United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable PERCY ANDERSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
IN CHAMBERS - COURT ORDER
the Court are a Motion for Leave to File First Amended
Complaint (“Motion to Amend”) (Docket No. 23) and
a Motion to Remand (Docket No. 24) filed by plaintiff Tila
Eaton (“Plaintiff”). Pursuant to Rule 78 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 7-15, the
Court finds that these matters are appropriate for decision
without oral argument. The hearing calendared for November
18, 2019, is vacated, and the matters taken off calendar.
commenced this action in Los Angeles Superior Court on May
28, 2019. Plaintiff's original Complaint alleges a single
claim against defendant Subaru of America, Inc.
(“Subaru”) pursuant to California's
Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act. Subaru removed the action
to this Court on June 27, 2019, based on the Court's
diversity jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
now seeks leave to file a First Amended Complaint (“1st
AC”) to add as a defendant Universal Auto Group, which
does business as Subaru of Glendale (“Subaru of
Glendale”). Plaintiff's proposed 1st AC asserts
claims: (1) for breach of express warranty under the
Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act against Subaru; (2) breach
of implied warranty against Subaru and Subaru of Glendale;
and (3) negligence against Subaru and Subaru of Glendale.
According to the proposed 1st AC, Subaru of Glendale, like
Plaintiff, is a citizen of California.
within 21 days of either serving a pleading or being served
with a responsive pleading, a plaintiff may amend the
complaint “only with the opposing party's written
consent or the court's leave.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
15(a)(2). Because this action was removed based on diversity
jurisdiction, Plaintiff's Motion to Amend is governed by
28 U.S.C. § 1447(e), which states:
If after removal the plaintiff seeks to join additional
defendants whose joinder would destroy subject matter
jurisdiction, the court may deny joinder, or permit joinder
and remand the action to the State court.
28 U.S.C. § 1447(e); see also Buttons v. NBC,
Inc., 858 F.Supp. 1025, 1027 (C.D. Cal. 1994) (holding
that 28 U.S.C. § 1447(e) applies to diversity-destroying
motions to amend filed after removal). “Congress added
subsection (e) to § 1447 with the express purpose of
taking advantage of the opportunity to permit remand if a
plaintiff seeks to join a diversity-destroying defendant
after removal.” Walsh v. Home Depot U.S.A.,
Inc., No. C-06-4207 SC, 2006 WL 2884411, at *2 (N.D.
Cal. Oct. 10, 2006) (citing H.R. Rep. No. 889, 100th Cong.,
2d Sess. 72-73, reprinted in 1988 U.S.C.C.A.N.
6033). The statute vests the district court with substantial
discretion in determining whether joinder is appropriate.
See Newcombe v. Adolf Coors Co., 157 F.3d 686, 691
(9th Cir. 1998); see also Stevens v. Brinks Home Sec.,
Inc., 378 F.3d 944, 948 (9th Cir. 2004) (holding that
“the district court's order permitting the
plaintiffs to amend the complaint to add non-diverse
defendants . . . is not a final order reviewable on appeal
under 28 U.S.C. § 1291; nor is it reviewable as a
collateral order. The district court's remand order,
issued pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(e) is barred from
appellate review by 28 U.S.C. § 1447(d).”).
evaluating whether to permit or deny diversity-destroying
joinder, the district court may consider: (1) whether the
party could be joined under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
19(a); (2) whether the statute of limitations would preclude
the plaintiffs from bringing an action against the new
defendants in state court; (3) whether there has been an
unexplained delay in seeking joinder; (4) whether joinder is
intended solely to defeat federal jurisdiction; (5) the
merits of the claims against the new defendants; and (6) the
potential for prejudice. See IBC Aviation Servs., Inc. v.
Compañia Mexicana de Aviacion, S.A., 125
F.Supp.2d 1008, 1011 (N.D. Cal. 2000) (collecting cases);
see also Newcombe, 157 F.3d at 691 (holding that
evaluation of joinder under § 1447(e) requires the
district court to “balance the equities” and
consider the potential for prejudice to both parties).
Subaru has not filed a timely Opposition to the Motion to
Amend or the Motion to Remand. See Local Rule 7-12
(“The Court may decline to consider any memorandum or
other document not filed within the deadline set by order or
local rule. The failure to file any required document, or the
failure to file it within the deadline, may be deemed consent
to the granting or denial of the motion . . . .”).
Because Subaru has not filed an Opposition to either Motion,
and the balance of equities favors granting Plaintiff leave
to amend at this early stage of the litigation, the Court
grants the Motion to Amend and orders the Clerk to file the
1st AC. Because the parties named in the 1st AC ...