United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable James V. Selna, U.S. District Court
[IN CHAMBERS] Order Regarding Defendant's Notice of
the Court is Defendant Lowe's Home Centers, LLC's
(“Lowe's”) Notice of Removal. (“Notice,
” Docket No. 1.) Because there is no subject matter
jurisdiction, the Court REMANDS the case, sua
sponte, to the Superior Court for the State of
California, County of Orange.
October 9, 2018, Plaintiff Renee Ramirez
(“Ramirez”) filed suit against Defendants
Lowe's and Thomas Kirkpatrick (“Kirkpatrick”)
in the Superior Court for the State of California, County of
Orange, styled as Renee Ramirez v. Lowes Home Centers,
LLC; Thomas Kirkpatrick; and Does 1 through 150, No.
30-2018-01023816-CU-OE-CJC. (Notice ¶ 1, Ex. A.)
September 16, 2019, counsel for Lowe's received an email
from counsel of record for Ramirez, informing him of
Ramirez's decision to move out of the State of
California. (Notice ¶ 2.) In a follow up phone call,
Ramirez's counsel confirm that she had “moved out
of state” and “does not intend to return to live
in California.” (Id.)
reaching an agreement with Kirkpatrick, who is proceeding
pro se for the purposes of this action, Lowe's
filed the Notice of Removal on October 8, 2019 on the basis
of diversity jurisdiction.
jurisdiction is based entirely on federal statutory
authority. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1441-55. A
defendant may remove “any civil action brought in a
State court of which the district courts . . . have original
jurisdiction.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Under 28
U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1), federal courts have original
jurisdiction over civil actions “where the matter in
controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000 . . . and is
between . . . citizens of different States.”
removal requires complete diversity, meaning that each
plaintiff must be of a different citizenship from each
defendant.” GranCare, LLC v. Thrower, 889 F.3d
543, 548 (9th Cir. 2018) (citing Caterpillar Inc. v.
Lewis, 519 U.S. 61, 68 (1996)). Complete diversity
“is determined (and must exist) as of the time the
complaint is filed and removal is effected.”
Strotek Corp. v. Air Transp. Ass'n. of Am., 300
F.3d 1129, 1131-32 (9th Cir. 2002) (emphasis added) (citing
Morongo Band of Mission Indians v. California State Bd.
of Equalization, 858 F.2d 1376, 1380 (9th Cir. 1988)
(diversity is determined by citizenship of parties as of
filing of the original complaint)); see also Newcombe v.
Adolf Coors Co., 157 F.3d 686, 690 (9th Cir. 1998)
(diversity must exist when the action is removed).
court determines that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction in
which a defendant has improperly removed the case, the
federal court must remand the case to state court. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1447(c); Fed. R. Civ. P 12(h)(3).
time this case was filed on October 8, 2018, Ramirez was a
citizen of California. (Notice ¶ 9.) Kirkpatrick was
also (and remains still) a citizen of California.
(Id.) For purposes of determining diversity,
Lowe's is a citizen of North Carolina. (Notice ¶ 2.)
Accordingly, and as Lowe's admits, “the
requirements for diversity jurisdiction did not appear to
exist” at the time of filing. (Notice ¶ 9.) Thus,
because there was no diversity at the time of filing, there
is no subject matter jurisdiction.
Lowe's Application of the “Voluntary/Involuntary