Ken Dilley v. C.R. Bard Inc. et al

Filing 9

ORDER REMANDING CASE TO LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT by Judge Otis D. Wright, II. cc: order, docket, remand letter to Los Angeles Superior Court, South District, Long Beach, Case number NC058718 Case Terminated. Made JS-6 .(Attachments: # 1 remand letter) (lc) Modified on 1/17/2014 .(lc).

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O JS-6 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 KEN DILLEY, 12 13 14 15 v. Case No. 2:14-cv-00258-ODW(ASx) Plaintiff, C.R. BARD INC.; DAVOL INC.; DOES 1–100, inclusive, ORDER REMANDING CASE TO LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT Defendants. 16 On January 10, 2014, Defendants C.R. Bard Inc. and Davol Inc. removed this 17 case to this Court, ostensibly invoking diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. 18 But after considering Defendants’ Notice of Removal, the Court finds that Defendants 19 have failed to adequately allege Plaintiff Ken Dilley’s citizenship sufficient to 20 establish diversity jurisdiction. The Court therefore REMANDS this case to Los 21 Angeles County Superior Court, case number NC058718. 22 Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having subject-matter 23 jurisdiction only over matters authorized by the Constitution and Congress. U.S. 24 Const. art. III, § 2, cl. 1; e.g., Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 25 375, 377 (1994). A defendant may only remove a suit filed in state court if the federal 26 court would have had original jurisdiction over the suit. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). But 27 courts strictly construe the removal statute against removal jurisdiction, and federal 28 “jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the 1 first instance.” Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). The party 2 seeking removal bears the burden of establishing federal jurisdiction. Durham v. 3 Lockheed Martin Corp., 445 F.3d 1247, 1252 (9th Cir. 2006) (citing Gaus, 980 F.2d at 4 566). 5 Federal courts have original jurisdiction where an action presents a federal 6 question under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 or diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. 7 To exercise diversity jurisdiction, a federal court must find complete diversity of 8 citizenship among the adverse parties, and the amount in controversy must exceed 9 $75,000, usually exclusive of interest and costs. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). For complete- 10 diversity purposes, a natural person’s citizenship is “determined by her state of 11 domicile, not her state of residence.” Kantor v. Warner-Lambert Co., 265 F.3d 853, 12 857 (9th Cir. 2001); see also Jeffcott v. Donovan, 135 F.2d 213, 214 (9th Cir. 1943) 13 (“Diversity of citizenship as a basis for the jurisdiction of a cause in the District Court 14 of the United States is not dependent upon the residence of any of the parties, but 15 upon their citizenship.”). 16 In its Notice of Removal, Defendants allege that “Plaintiff is a citizen and 17 resident of the State of California. See Complaint ¶ 2.” (Not. of Removal ¶ 11; see 18 also Ex. A, ¶ 2.) But Plaintiff did not admit in his Complaint that is a California 19 citizen; rather, he admits that he is “a resident of the County of Orange, State of 20 California.” 21 residence may be prima facie evidence of that party’s domicile when an action is 22 brought in federal court in the first instance, see State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. v. Dyer, 23 19 F.3d 514, 520 (10th Cir. 1994), mere residence allegations do not suffice to 24 establish citizenship on removal in light of the strong presumption against removal 25 jurisdiction. See Kanter, 265 F.3d at 857; Gaus, 980 F.2d at 567. (Not. of Removal Ex. A, ¶ 2 (emphasis added).) While a party’s 26 Neither do Defendants cite any objective facts to establish that Dilley is a 27 California citizen, such as “voting registration and voting practices, location of 28 personal and real property, location of brokerage and bank accounts, location of 2 1 spouse and family, membership in unions and other organizations, place of 2 employment or business, driver’s license and automobile registration, and payment of 3 taxes.” Lew v. Moss, 797 F.2d 747, 750 (9th Cir. 1986). 4 Left with just a bare, inadequate residency allegation, the Court finds that 5 Defendants have not competently established that this Court has diversity jurisdiction 6 over this case. The Court therefore REMANDS this case to the Los Angeles County 7 Superior Court, case number NC058718. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3) (“If the court 8 determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss 9 the action.”). The Clerk of Court shall close this case. 10 IT IS SO ORDERED. 11 12 January 17, 2014 13 14 15 ____________________________________ OTIS D. WRIGHT, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 cc: order, docket, remand letter to Los Angeles Superior Court, South District, Long Beach, No. NC058718 3

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