Chris Karabas v. Independent Media, Inc. et al

Filing 11

MINUTES (IN CHAMBERS) ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE: REMOVAL by Judge Fernando M. Olguin.*See Order for Details.* (iv)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL Case No. CV 21-5090 FMO (JPRx) Title Chris Karabas v. Independent Media, Inc., et al. Present: The Honorable Date July 15, 2021 Fernando M. Olguin, United States District Judge Vanessa Figueroa None Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No. Attorney Present for Plaintiff(s): Attorney Present for Defendant(s): None Present None Present Proceedings: (In Chambers) Order to Show Cause: Removal On June 17, 2021, plaintiff Chris Karabas (“plaintiff”) filed a Complaint in the Los Angeles County Superior Court against Independent Media, Inc. (“IM”) and Susanne Preissler (“Preissler”) (collectively, “defendants”). (See Dkt. 1, Notice of Removal (“NOR”) at ¶ 2); (id., Exh. 1, Complaint). On June 22, 2021, “counsel for Defendants agreed to and did accept service of process by email.” (Dkt. 1, NOR at ¶ 3). Later that day, defendants removed the action to this court solely on the basis of diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332 and 1441. (See id. at ¶ 1). Having reviewed the pleadings, the court questions whether defendants properly removed this action. According to defendants, diversity jurisdiction exists here because (1) complete diversity exists between plaintiff and defendants; and (2) the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. (See Dkt. 1, NOR at ¶¶ 4-13). Defendants contend that plaintiff “is a citizen of and resides in the state of Illinois.” (Id. at ¶ 5). Further, defendants aver that IM is a citizen of California because it “is incorporated in California, with its principal place of business in Los Angeles, California.” (Id. at ¶ 6); see 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1) (“[A] corporation shall be deemed to be a citizen of every State . . . by which it has been incorporated and of the State . . . where it has its principal place of business[.]”). Defendants also claim that Preissler is a citizen of California. (Dkt. 1, NOR at ¶ 6). “A civil action otherwise removable solely on the basis of [diversity jurisdiction] may not be removed if any of the parties in interest properly joined and served as defendants is a citizen of the State in which such action is brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b)(2). Here, it is undisputed that defendants are both citizens of California, the state in which plaintiff filed this action, (see Dkt.1, NOR at ¶ 6); (id., Exh. 1, Complaint), and it appears that both defendants were properly joined and served prior to removal. (See Dkt. 1, NOR at ¶ 3). Additionally, defendants removed this case to federal court solely on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. (See id. at ¶ 1). Accordingly, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b)(2), this case could not have been removed. See, e.g., Spencer v. United States Dist. Court, 393 F.3d 867, 870 (9th Cir. 2004) (“It is thus clear that the presence of a local defendant at the time removal is sought bars removal.”). CV-90 (06/04) CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL Page 1 of 2 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL Case No. CV 21-5090 FMO (JPRx) Date Title Chris Karabas v. Independent Media, Inc., et al. July 15, 2021 This order is not intended for publication. Nor is it intended to be included in or submitted to any online service such as Westlaw or Lexis. Based on the foregoing, IT IS ORDERED THAT plaintiff shall, no later than July 21, 2021, file a motion to remand this action based on, at minimum, the presence of a local defendant pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b)(2). 00 Initials of Preparer CV-90 (06/04) CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL : 00 vdr Page 2 of 2

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