Gutierrez Diaz v. Ford Motor Company

Filing 20

ORDER by Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley denying #13 Motion to Remand. (ahm, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/18/2023)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 MARIO GUTIERREZ DIAZ, 7 Plaintiff, 8 ORDER RE: MOTION TO REMAND v. 9 Re: Dkt. No. 13 FORD MOTOR COMPANY, 10 Defendant. 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Case No. 23-cv-01506-JSC 12 Plaintiff filed suit in state court with lemon law claims under California’s Song-Beverly 13 14 Act related to his Ford vehicle. (Dkt. No. 1-2.)1 Defendant removed to this Court. (Dkt. No. 1.) 15 Before the Court is Plaintiff’s motion to remand. (Dkt. No. 13.) After carefully considering the 16 motion, opposition, and reply, the Court concludes oral argument is unnecessary, see N.D. Cal. 17 Civ. L.R. 7-1(b), VACATES the May 31, 2023 hearing, and DENIES the motion. DISCUSSION 18 Plaintiff challenges only the timeliness of removal, which is “a procedural defect and not 19 20 jurisdictional.” Maniar v. F.D.I.C., 979 F.2d 782, 784 (9th Cir. 1992). Federal subject matter 21 jurisdiction exists here because the parties are diverse and the notice of removal includes an 22 “unchallenged, plausible assertion” that “the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional 23 threshold” of $75,000. Ibarra v. Manheim Invs., Inc., 775 F.3d 1193, 1195, 1197 (9th Cir. 2015) 24 (cleaned up); see 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(a), (c); Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 559 U.S. 77, 94 (2010) 25 (“Courts have an independent obligation to determine whether subject-matter jurisdiction exists, 26 even when no party challenges it.”). (Dkt. No. 1-2 ¶¶ 2–3; see Dkt. No. 1-1 ¶¶ 7–8, 11–24; Dkt. 27 Record citations are to material in the Electronic Case File (“ECF”); pinpoint citations are to the ECF-generated page numbers at the top of the documents. 1 28 1 No. 1-4.) 2 Generally, a notice of removal must be filed “within 30 days after the receipt by the 3 defendant . . . of the initial pleading.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(1). But “if the case stated by the initial 4 pleading is not removable, a notice of removal may be filed within thirty days after receipt by the 5 defendant, through service or otherwise, of a copy of an amended pleading, motion, order or other 6 paper from which it may first be ascertained that the case is one which is or has become 7 removable.” Id. § 1446(b)(3); see also id. § 1446(c)(3). “[A]n amended pleading, motion, order, 8 or other paper must make a ground for removal unequivocally clear and certain before the removal 9 clock begins under the second pathway of § 1446(b)(3).” Dietrich v. Boeing Co., 14 F.4th 1089, 10 1095 (9th Cir. 2021). Defendant removed on March 30, 2023. (Dkt. No. 1.) The relevant date is February 28, United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 2023, 30 days prior. On that date, Defendant received a copy of the vehicle sales contract alleged 13 in the complaint. (Dkt. No. 1-1 ¶¶ 7–8; Dkt. No. 1-3; Dkt. No. 1-4.) “[N]o ground for removal 14 was unequivocally clear and certain until” Defendant received the contract, Dietrich, 14 F.4th at 15 1095, because Plaintiff’s complaint did not allege the sales price or any dollar amount at issue, 16 (see Dkt. No. 1-2). Plaintiff’s motion for remand does not identify some other “pleading, motion, 17 order, or other paper” from which Defendant could have known the case was removable on an 18 earlier date, nor does it argue that some other ground for removal appeared on the face of the 19 complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(3). Accordingly, removal was timely. See Dietrich, 14 F.4th at 20 1095. CONCLUSION 21 22 Plaintiff’s motion for remand is DENIED. 23 This Order disposes of Docket No. 13. 24 IT IS SO ORDERED. 25 Dated: May 18, 2023 26 27 JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY United States District Judge 28 2

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