United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable DOLLY M. GEE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT
IN CHAMBERS - ORDER RE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR REMAND AND
DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STAY [7, 14]
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Stay
and Plaintiff's Motion to Remand and Request for
Attorneys' Fees and Costs (“MTR”). [Doc. ##
7, 14.] For the reasons set forth below, the Motion to Remand
is GRANTED, the Request for Attorneys'
Fees is DENIED, and the Motion to Stay is
DENIED as moot.
9, 2019, Plaintiff Jason Alan filed a complaint in Ventura
County Superior Court against Defendant Equifax Credit
Information Services, Inc., for violations of Cal. Civ. Code
section 1714(a) and California's Consumer Credit
Reporting Agencies Act (“CCRAA”), Cal. Civ. Code
section 1785.25(a). Compl. [Doc. # 1-2]. Section 1714(a)
provides that “[e]veryone is responsible, not only for
the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury
occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or
skill in the management of his or her property or person . .
. .” Cal. Civ. Code § 1714(a). Section 1785.25(a)
provides that “[a] person shall not furnish information
on a specific transaction or experience to any consumer
credit reporting agency if the person knows or should know
the information is incomplete or inaccurate.”
Id. at § 1785.25(a).
30, 2019, Defendant removed the case to federal court,
asserting federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1441(a) due to the Complaint's references to the
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Not. of Removal at ¶
3-5 [Doc. # 1]. On August 6, 2019, Defendant filed a motion
to stay pending a final decision by the Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation to transfer the case to the Northern
District of Georgia for inclusion in the proceeding In re
Equifax, Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation,
MDL No. 2800. [Doc # 7.] On August 12, 2019, Plaintiff filed
a Motion to Remand. [Doc # 14.] Both motions have been fully
briefed. [Doc. ## 19 (“MTR Opp.”), 20, 22, 23.]
The Court Resolves the Motion to Remand Before the Motion to
courts, when faced with concurrent motions to remand and
transfer, resolve the motion to remand prior to, and/or to
the exclusion of, the motion to transfer.” Pac.
Inv. Mgmt. Co. LLC v. Am. Int'l Grp., Inc., No. SA
CV 15-0687-DOC, 2015 WL 3631833, at *4 (C.D. Cal. June 10,
2015). Defendant suggests, however, that the Court use the
three-part test articulated in Meyers v. Bayer AG,
143 F.Supp.2d 1044 (E.D. Wis. 2001), to determine priority in
resolving the MTR and Motion to Stay. MTR Opp. at
Though the Ninth Circuit has not expressly adopted the
Meyers test, the Court, and others in this district,
consider it persuasive. “Under the Meyers
test, courts should (1) ‘give preliminary scrutiny to
the motion to remand'; (2) assess whether ‘the
jurisdictional issue appears factually or legally
difficult'; and (3) consider whether the
‘jurisdictional issue is both difficult and similar or
identical to those in cases transferred or likely to be
transferred.'” Jones v. Sanofi U.S. Servs.
Inc., No. CV 18-8268-R, 2018 WL 6842605, at *1 (C.D.
Cal. Nov. 19, 2018) (quoting Meyers, 143 F.Supp.2d
at 1049). If preliminary scrutiny “suggests that
removal was improper, the court should promptly complete its
consideration and remand the case to state court.”
Meyers, 143 F.Supp.2d at 1049.
the Meyers test as an aid, the Court begins with
preliminary scrutiny of Plaintiff's Motion to Remand to
determine “whether the jurisdictional issue appears
factually or legally difficult.” Id.
Plaintiff Does Not Allege a Claim That Establishes Federal
burden of establishing federal subject matter jurisdiction
falls on the party invoking removal.” Marin Gen.
Hosp. v. Modesto & Empire Traction Co., 581 F.3d
941, 944 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing Toumajian v.
Frailey, 135 F.3d 648, 652 (9th Cir. 1998)). There is a
“strong presumption against removal jurisdiction,
” and courts must reject it “if there is any
doubt as to the right of removal in the first
instance.” Geographic Expeditions, Inc. v. Estate
of Lhotka ex rel. Lhotka, 599 F.3d 1102, 1107 (9th Cir.
2010) (quoting Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564,
566 (9th Cir. 1992) (per curiam)).
Complaint brings claims for damages arising under Sections
1714(a) and 1785.25(a) of the California Civil Code. Compl.
at ¶ 2, 34-40. Defendant argues that, though not
explicitly pleaded, Plaintiff's Complaint also asserts
violations of the FCRA, providing a basis for federal
question jurisdiction. MTR Opp. at 7-8. Defendant does not
make a legal argument that Plaintiff's CCRAA case was
preempted for federal law or involves a substantial question
of federal law. See ARCO Envtl. Remediation, L.L.C. v.
Dep't of Health & Envtl. Quality of Montana
(“ARCO”), 213 F.3d 1108, 1114 (9th Cir.
2000) (finding federal question jurisdiction over a state law
claim (1) where the state law is “completely”
preempted by the federal law, and (2) “where the claim
is necessarily federal in character, or (3) where the right
to relief depends on the resolution of a substantial,
disputed federal question.”). Instead, Defendant makes
a factual assertion that Plaintiff in fact stated a claim for
violation of sections 1681n and 1681o of the FCRA, pointing
to seven paragraphs in Plaintiff's Complaint that refer
to the FRCA and Defendants' violations. MTR Opp. at 7-8.
a simple jurisdictional issue, legally and factually, that
relies on the face of the Complaint. See Meyers, 143
F.Supp.2d at 1049. The Court will therefore complete its