United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable Philip S. Gutierrez, United States
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
(In Chambers): The Court DENIES Plaintiff's motion to
the Court is a motion to remand filed by Plaintiff Xochitl
Lopez (“Plaintiff”). See Dkt. # 9
(“Mot.”). Defendant Adesa, Inc.
(“Defendant”) opposes the motion, see
Dkt. # 12 (“Opp.”), and Plaintiff timely
replied, see Dkt. # 13
(“Reply”). The Court finds the matter
appropriate for decision without oral argument. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; L.R. 7-15. Having considered the
arguments in the moving, opposing, and reply papers, the
Court DENIES Plaintiff's motion.
9, 2019, Plaintiff filed this wage and hour putative class
action in Riverside County Superior Court. See
Complaint, Dkt. # 1-1 (“Compl.”).
In the complaint, Plaintiff asserts causes of action against
Defendant for (1) failure to pay wages, id.
¶¶ 42-48; (2) failure to pay overtime wages,
id. ¶¶ 49-53; (3) vacation pay forfeiture,
id. ¶¶ 54-60; (4) failure to reimburse
business expenses, id. ¶¶ 61-64; (5)
failure to provide meal periods, id. ¶¶
65-73; (6) failure to provide rest periods, id.
¶¶ 74-80; (7) failure to pay wages of terminated or
resigned employees, id. ¶¶ 81-86; (8)
failure to provide accurate itemized wage statements,
id. ¶¶ 87-94; and (9) unfair competition,
id. ¶¶ 95-103. On behalf of her proposed
classes, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages, economic
damages, special damages, premium pay, wages, penalties, and
26, 2019, Defendant removed the case to this Court. See
Defendant's Notice of Removal, Dkt. # 1
(“NOR”). The Notice of Removal alleged
federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act of
2005 (“CAFA”). Id. ¶ 1; see
also 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d). To satisfy CAFA's
jurisdictional requirements, Defendant asserted that the
proposed class contains at least 100 members, NOR
¶ 15; that minimal diversity exists because Plaintiff is
a citizen of California and Defendant is a citizen of
Delaware and Indiana, id. ¶¶ 9-14; and
that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million,
id. ¶¶ 16-22. As Plaintiff did not
expressly plead a specific amount of damages in her
complaint, Defendant calculated its own estimate of the
potential damages based on Plaintiff's allegations.
See generally NOR.
now moves to remand, arguing that Defendant has failed to
establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount
in controversy exceeds $5 million. See Mot. 6:14-17.
Specifically, Plaintiff takes issue with some of the
assumptions Defendant made in its calculations and argues
that they are not adequately supported by evidence. See
Id. 9:14-28, 13:6-18:17.
provides federal jurisdiction over class actions in which (1)
the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million, (2) there is
minimal diversity between the parties, and (3) the number of
proposed class members is at least 100. 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1332(d)(2), (d)(5)(B). “Congress designed
the terms of CAFA specifically to permit a defendant to
remove certain class or mass actions into federal court . . .
[and] intended CAFA to be interpreted expansively.”
Ibarra v. Manheim Invs., Inc., 775 F.3d 1193, 1197
(9th Cir. 2015). While “no antiremoval presumption
attends cases invoking CAFA, ” Dart Cherokee Basin
Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, 135 S.Ct. 547, 554 (2014),
“the burden of establishing removal jurisdiction
remains, as before, on the proponent of federal
jurisdiction.” Abrego Abrego v. Dow Chem. Co.,
443 F.3d 676, 685 (9th Cir. 2006).
CAFA, a defendant removing a case must file a notice of
removal containing a “short and plain statement of the
grounds for removal.” Dart Cherokee, 135 S.Ct.
at 553. Additionally, the Supreme Court has clarified that
“a defendant's notice of removal need include only
a plausible allegation that the amount in controversy exceeds
the jurisdictional threshold, ” unless the
defendant's assertion is contested by the plaintiff.
Id. at 554. Where, as here, a defendant's
asserted amount in controversy is contested,
“[e]vidence establishing the amount is required.”
Id. “In such a case, both sides submit proof
and the court decides, by a preponderance of the evidence,
whether the amount-in-controversy requirement has been
satisfied.” Id. at 550. Ultimately, the
defendant bears the burden of proving that the amount in
controversy is met. Rodriguez v. AT&T Mobility Servs.
LLC, 728 F.3d 975, 978 (9th Cir. 2013).
first argues that Defendant made “conclusory
assertions” in its notice of removal regarding the
amount in controversy and failed to offer evidence to support
the asserted $5 million jurisdictional amount. See
Mot. 9:14-20, 11:6-11. However, “a defendant's
notice of removal need include only a plausible allegation
that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional
threshold, ” and “[e]vidence establishing the
amount is required by § 1446(c)(2)(B) only when
the plaintiff contests, or the court questions, the
defendant's allegation.” Dart Cherokee,
135 S.Ct. at 554 (emphasis added). Thus, evidentiary support
is not required in the notice of removal. Here, the notice of
removal expressly alleges that the “amount in
controversy in this putative class action conservatively
exceeds $5, 000, 000, exclusive of interests and
costs.” NOR ¶ 18. The notice of removal
discusses the claims alleged in the complaint and explains
the components of Defendant's estimate of the amount in
controversy. See Id. ¶¶ 18-19; Arias
v. Residence Inn by Marriott, No. 19-55803, 2019 WL
4148784, at *4 (9th Cir. Sept. 3, 2019). The Court finds this
sufficient to state a plausible claim for CAFA jurisdiction.
as Plaintiff now contests the sufficiency of the amount in
controversy, the Court must determine whether the
jurisdictional requirement has been satisfied by a
preponderance of the evidence. See Dart Cherokee,
135 S.Ct. at 554.