Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Kee v. Hiossen, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. California

November 1, 2019

CHARLES KEE, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff,
v.
HIOSSEN, INC., a Pennsylvania Corporation; and DOES 1 through 50, inclusive, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Hon. William Q. Hayes United States District Judge.

         The matter before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Remand to State Court (ECF No. 7).

         BACKGROUND

         On May 3, 2019, Plaintiff initiated this action by filing a Complaint in the Superior Court of California for the County of San Diego, assigned case number 37-2019-00023035-CU-OE-CTL, against Defendant Hiossen, Inc. (Ex. A, ECF No. 1 at 10).

         On July 18, 2019, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) in the Superior Court for the County of San Diego. (Ex. B, ECF No. 1). Plaintiff alleges that he was employed by Defendant as a sales representative from July 2017 to November 2018. (Ex. B, ECF No. 1 at 38). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant (1) subjected Plaintiff and the Class to unlawful non-compete agreements; (2) failed to pay accrued and unused paid time off; (3) failed to provide accurate itemized wage statements; (4) failed to pay earned wages and overtime compensation; (5) failed to provide 30-minute employee meal periods; (6) failed to authorize and permit 10-minute employee rest periods; (7) failed to reimburse business expenses; (8) failed to pay compensation when due at employment separation; (9) engaged in unlawful and unfair business practices; and (10) violated the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“Private Attorneys General Act”). Id. at 35-36. Plaintiff alleges that he is a citizen of California (Id. at 38) and Defendant is a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal place of business in New Jersey (Id. at 39). Plaintiff seeks (1) an Order certifying the Class; (2) compensatory damages; (3) prejudgment interest; (4) an Order compelling Defendants to restore unpaid wages, expenditures, losses, income, and other related benefits as well as to reinstate any forfeited Paid Time Off; (5) an Order compelling Defendants to disgorge and pay all profits and savings resulting from Defendants' alleged unlawful and unfair business practices; (6) a permanent injunction enjoining Defendants from continuing to engage in unlawful and unfair business practices; (7) attorneys' fees; (8) wait time penalties; (9) civil penalties; and (10) underpaid wages. Id. at 59-60.

         On July 31, 2019, Defendant removed the action to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a), and 28 U.S.C. § 1446. (ECF No. 1). On August 20, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Remand. (ECF No. 7). On September 9, 2019, Defendant filed a Response in Opposition. (ECF No. 9). On September 16, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Reply. (ECF No. 10). On October 11, 2019, Defendant filed a Sur-Reply. (ECF No. 12). On October 15, 2019, Plaintiff filed an Ex Parte Motion for Leave to File a Response to Defendant's Surreply (ECF No. 13) and an Objection (ECF No. 14). On October 28, 2019, this Court granted Plaintiff's Ex Parte Motion for Leave to File a Response to Defendant's Surreply. (ECF No. 15). On October 30, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Response to Defendant's Surreply. (ECF No. 16).

         CONTENTIONS OF PARTIES

         Plaintiff contends that Defendant failed to demonstrate that the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. (ECF No. 7-1). Plaintiff contends that the actual amount in controversy is $70, 731.38. (ECF No. 10 at 2).

         Defendant asserts that Plaintiff's January 24, 2019 Demand Letter alleged damages in excess of $200, 000. (ECF No. 9 at 2; ECF No. 9-1). Defendant asserts that Plaintiff's Demand Letter stated that Plaintiff “could prove to a San Diego jury that Hiossen is liable to Kee for damages of at least $139, 960 as a result of its violations of the California Labor Code and other laws” and “an additional $68, 600 in penalties and liquidated damages.” (ECF No. 9 at 3 (quoting Ex. A, ECF No. 9-1 at 8)).

         In Reply, Plaintiff asserts that the Demand Letter is neither an accurate nor reasonable assessment of Plaintiff's true damages. (ECF No. 10 at 3).

         LEGAL STANDARD

         A defendant may remove an action from state court to a federal district court when the district court would have had original jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1441. A federal district court has original jurisdiction over an action between citizens of different states where the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

         In determining the amount in controversy, the court first looks to the plaintiff's complaint. Ibarra v. Manheim Invs., Inc., 775 F.3d 1193, 1197 (9th Cir. 2014). Where damages are unstated or ambiguous, the defendant seeking removal bears the burden to show that the aggregate amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. See Id. If the plaintiff contests the defendant's calculations, the parties may submit evidence outside the complaint, including affidavits, declarations, and “reasonable chain[s] of logic” to substantiate their assertions of the amount in controversy. LaCross v. Knight Transp. Inc., 775 F.3d 1200, 1201 (9th Cir. 2015). The court decides whether a defendant has demonstrated that the aggregate value of the amount in controversy meets the $75, 000 minimum by a preponderance of the evidence. Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, 135 S.Ct. 547, 554 (2014). Where the evidence submitted by both sides is balanced or “in equipose, ” the court will deny federal jurisdiction. Ibarra, 775 F.3d at 1199.

         There is a strong presumption against removal, such that the removing party bears the burden of establishing that the statutory requirements of federal jurisdiction have been met. Rodriguez v. AT & T Mobility Servs. LLC, 728 F.3d 975, 978 (9th Cir. 2013); Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). The court must remand the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.