United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND RE:
DKT. NOS. 16, 17, 18
VAN KEULEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Javier Mendoza (“Plaintiff”) brings a putative
class action alleging that Defendant National Vision, Inc.
(“Defendant”) committed various wage and hour
violations, including failing to provide meal and rest
periods, failing to pay overtime wages and providing
inaccurate wage statements. See First Amended
Complaint, ECF 1 (“FAC”). Plaintiff originally
filed this action in Monterey County Superior Court, but on
March 21, 2019, Defendant removed the case to this Court. ECF
1. Defendant bases its removal on the Class Action Fairness
Act of 2005 (“CAFA”) and diversity jurisdiction
under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Id.
9, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to remand the case to
Monterey County Superior Court, arguing that Defendant failed
to establish that this case meets the amount in controversy
requirements under CAFA or 28 U.S.C. § 1332. ECF 16.
Plaintiff does not dispute that the case meets CAFA's
minimal diversity and minimal class size requirements.
Defendant opposes Plaintiff's motion and submits
additional arguments and evidence to support removal in its
opposition. ECF 17. Based on Defendant's additional
evidence and arguments, Defendant estimates that the amount
in controversy is $12, 857, 093.75. Id. at 13. The
Court held a hearing on June 4, 2019. As set forth below, the
Court DENIES Plaintiff's motion to
first amended complaint (“Amended Complaint”)
alleges that Defendant's actions and policies violated
several provisions of the California Labor Code. See
FAC. In particular, Plaintiff brings eight claims on behalf
of himself and a putative class of Defendant's current
and former non-exempt hourly employees: (1) failure to
provide meal periods; (2) failure to provide rest breaks; (3)
failure to pay hourly and overtime wages; (4) failure to
comply with itemized employee wage statement requirements;
(5) failure to pay agreed wages; (6) failure to pay all wages
upon termination; (7) civil penalties under the Private
Attorneys General Act (Labor Code § 2698); and (8)
unfair business practices in violation of California Business
& Professions Code §17200. Id. at
opposition to Plaintiff's motion to remand sets forth the
following amount in controversy estimates:
• Plaintiff's first claim: $1, 335, 950.00.
Id. at 10.
• Plaintiff's second claim: $1, 335, 950.00.
• Plaintiff's third claim: $2, 003, 925.00.
Id. at 10-11.
• Plaintiff's fourth claim: $3, 118, 650.00.
Id. at 8.
• Plaintiff's sixth claim: $2, 491, 200.00.
Id. at 7.
on these claims, Defendant estimates that Plaintiff's
potential attorneys' fees equal approximately $2, 571,
418.75. Id. at 11-12. This brings Defendant's
total estimated amount in controversy to $12, 857, 093.75.
Id. at 13.
defendant may remove “any civil action brought in a
State court of which the district courts of the United States
have original jurisdiction” to federal court. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1441(a). The two most common forms of federal subject
matter jurisdiction are federal question jurisdiction under
28 U.S.C. § 1331 and diversity jurisdiction under 28
U.S.C. § 1332. Federal question jurisdiction exists over
actions “arising under the Constitution, laws, or
treaties of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
Diversity jurisdiction requires that all plaintiffs be of
diverse citizenship from all defendants, and that the amount
in controversy exceeds $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a);
Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Svcs., Inc., 545
U.S. 546, 553-54 (2005). A defendant may also rely on CAFA to
establish federal subject matter jurisdiction. See
Serrano v. 180 Connect, Inc., 478 F.3d 1018, 1020-21
(9th Cir. 2007). CAFA vests federal courts with
“original jurisdiction” over class actions where
(1) diversity of citizenship exists between at least one
class member and at least one defendant; (2) the amount
“in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $5, 000,
000;” (3) “the primary defendants are not States,
State officials or other government entities against whom the
district court may be foreclosed from ordering relief;”
and (4) the class has at least 100 members. 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1332(d)(2), (d)(5). Here, the Parties only
dispute whether Plaintiff's case meets the amount in
controversy requirement under either CAFA or individual
defendant claiming federal jurisdiction under CAFA bears the
burden of establishing that the amount in controversy exceeds
$5, 000, 000 by a preponderance of the evidence. Ibarra
v. Manheim Investments, Inc., 775 F.3d 1193, 1197 (9th
Cir. 2015) (citation omitted). Although “a
defendant's notice of removal need include only a
plausible allegation that the amount in controversy exceeds
the jurisdictional threshold, ” a defendant must
present “[e]vidence establishing the amount . . . when
the plaintiff contests, or the court questions, the
defendant's allegation.” Dart Cherokee Basin
Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, 574 U.S. 81, 135 S.Ct. 547,
554 (2014). The defendant can support its amount in
controversy calculation in two ways. First, the defendant may
demonstrate that “it is ‘facially apparent'
from the complaint that the jurisdictional amount is in
controversy.” Singer, 116 F.3d at 377. And for
the purposes of such an analysis, the Court assumes the truth
of the allegations in the plaintiff's complaint.
Altamirano v. Shaw Indus., Inc., No. C-13-0939-EMC,
2013 WL 2950600, at *4 (N.D. Cal. June 14, 2013). Second, the
defendant “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.'”
Ibarra, 775 F.3d at 1197 (quoting Singer,
116 F.3d at 377). “A court may properly consider
evidence the removing party submits in its opposition to
remand, even if this evidence was not submitted with the
original removal petition.” Altamirano, 2013
WL 2950600, at *3 (citing Cohn v. Petsmart, Inc.,
281 F.3d 837, 840 n. 1 (9th Cir.2002)).