United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable ANDRE BIROTTE JR., United States
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
[In Chambers] ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR
the Court is Plaintiff Leidy Silva Martinez's
("Plaintiff) Motion for Remand ("Motion," Dt.
No. 14). Defendant BAART Programs, Inc.
("Defendant") filed an opposition and Plaintiff
filed a reply. The Court will resolve the Motion without oral
argument and therefore VACATES the November 22, 2019 hearing.
See Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; Local Rule 7-15. Defendant's request
to appear telephomcally (Dkt. No. 27) is DENIED AS
MOOT The Motion is GRANTED
asserts California wage and hour claims for (1) failure to
provide meal periods: (2) failure to provide rest periods;
(3) nonpayment of overtime compensation; (4) knowing and
intentional failure to comply with itemized employee wage
statement provisions; (5) waiting time penalties; and (6)
civil penalties under the Private Attorneys' General Act
("PAGA"), Cal. Labor Code § 2698, et seq.
Defendant removed the action to federal court based on
diversity jurisdiction. Plaintiff moves for remand on the
ground that there is not complete diversity between the
parties and Defendant has not shown that the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and thus have
subject matter jurisdiction only over matters authorized by
the Constitution and Congress. See Bender v. Williamsport
Area School Dist., 475 U.S. 534, 541 (1986).
“Because of the Congressional purpose to restrict the
jurisdiction of the federal courts on removal, ”
statutes conferring jurisdiction are “strictly
construed and federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there
is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first
instance.” Duncan v. Stuetzle, 76 F.3d 1480,
1485 (9th Cir. 1996) (citations and quotations omitted).
is a strong presumption that the Court is without
jurisdiction until affirmatively proven otherwise. See
Fifty Assocs. v. Prudential Ins. Co. of America, 446
F.2d 1187, 1190 (9th Cir. 1970). When an action is removed
from state court, the removing party bears the burden of
demonstrating that removal is proper. Gaus v. Miles,
Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992).
diversity jurisdiction exists when the parties are completely
diverse and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1441, a defendant may remove an action from state
court to federal court if the diversity and amount in
controversy requirements are satisfied and if none of the
defendants are citizens of the forum state.
amount in controversy, for purposes of diversity
jurisdiction, is the total “amount at stake in the
underlying litigation.” Theis Research, Inc. v.
Brown & Bain, 400 F.3d 659, 662 (9th Cir. 2005).
“[I]n assessing the amount in controversy, a court must
‘assume that the allegations of the complaint are true
and assume that a jury will return a verdict for the
plaintiff on all claims made in the complaint.'”
Campbell v. Vitran Exp., Inc., 471 Fed. App'x
646, 648 (9th Cir. 2012) (quoting Kenneth Rothschild
Trust v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, 199 F.Supp.2d 993,
1001 (C.D. Cal. 2002)).
‘strong presumption' against removal jurisdiction
means that the defendant always has the burden of
establishing that removal is proper.” Gaus,
980 F.2d at 566. And while “‘a defendant's
notice of removal need include only a plausible allegation
that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional
threshold,' . . . ‘[e]vidence establishing the
amount is required'” when “defendant's
assertion of the amount in controversy is contested by
plaintiffs.” Ibarra v. Manheim Invs., Inc.,
775 F.3d 1193, 1197 (9th Cir. 2015) (quoting Dart
Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, 135 S.Ct.
547, 554 (2014)). The defendant must establish the amount in
controversy by the preponderance of the evidence. See
Dart, 135 S.Ct. at 553-54.
has not shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the
amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. In its opposition,
Defendant calculates that the amount in controversy-comprised
of compensatory damages, penalties under the Private
Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”), and
attorneys' fees-to be “at least $76, 825”
calculation is unpersuasive, however, because it relies on
assumptions about the rate of its alleged violations that
have no basis in the Complaint. Specifically, Defendant
assumes a violation rate of 100% for the claims for unpaid
wages for missed meal and rest periods, and for unpaid
overtime. These assumptions give rise to amounts in
controversy of $3, 900, $7, 800, and $15, 600 as compensatory
damages for these claims. ...