Perez et al v. Rose Hills Company

Filing 13

MINUTE (IN CHAMBERS) Order to Show Cause Why This Case Should Not Be Remanded to State Court by Judge Josephine L. Staton: Defendant is ORDERED to show cause, in writing, no later than seven (7) days from the date of this Order, why the Court shou ld not remand this action to Los Angeles County Superior Court. Plaintiff has seven (7) days thereafter to submit any response. No further briefing is permitted. Following submission of the parties' briefing, which shall not exceed ten (10) pages, the matter will be deemed under submission and the Court will thereafter issue an order. (jp)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA CIVIL MINUTES – GENERAL Case No. 2:24-cv-04827-JLS-PVC Title: Elizabeth Perez et al v. Rose Hills Company et al Date: July 03, 2024 Present: Honorable JOSEPHINE L. STATON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE Charles A. Rojas Deputy Clerk Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Not Present N/A Court Reporter Attorneys Present for Defendant: Not Present PROCEEDINGS: (IN CHAMBERS) ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY THIS CASE SHOULD NOT BE REMANDED TO STATE COURT Plaintiff filed this putative class action in Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of herself and others similarly situated, alleging that Defendant violated various California wage-and-hour laws. Defendant removed, asserting that this Court has jurisdiction over this putative class action under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”). See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(d), 1441(a). (Notice of Removal, Doc. 1.) CAFA requires, among other things, that the amount in controversy “exceed[] the sum or value of $5,000,000.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2). “A defendant’s notice of removal to federal court must ‘contain[] a short and plain statement of the grounds for removal,” including the amount in controversy. Moe v. GEICO Indem. Co., 73 F.4th 757, 761 (9th Cir. 2023) (quoting Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, 574 U.S. 81, 87, (2014)). Where the plaintiff’s state-court complaint includes a damages demand, that amount, if made in good faith, “shall be deemed to be the amount in controversy.” Id. § 1446(c)(2). Where the plaintiff’s complaint “does not specify the damages sought, the defendant ordinarily may satisfy the amount-in-controversy requirement by making a plausible assertion of the amount at issue in its notice of removal.” Moe, 73 F.4th at 761. ______________________________________________________________________________ CIVIL MINUTES – GENERAL 1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA CIVIL MINUTES – GENERAL Case No. 2:24-cv-04827-JLS-PVC Title: Elizabeth Perez et al v. Rose Hills Company et al Date: July 03, 2024 “[T]he defendant’s amount-in-controversy allegation should be accepted when not contested by the plaintiff or questioned by the court.” Id. (quoting Dart, 574 U.S. at 87). Here, Plaintiff’s complaint does not specify the damages sought, so Defendant was obligated to plausibly allege the amount in controversy. (See Compl., Doc. 1, Ex. A; Notice of Removal ¶ 28.) In its Notice of Removal, Defendant asserts that there is $15,207,344.00 at issue. (Notice of Removal ¶ 10.) “As seemingly is always the case in wage-and-hour lawsuits attempting to find their way to federal court,” Defendants’ assumed “violation rates are key to the calculations necessary to reach the $5,000,001 amount-in-controversy figure CAFA requires.” Cackin v. Ingersoll-Rand Indus. U.S., Inc., 2021 WL 2222217, at *2 (C.D. Cal. June 2, 2021) (Staton, J.). Violation rates “cannot be pulled from thin air but need some reasonable ground underlying them.” Ibarra v. Manheim Invs., Inc., 775 F.3d 1193, 1199 (9th Cir. 2015). Defendant, however, does not provide a basis for its violation-rate assumptions. Therefore, the Court sua sponte questions whether the amount-in-controversy requirement is satisfied here. See Moe, 73 F.4th at 761–62. Defendant bears “the burden to show that the amount-in-controversy requirement is met by a preponderance of the evidence.” Id. at 762 (emphasis added). Defendant is ORDERED to show cause, in writing, no later than seven (7) days from the date of this Order, why the Court should not remand this action to Los Angeles County Superior Court. Plaintiff has seven (7) days thereafter to submit any response. No further briefing is permitted. Following submission of the parties’ briefing, which shall not exceed ten (10) pages, the matter will be deemed under submission and the Court will thereafter issue an order. Initials of Deputy Clerk: cr ______________________________________________________________________________ CIVIL MINUTES – GENERAL 2

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