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Anderson v. Assemblers, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

October 28, 2019

Matthew Anderson
v.
Assemblers, Inc. et al.

          Present: The Honorable MICHAEL W. FITZGERALD, U.S. District Judge

          CIVIL MINUTES-GENERAL

         Proceedings (In Chambers): ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO REMAND [9]

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Matthew Anderson's Motion to Remand (the “Motion”), filed on September 22, 2019. (Docket No. 9). Defendants Assemblers, Inc. (“Assemblers”) and Brian Finn filed an Opposition on September 30, 2019. (Docket No. 11). Plaintiff filed his Reply on October 4, 2019. (Docket No. 12).

         The Court reviewed and considered the papers submitted on the Motion and held a hearing on October 21, 2019.

         For the reasons discussed below, the Motion is GRANTED. Defendants have not established that Finn was fraudulently joined, “fraudulently” being used here with its technical jurisdictional meaning. Because Plaintiff is a California resident and Defendant Finn is a California resident, this Court lacks diversity jurisdiction and the action must be remanded.

         Because the Court concludes that complete diversity does not exist, the Court does not address Plaintiff's argument that Defendants' Notice of Removal is untimely.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On August 5, 2019, Plaintiff commenced this action in the Riverside County Superior Court. (See Notice of Removal (“NoR”) (Docket No. 1), Ex. A (Docket No. 1-3)). On September 9, 2019, Defendants removed the action to this Court. (See NoR). On September 30, 2019, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”). (Docket No. 10).

         Plaintiff is an individual who resides in California. (FAC ¶ 1). Defendant Assemblers is incorporated in Tennessee with its principal place of business and headquarters located in Tennessee. (NoR ¶ 7; Declaration of Tina Belau (“Belau Decl.”) ¶ 4 (Docket No. 1-1); FAC ¶ 2). Defendant Finn is a citizen of California. (Belau Decl. ¶ 7; FAC ¶ 3).

         The FAC alleges as follows:

Plaintiff applied for a position at Assemblers in Temecula, California. (FAC ¶ 8). Plaintiff was qualified for the position for which he applied. (Id. ¶ 10). On or about June 12, 2019, Plaintiff had a telephone interview for the position with Defendant Finn that lasted approximately 35 minutes. (Id. ¶ 11). Plaintiff asserts that “Defendants subjected [him] to harassment based on his age and marital/family status by among other things, asking him how old he was and whether he was married or had a family.” (Id.).

         Prior to learning Plaintiff's age and marital status, Finn stated that Plaintiff was his choice for the position and that he was looking for someone like Plaintiff to help him run the West Coast region because he had been doing it alone since his last area manager that covered the area was let go. (Id. ¶ 13). Further, prior to learning Plaintiff's age and marital status, Finn stated that Plaintiff was his choice to help him run the West Coast because he was really impressed by Plaintiff's work history, knowledge, ability, and the way he came across as a professional on the phone and that Plaintiff knew what he was talking about. (Id. ¶ 14).

         Finn then stated that he was dying to ask Plaintiff something, which was “How old are you?” (Id. ¶ 16). Plaintiff responded that he was 50. (Id.). According to Plaintiff, Finn then stated that the reason he wanted to know Plaintiff's age was because he was looking for someone like him since he was only 23 years old and dedicated. (Id. ¶ 18). Finn then asked Plaintiff if he was married or had a family. (Id. ¶ 20). Plaintiff responded that he was divorced but had full time custody of his daughter. (Id.). Finn stated that he was not married and did not have children and that his home life and situation allowed him to give his undivided attention to the company and allowed him to excel. (Id. ¶ 22). Finn asked whether taking care of his daughter would prevent Plaintiff from being able to perform the job. (Id. ¶ 24). Plaintiff further stated that his last manager was always home doing stuff, so they had to let him go. (Id.).

         Finn then stated that he and a man named Scott would call him the next day for the second interview at 12:30pm. (Id. ΒΆ 26). To date, Plaintiff has not heard back ...


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