United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable DOLLY M. GEE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT
IN CHAMBERS - ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Court incorporates the factual background set forth in its
June 11, 2019 Order. [Doc. # 16.] On May 16, 2019, the Court
issued an Order to Show Cause (“OSC”) why this
case should not be remanded to Los Angeles County Superior
Court for improper removal due to lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. [Doc. #13]. On June 11, 2019, the Court, after
reviewing the parties' submissions in response to the
OSC, see Def.'s Resp. to OSC [Doc. # 14];
Pl.'s Reply to OSC [Doc. # 15], discharged the OSC. [Doc.
# 16 (“Discharge Order”).] That Order did not
preclude Plaintiff from filing a regularly-noticed motion to
remand. Discharge Order at 4 n.1.
16, 2019, Plaintiff moved to remand the action to state court
on the basis that Defendant failed to show that the amount in
controversy surpassed the jurisdictional threshold under the
Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”). Motion to
Remand [Doc. # 18 (“MTR”)]. The MTR is now fully
briefed [Doc. ## 23 (“Opp.”), 24
(“Reply”)]. Because Defendant has not met its
burden to establish the amount in controversy required to
litigate in federal court, this Court
REMANDS the case to Los Angeles County
affords district courts jurisdiction “over class
actions in which the class members number at least 100, at
least one plaintiff is diverse in citizenship from any
defendant, and the aggregate amount in controversy exceeds $5
million, exclusive of interest and costs.” Ibarra
v. Manheim Invs., Inc., 775 F.3d 1193, 1195 (9th Cir.
2015) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)). Pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a), an action may be removed from a state
court to a federal district court if the latter would have
had “original jurisdiction” over the action had
it been filed in that court.
complaint does not specify a particular amount of damages and
the plaintiff challenges jurisdiction after removal, the
removing defendant bears the burden of establishing by a
preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy
exceeds the jurisdictional threshold. See Sanchez v.
Monumental Life Ins. Co., 102 F.3d 398, 404 (9th Cir.
1996); Ibarra, 775 F.3d at 1197, 1199 (“Under
the preponderance of the evidence standard, if the evidence
submitted by both sides is balanced, in equipoise, the scales
tip against federal-court jurisdiction.”); Gaus v.
Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566-67 (9th Cir. 1992)
(“If it is unclear what amount of damages the
plaintiff has sought . . . then the defendant bears the
burden of actually proving the facts to support jurisdiction,
including the jurisdictional amount.”). In such cases,
a district court “may ‘require parties to submit
summary-judgment-type evidence relevant to the amount in
controversy at the time of removal.'” Singer v.
State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 116 F.3d 373, 377 (9th
Cir. 1997) (quoting Allen v. R & H Oil & Gas
Co., 63 F.3d 1326, 1335-36 (5th Cir. 1995)).
“[R]emoval ‘cannot be based simply upon
conclusory allegations where the [complaint] is
silent'” as to the amount of damages. Id.
(quoting Allen, 63 F.3d at 1335). Further, “a
defendant cannot establish removal jurisdiction by mere
speculation and conjecture, with unreasonable
assumptions.” See Ibarra, 775 F.3d at 1197.
does not dispute that she is diverse from Defendant or that
her putative class is large enough to satisfy CAFA's
100-member minimum. See Compl. at ¶¶
13-14, 34. She only challenges Defendant's assertion that
the amount in controversy exceeds the $5 million
jurisdictional threshold for CAFA jurisdiction. MTR.
submitted no evidence in connection with its Opposition. Nor
does its Notice of Removal contain sufficient evidence to
carry its burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence
that Plaintiff's class claims are worth more than $5
million. All in all, Defendant provides no evidence that
Plaintiff's restitutionary claims, Plaintiff's
request for injunctive relief, or Defendants' expected
attorneys' fees-individually, or in combination-meet
CAFA's amount in controversy requirement. That dearth of
evidence means that Defendant's claim to federal
jurisdiction rests entirely on whether, as a matter of law,