United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO REMAND RE: DKT. NO.
GONZALEZ ROGERS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
Ryan Phan brings this personal injury and premises liability
action against defendant Costco Wholesale Corporation
(“Costco”) seeking to recover for injuries
sustained and wages lost after plaintiff slipped and fell at
a Costco gas station. (Dkt. No. 1.) Plaintiff originally
filed his complaint in the California Superior Court, County
of Alameda, No. RG-19007662. (Id.) Defendants later
removed the action to this Court. (Id.)
pending before the Court is plaintiff's motion to remand
this action back to state court. (Dkt. No. 11.) Having
carefully considered the pleadings and the papers submitted,
and for the reasons set forth more fully below, the Court
hereby Denies the motion.
28 U.S.C. section 1441(a), “any civil action brought in
a [s]tate court of which the district courts of the United
States have original jurisdiction, may be removed by [a]
defendant . . . to [a federal] district court[.]”
See Rodriguez v. AT & T Mobility Servs. LLC, 728
F.3d 975, 977 (9th Cir. 2013) (“A defendant may remove
to federal district court an action first brought in state
court when the district court would have original
jurisdiction[.]”). As is relevant here, federal courts
have original jurisdiction over cases in which there is
complete diversity of citizenship between the parties. 28
U.S.C. § 1332. “A civil action otherwise removable
solely on the basis of [diversity] may not be removed if any
of the parties in interest properly joined and served as
defendants is a citizen of the [s]tate in which such action
is brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b)(2).
protect the jurisdiction of state courts, removal
jurisdiction must be strictly construed in favor of remand.
Harris v. Bankers Life and Cas. Co., 425 F.3d 689,
698 (9th Cir. 2005) (citing Shamrock Oil & Gas Corp.
v. Sheets, 313 U.S. 100, 108-09 (1941)). Thus, if there
is any doubt as to the right of removal, the case should be
remanded. See Ethridge v. Harbor House Rest., 861
F.2d 1389, 1393 (9th Cir. 1988). “The party seeking
removal bears the burden of establishing federal
plaintiff objects to removal on two grounds. First, plaintiff
contends that diversity jurisdiction does not exist because
while plaintiff is a California citizen, Costco has not
established that it is a citizen of a state other than
California. For purposes of diversity jurisdiction, a
corporation is deemed a citizen of every state by which it
has been incorporated and the state where it has its
principal place of business. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1). A
corporation's principal place of business is normally
“the place where the corporation maintains its
headquarters- provided that the headquarters is the actual
center of direction, control, and coordination, i.e., the
‘nerve center[.]'” Hertz Corp. v.
Friend, 559 U.S. 77, 93 (2010). In support of its
opposition, Costco offers substantial evidence, including
corporate formation and registration documents filed with the
states of California and Washington, which show that Costco
is incorporated in and maintains its principal place of
business in Washington. Costco thus has satisfied its burden of
establishing that it is a citizen of Washington, not
California, and thus, that complete diversity exists between
the named parties.
plaintiff argues that the “Doe” defendants likely
are California citizens, which would destroy diversity. For
purposes of removal, however, “the citizenship of
defendants sued under fictitious names shall be
disregarded.” 28 U.S.C. 1441(b); Soliman v. Philip
Morris Inc., 311 F.3d 966, 971 (9th Cir. 2002)
(“The citizenship of fictious defendants is disregarded
for removal purposes and becomes relevant only if and when
the plaintiff seeks leave to substitute a named
defendant”). Thus, the assumed citizenship of
“Doe” defendants not named in this action does
not destroy diversity.
foregoing reasons, plaintiffs motion to remand is
Is So Ordered.
 Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 78(b) and Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court finds
the motion appropriate for decision without oral
 Specifically, Costco requests judicial
notice of (1) an Amended Statement of Designation by a
Foreign Corporation, filed with the California Secretary of
State, which states that Costco is “organized and
exist[s] under the laws of Washington”; (2)
Costco's Articles of Incorporation, issued by the
Washington Secretary of State; (3) Costco's Statement of
Information, filed with the California Secretary of State,
which shows that Costco's “principal executive
office” and the office of three high-level officers is
located in Washington; and (4) Costco's Business
Information, appearing on the Washington Secretary of
State's website, which shows that Costco's
“principal office” is located in Washington.
(Dkt. No. 13-2.) Each of these documents is a public record
maintained on a government website. Thus, the Court Grants
Costco's request for judicial notice as to these four
documents. See Fed. R. Evid. 201(b)(2) (“The
court may judicially notice a fact that is not subject to
reasonable dispute because it . . . can be accurately and
readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot
reasonably be questioned”). Costco's request for
judicial notice of documents filed in this case in state
court is Denied as moot.
 Plaintiffs argument that “Costco
stores are located in virtually every city in
California” has no bearing on ...