United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ALBERT C. ALVAREZ, Plaintiff,
TRANSITAMERICA SERVICES, INC., et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND;
REMANDING ACTION TO SANTA CLARA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT RE:
DKT. NO. 35
J. DAVILA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
moves for this case to be remanded claiming this Court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction. Because the complaint does not
allege Article III standing for the federal claims, there is
no federal question jurisdiction and so, there is necessarily
no supplemental jurisdiction. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s
motion is GRANTED, and this case is remanded
to the Santa Clara County Superior Court. See 28
U.S.C. § 1447(c).
Albert C. Alvarez (“Plaintiff”) initiated this
putative class action in the Santa Clara Superior Court
asserting that Defendants TransitAmerica Services and Herzog
Transit Services (“Defendants”) violated federal
and state laws. The federal claims alleged violations of the
Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), which
occurred when Defendants obtained background checks for
Plaintiff’s employment. Plaintiff asserted analogous
California state law claims under Investigative Consumer
Reporting Agencies Act (“ICRAA”), Consumer Credit
Reporting Agencies Act (“CCRAA”), and unfair
competition law (“UCL”). Plaintiff also included
claims that Defendants failed to provide meal periods, rest
periods, pay hourly and overtime wages, accurate written wage
statements, and timely pay all final wages.
claims that Defendants routinely acquired consumer,
investigative, and credit reports (i.e., credit and
background reports) to conduct background checks on Plaintiff
and other prospective, current, and former employees. Second
Amended Complaint (“SAC”) ¶ 2, Dkt. 26.
Defendants then used information from the reports in their
hiring process without providing or obtaining proper
disclosures/authorizations in compliance with federal and
state law. Id.
alleges two FCRA claims. First, that Defendants willfully
failed to provide proper disclosures because the
authorization did not “stand alone” as required
by 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2)(A) and “[a]s a result
of Defendants’ unlawful procurement of credit and
background reports by way of their inadequate disclosures, .
. . Plaintiff and class members have been injured, including
but not limited to, having their privacy and statutory rights
invaded in violation of the FCRA.” SAC ¶¶ 46,
56. Second, that Defendants failed to give proper
“summary of rights” as required by 15 U.S.C.
§ 1681d(a)(1) and 15 U.S.C. § 1681g(c).
Id. ¶¶59–70. Plaintiff incorporates
the same allegations of injury for this second cause of
action. See SAC ¶ 59. Finally, Plaintiff seeks
declaratory and restitutionary relief for the FCRA claims.
SAC ¶ 180.
removed the action to federal court, invoking federal
question jurisdiction over the FCRA claims and supplemental
jurisdiction over the other state-law claims. See
Dkt. 1. Plaintiff moves to remand, arguing that because he
lacks Article III standing for his FCRA claim, removal was
improper as this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
See Pl. Motion to Remand (“Pl. Mot.”);
of a civil action from state to federal court is appropriate
only if the federal court has subject matter jurisdiction
over the matter. 28 U.S.C. § 1444(a). If a case is
improperly removed, “the federal court must remand the
action because it has no subject-matter jurisdiction to
decide the case.” ARCO Envtl. Remediation, LLC v.
Dep’t of Health & Envtl. Quality of the State of
Mont., 213 F.3d 1108, 1113 (9th Cir. 2000); 28 U.S.C.
1447(c) (“If at any time before final judgment it
appears that the district court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.”). On a
motion to remand, federal courts must presume that a cause of
action lies beyond its subject matter jurisdiction.
Hunter v. Philip Morris USA, 582 F.3d 1039, 1042
(9th Cir. 2009). The burden to establish that jurisdiction
exists rests upon the party asserting jurisdiction.
Id. The “strong presumption” against
removal jurisdiction means that the court “resolves all
ambiguity in favor of remand to state court.”
Id. (quoting Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d
564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992) (per curiam)).
III of the United States Constitution limits the jurisdiction
of the federal courts to actual “cases” and
“controversies.” U.S. Const. art. III, § 2.
To satisfy the case-or-controversy requirement, a plaintiff
must have standing to bring a claim. See, e.g.,
Lexmark Int’l, Inc. v. Static Control Components,
Inc., 572 U.S. 118, 125 (2014); Spokeo, Inc. v.
Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540, 1547 (2016). Article III
standing requires that a plaintiff have: (1) suffered an
injury in fact, (2) that is fairly traceable to the
challenged conduct of the defendant, and (3) is likely to be
redressed by a favorable judicial decision. Lujan v.
Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560–61 (1992). To
establish an injury in fact required for Article III
standing, “a plaintiff must show that he or she
suffered an invasion of a legally protected interest that is
concrete and particularized and actual or imminent.”
Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1548. For an injury to be
“particularized” it “must affect the
plaintiff in a personal and individual way.”
Id.; see also Valley Forge Christian Coll. v.
Ams. United for Separation of Church and State, 454 U.S.
464, 472 (1982) (standing requires that the plaintiff
“‘personally has suffered some actual or
threatened injury’”). A “concrete”
injury must be “de facto;” it must be
“real” and “actually exist.”
Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1548.