United States District Court, C.D. California
Present Honorable MICHAEL W. FITZGERALD, U.S. District Judge
Deputy Clerk: Court Reporter:
(In Chambers): ORDER RE: MOTION TO REMAND 
the Court is Plaintiff Gustavo Soto's Motion to Remand
(the “Motion”) filed on October 16, 2019. (Docket
No. 7). Defendant Tech Packaging, Inc. filed an Opposition on
October 28, 2019. (Docket No. 8). Plaintiff did not file a
Motion was noticed to be heard on November 18, 2019. The
Court read and considered the papers on the Motion and deemed
the matter appropriate for decision without oral argument.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78(b); Local Rule 7-15. The
hearing was therefore VACATED and removed
from the Court's calendar.
reasons discussed below, the Motion is
DENIED. Defendant plausibly establishes by a
preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy
exceeds $5, 000, 000 under the Class Action Fairness Act of
2005 (“CAFA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d).
August 9, 2019, Plaintiff commenced this putative class
action in the San Bernardino County Superior Court.
(Complaint (“Compl.”) (Docket No. 1-4)).
Complaint contains the following allegations:
Plaintiff, a California resident, worked for Defendant as a
non-exempt, hourly employee from September 2017 to July 2018.
(Compl. ¶¶ 5, 18). Defendant is a corporation that
is incorporated under the laws of Florida and maintains its
headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida. (See
Declaration of Allison Boever (“Boever Decl.”)
¶ 3 (Docket No. 1-2)).
alleges that Defendant “engaged in a pattern and
practice of wage abuse against [its] hourly-paid or
non-exempt employees within the State of California, ”
(Compl. ¶ 25), by failing to provide Plaintiff and the
putative class with (1) minimum wages for all regular hours
worked (id. ¶ 78); (2) compensation for all
overtime hours worked (id. ¶ 53); (3) meal
periods of at least thirty minutes for each five hour work
period (id. ¶¶ 61, 62); (4) compensation
for missed meal periods (id. ¶ 28); (5) rest
periods of at least ten minutes for each four hour work
period (id. ¶ 71); As(6) compensation for
missed rest breaks (id. ¶ 19); (7) all wages
owed upon employees' discharge or resignation
(id. ¶ 84); (8) complete and accurate wage
statements (id. ¶ 96); and (9) reimbursement
for business-related expenses (id. ¶ 35).
is also alleged to have failed to maintain accurate and
complete payroll records showing the hours worked and the
wages paid to Plaintiff and the putative class under
California law. (Id. ¶ 103).
on the above allegations, Plaintiff asserts ten
wage-and-hour-related claims against Defendant: (1) unpaid
overtime wages; (2) unpaid meal period premiums; (3) unpaid
rest period premiums; (4) unpaid minimum wages; (5) final
wages not timely paid; (6) wages not timely paid during
employment; (7) non-compliant wage statements; (8) failure to
keep requisite payroll records; (9) unreimbursed business
expenses; and (10) violation of California's Unfair
Competition Law (“UCL”), Cal. Bus. & Prof.
Code §§ 17200, et seq. (Id.
complaint, Plaintiff proposes the following class:
All current and former hourly-paid or non-exempt employees
who worked for any of the Defendants within the State of
California at any time during the period from four years
preceding the filing of this Complaint to final judgement and
who reside in California.
(Id. ¶ 13) On September 16, 2019, Defendant
removed the action, invoking federal jurisdiction pursuant to
CAFA. (See Notice of Removal (“NoR”)
¶ 7 (Docket No. 1)).
CAFA, the Court has “original jurisdiction of any civil
action in which the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or
value of $5, 000, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, and
is a class action in which” there is minimal diversity.
28 U.S.C. § 1332(d).
designed the terms of CAFA specifically to permit a defendant
to remove certain class or mass actions into federal court .
. . [and] intended CAFA to be interpreted expansively.”
Ibarra v. Manheim Invs., Inc., 775 F.3d 1193, 1197
(9th Cir. 2015). In a notice of removal, a defendant need
only plausibly allege that these prerequisites are met.
Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens, 135
S.Ct. 547, 553 (2014). Once confronted with a motion to
remand, however, the removing defendant bears the burden of
establishing jurisdiction by a preponderance of the evidence.
Id. at 553-54; Ibarra, 775 F.3d at 1197-98.
relevant here, where a plaintiff moves to remand based upon
the amount in controversy, both “parties may submit
evidence outside the complaint, including affidavits or
declarations, or other ‘summary-judgment type evidence
relevant to the amount in controversy at the time of
removal.'” Ibarra, 775 F.3d at 1199-1200.
“Under this system, CAFA's requirements are to be
tested by consideration of real evidence and the reality of
what is at stake in the litigation, using reasonable
assumptions underlying the defendant's theory of damages
exposure.” Id. at 1198. A removing defendant
bears the burden of convincing the district court that the $5
million CAFA threshold is met, and the defendant's
“assumptions cannot be pulled out of thin air but need
some reasonable ground underlying them.” Id.