mobile US, Inc. (“Defendant” or “T-Mobile”). Id.[1] These claims arise from Plaintiff's former employment at T-Mobile, and the subsequent termination from that employment. See generally id.

         On March 9, 2018, T-Mobile removed this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441 and 1446. Notice of Removal, Dkt. 1. The removal was based on the claimed diversity of citizenship between the parties, and an amount in controversy of more than $75, 000. See Id. ¶ 3 (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1332). Plaintiff filed a motion to remand the Action. Dkt. 18 (“Motion”). Defendant filed an opposition to the Motion. Dkt. 22 (“Opposition”). Plaintiff replied. Dkt. 24 (“Reply”).

         Because the matter was one deemed appropriate for resolution without a hearing pursuant to L.R. 7-15, it was taken under submission. Dkt. 26. For the reasons stated in this Order, the Motion is DENIED.

         II. Allegations in the Complaint

         The Complaint alleges that, on June 10, 2002, Plaintiff was hired by T-Mobile as an Account Executive. See Compl., Dkt. 1-2 ¶ 4. In 2009, Plaintiff alleges that he had a significant anxiety attack. Id. ¶ 9. It is alleged that, as a result, he suffered from physical and mental disabilities, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”). Id. ¶¶ 10-12. Plaintiff's FEHA claims are based on T-Mobile's alleged discrimination on the basis of these disabilities, as well as its alleged failure to provide reasonable accommodations. Id. ¶¶ 10-23. Plaintiff alleges that T-Mobile terminated his employment on February 9, 2016. Id. ¶ 24.

         The Complaint does not quantify the amount of claimed damages. However, Plaintiff does not contest that the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. See Dkt. 18 at 6-7.

         III. Analysis

         A. Legal Standards

         In general, a civil action may be removed only if, at the time of removal, it is one over which there is federal jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Diversity jurisdiction is presented when the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000 and the adverse parties are citizens of different states. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441. Complete diversity of citizenship is required, i.e., “the citizenship of each plaintiff [must be] different from that of each defendant.” Hunter v. Philip Morris USA, 582 F.3d 1039, 1043 (9th Cir. 2009).

         Because federal courts are ones of limited jurisdiction, the removal statute is to be strictly construed; any doubt about removal is to be resolved in favor of remand. Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). Thus, the removing party has the burden of establishing that removal is proper, including that there is federal jurisdiction over one or more of the claims. Id.; see also Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). “If a case is improperly removed, the federal court must remand the action because it has no subject matter jurisdiction to decide the case.” ARCO Envtl. Remediation, L.L.C. v. Dep't of Health & Envtl. Quality of Mont., 213 F.3d 1108, 1113 (9th Cir. 2000) (internal citations omitted).

         B. ...


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