United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable Fernando M. Olguin, United States
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
(In Chambers) Order Remanding Action
November 6, 2019, plaintiff filed a Complaint in the Los
Angeles County Superior Court against Consolidated Disposal
Service, L.L.C. (“Consolidated”) and Republic
Services, Inc. (“Republic”). (See Notice
of Removal (“NOR”) at ¶ 1). On December 6,
2019, defendants removed that action on diversity
jurisdiction grounds pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
(See id. At ¶ 1).
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. They possess only
that power authorized by Constitution and statute[.]”
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S.
375, 377, 114 S.Ct. 1673, 1675 (1994). The courts are
presumed to lack jurisdiction unless the contrary appears
affirmatively from the record. See DaimlerChrysler Corp.
v. Cuno, 547 U.S. 332, 342 n. 3, 126 S.Ct. 1854, 1861
(2006). Federal courts have a duty to examine jurisdiction
sua sponte before proceeding to the merits of a
case, see Ruhrgas AG v. Marathon Oil Co., 526 U.S.
574, 583, 119 S.Ct. 1563, 1569 (1999), “even in the
absence of a challenge from any party.” Arbaugh v.
Y&H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 514, 126 S.Ct. 1235, 1244
right of removal is entirely a creature of statute and a suit
commenced in a state court must remain there until cause is
shown for its transfer under some act of Congress.”
Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. v. Henson, 537 U.S.
28, 32, 123 S.Ct. 366, 369 (2002) (internal quotation marks
omitted). Where Congress has acted to create a right of
removal, those statutes, unless otherwise stated, are
strictly construed against removal
jurisdiction. See id. Unless otherwise
expressly provided by Congress, “any civil action
brought in a State court of which the district courts of the
United States have original jurisdiction, may be removed by
the defendant or the defendants, to the district
court[.]” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a); see Dennis v.
Hart, 724 F.3d 1249, 1252 (9th Cir. 2013) (same). A
removing defendant bears the burden of establishing that
removal is proper. See Abrego Abrego v. The Dow Chem.
Co., 443 F.3d 676, 684 (9th Cir. 2006) (per
curiam) (noting the “longstanding, near-canonical
rule that the burden on removal rests with the removing
defendant”); Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d
564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992) (“The strong presumption
against removal jurisdiction means that the defendant always
has the burden of establishing that removal is
proper.”) (internal quotation marks omitted). Moreover,
if there is any doubt regarding the existence of subject
matter jurisdiction, the court must resolve those doubts in
favor of remanding the action to state court. See
Gaus, 980 F.2d at 566 (“Federal jurisdiction must
be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal
in the first instance.”).
the plain terms of § 1441(a), in order properly to
remove [an] action pursuant to that provision, [the removing
defendant] must demonstrate that original subject-matter
jurisdiction lies in the federal courts.” Syngenta
Crop Protection, 537 U.S. at 33, 123 S.Ct. at 370.
Failure to do so requires that the case be remanded, as
“[s]ubject matter jurisdiction may not be waived, and.
. . the district court must remand if it lacks
jurisdiction.” Kelton Arms Condo. Owners Ass'n,
Inc. v. Homestead Ins. Co., 346 F.3d 1190, 1192 (9th
Cir. 2003). Indeed, “[i]f at any time before final
judgment it appears that the district court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.” 28
U.S.C. § 1447(c); see Emrich v. Touche Ross &
Co., 846 F.2d 1190, 1194 n. 2 (9th Cir. 1988) (“It
is elementary that the subject matter jurisdiction of the
district court is not a waivable matter and may be raised at
anytime by one of the parties, by motion or in the responsive
pleadings, or sua sponte by the trial or reviewing
court.”); Washington v. United Parcel Serv.,
Inc., 2009 WL 1519894, *1 (C.D. Cal. 2009) (a district
court may remand an action where the court finds that it
lacks subject matter jurisdiction either by motion or sua
court's review of the NOR and the attached state court
Complaint makes clear that this court does not have subject
matter jurisdiction over the instant matter. See 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a); Caterpillar, Inc. v.
Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392, 107 S.Ct. 2425, 2429 (1987)
(“Only state-court actions that originally could have
been filed in federal court may be removed to federal court
by the defendant.”) (footnote omitted). In other words,
plaintiff could not have originally brought this action in
federal court, as plaintiff does not competently allege facts
supplying diversity jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C.
federal subject matter jurisdiction is predicated on
diversity of citizenship pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1332(a),
complete diversity must exist between the opposing parties.
See Caterpillar Inc. v. Lewis, 519 U.S. 61, 68, 117
S.Ct. 467, 472 (1996) (stating that the diversity
jurisdiction statute “applies only to cases in which
the citizenship of each plaintiff is diverse from the
citizenship of each defendant”). Defendants contend
that complete diversity exists because plaintiff is a citizen
of California, (see NOR at ¶ 8), and defendants
are citizens of Delaware and Arizona. (Id. at
is a limited liability company (“LLC”), (see
id. at ¶ 9), and LLCs are treated like partnerships
rather than corporations for the purpose of determining
citizenship. An LLC is deemed “a citizen of every state
of which its owners/members are citizens.” Johnson
v. Columbia Props. Anchorage, LP, 437 F.3d 894, 899 (9th
Cir. 2006); see Grupo Dataflux v. Atlas Global Grp.,
L.P., 541 U.S. 567, 569, 124 S.Ct. 1920, 1923 (2004)
(“[A] partnership . . . is a citizen of each State or
foreign country of which any of its partners is a
citizen.”). “There is no such thing as ‘a
[state name] limited partnership' for purposes of . . .
diversity jurisdiction. There are only partners, each of
which has one or more citizenships.” Hart v.
Terminex Int'l, 336 F.3d 541, 544 (7th Cir. 2003)
(internal quotation marks omitted). Moreover, “[a]n
LLC's principal place of business [or] state of
organization is irrelevant” for purposes of diversity
jurisdiction. See Buschman v. Anesthesia Business
Consultants LLC, 42 F.Supp.3d 1244, 1248 (N.D. Cal.
2014); Tele Munchen Fernseh GMBH & Co
Produktionsgesellschaft v. Alliance Atlantis Int'l
Distribution, LLC, 2013 WL 6055328, *4 (C.D. Cal. 2013)
(“As a limited liability company, [defendant]'s
principal place of business is irrelevant for purposes of
diversity jurisdiction.”). If a member of an LLC is a
corporation, then the state of that member's
incorporation and its principal place of business must be
have failed to set forth Consolidated's proper
citizenship and that of its members. (See,
generally, Dkt. 1, NOR). In short, they have failed
to show that complete diversity of the parties exists. Given
that any doubt regarding the existence of subject matter
jurisdiction must be resolved in favor of remanding the
action to state court, see Gaus, 980 F.2d at 566,
the court is not persuaded, under the circumstances here,
that defendants have met their burden. Therefore, there is no
basis for diversity jurisdiction.
order is not intended . Nor is it intended to be included in
or submitted to any online service such as Westlaw or
on the foregoing, IT IS ORDERED that:
above-captioned action shall be remanded to
the Los Angeles County Superior Court, 111 N. Hill Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90012, for lack of subject matter