United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND AND
REQUEST FOR ATTORNEYS FEES AND COSTS
A. MENDEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
August 20, 2018, Renay Payne filed a negligence suit against
Sunflowers Farmers Market, LLC and Sprouts Farmers Markets in
Sacramento County Superior Court. Compl., ECF No. 1-1. In May
of the following year, Defendants removed the case to federal
court. Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1 (citing 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1332, 1441). Arguing Defendants' removal was
untimely, Plaintiff filed a motion to remand the case to
state court. Mot. to Remand (“Mot.”) at 5-6, ECF
No. 5. She also requests the Court award her the costs and
attorney fees incurred because of Defendants' removal.
Id. at 6 (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1447). Defendants
opposed Plaintiff's motion. Opp'n, ECF No. 6.
Defendants maintain removal was timely because they removed
the case within 30 days of learning it was removable, as
required by 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(2)(3). Opp'n at 3-6.
Plaintiff did not file a reply. For the reasons set forth
below, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's motion to remand and
request for attorney fees and costs.
August 21, 2016, Plaintiff slipped and fell in the produce
aisle at Sunflower Farmers Market. Compl. ¶ 8. She
sustained “personal / bodily injuries, resulting in
economic and non-economic damages” as a result of the
fall. Compl. ¶ 10. Plaintiff attributes her fall to the
“dangerous, defective and hazardous condition” of
the grocery aisle-specifically, the placement of the grocery
bins. Compl. ¶¶ 9, 11.
to filing her complaint in August 2018, Plaintiff sent an
offer of settlement to Defendants. Mot. at 5. Plaintiff
requested $250, 000. See Exh. D to Mot. On October 10, 2018,
she sent another letter to Defendants. Mot. at 5. The October
10 letter renewed Plaintiff's earlier settlement offer.
Id. Plaintiffs attempted to send another letter on
November 10-again, renewing their $250, 000 offer for
settlement. Mot. at 6. Defendants contend they never received
the November 10 letter. Opp'n at 4-5. The address block
on the November 10 letter misspelled defense counsel's
first name, abbreviated “Koeller, Nebeker, Carlson
& Haluck, LLP” as “KNCH, LLP, ” and
listed the ZIP code for Cool, CA rather than the one for
Irvine, CA. See Exh. D to Mot., ECF No. 5-2.
the course of discovery, Plaintiff produced her Statement of
Damages. Richard Somes Decl. ¶ 13, ECF No. 6-1; see also
Exh. I to Opp'n, ECF No. 6-10. It claimed $1, 000, 000 in
damages. Id. Within thirty days of receiving
Plaintiff's Statement, Defendants removed the case to
201 of the Federal Rules of Evidence allows a court to take
judicial notice of an adjudicative fact that is “not
subject to reasonable dispute, ” because it (1)
“is generally known within the trial court's
territorial jurisdiction”; or (2) “can be
accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy
cannot reasonably be questioned.” Fed.R.Evid.
201(a)-(b). A court may take judicial notice of matters of
public record, such as court records. United States v.
Howard, 381 F.3d 873, 876 n.1 (9th Cir. 2004).
request the Court take judicial notice of the following
1. Plaintiff's Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint
against Defendant Sunflowers Market, LLC;
2. Plaintiff's Proof of Service of Summons and Complaint
against Henry's Holdings, LLC (erroneously sued as
Sprouts Farmers Market, LLC);
3. Plaintiff's Complaint filed August 20, 2018 in State
4. Plaintiff's First Amended complaint filed January 10,