United States District Court, E.D. California
NIKI NUNES, individually and on behalf of all persons similarly situated, CHRIS SMITH, individually and on behalf of all persons similarly situated, MITZI WALLACE, individually and on behalf of all persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
HOME DEPOT U.S.A., INC., a Delaware corporation; and DOES 1 through 50, Inclusive, Defendants.
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO
MENDEZ, UNITED STATES DBTRICT JUDGE
sued Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. (“Home Depot” or
“Defendant”) in San Joaquin County Superior Court
for alleged violations of the California Labor Code. Compl.,
ECF No. 1-2. Home Depot removed the case to federal court.
Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1. Plaintiffs now move to remand
the case to state court. Mot., ECF No. 4.
reasons set forth below, this Court DENIES Plaintiffs'
FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Niki Nunes, Chris Smith, and Mitzi Wallace (collectively
“Plaintiffs”) are hourly-paid, non-exempt
Warehouse Associate employees for Home Depot at its Tracy
Distribution Center. Compl. ¶¶ 3-5. Plaintiffs are
citizens of California. Mello Decl., ECF No. 1-5. Home Depot
is Delaware corporation with its principal place of business
in Atlanta, Georgia. Id.
24, 2019, Plaintiffs filed the Complaint in San Joaquin
County Superior Court (Case No. STK-CV-UOE-2019-6656),
bringing six causes of action against Home Depot for
purported violations of the California Labor Code for its
failure to pay minimum wages, pay overtime wages, provide
meal breaks, provide rest breaks, timely pay final wages due,
and provide accurate itemized wage statements. See
Compl. Plaintiffs also assert a claim under California's
unfair competition law. Id. Plaintiffs bring these
claims on behalf of a putative class of all current and
former non-exempt Warehouse Associates employed by Home Depot
at the Tracy Distribution Center at any time during the four
years (for the unfair competition law claim) or three years
(for the California Labor Code claims) prior to filing of the
Complaint. Compl. ¶¶ 30, 39.
Depot timely removed the case to federal court, asserting
federal jurisdiction under CAFA. Notice of Removal; 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(d)(2). Plaintiffs timely moved to remand the case
to San Joaquin County Superior Court. Mot. Home Depot opposes
the motion. Opp'n, ECF No. 5.
Depot asks this Court to take judicial notice of the
complaint in Ramirez v. Carefusion Resources, LLC,
No. 3:18-cv-02852-BEN-KSC (S.D. Cal.). RJN, ECF No. 5-2.
Plaintiffs do not oppose this request. And since judicial
notice of the existence of court records is routinely
accepted, the request for judicial notice is granted as to
the existence of the complaint but not as to the truth of its
gives federal district courts original jurisdiction in any
civil action where: (1) the amount in controversy exceeds $5
million, exclusive of interest and costs; (2) the number of
putative class members is not less than 100 persons; and (3)
any member of a class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a State
different from any defendant. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d).
Plaintiffs do not contest the minimal diversity or class size
requirements, and this Court finds those requirements
Disputed Amount in Controversy
Notice of Removal, Home Depot includes allegations and
calculations as to the amount in controversy and concludes,
“[i]n sum, by conservative estimates, . . . the total
monetary relief placed in controversy by the complaint
exceeds $7 million.” Notice of Removal ¶¶
13-23 (relying on Declaration of G. Edward Anderson, Ph.D.,
ECF No. 1-6). Plaintiffs dispute this estimate and argue, as