California Union Square L.P. v. Saks & Company LLC.

Filing 17

ORDER by Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. Granting 6 Motion to Remand. (ndrS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/23/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 CALIFORNIA UNION SQUARE L.P., 8 Plaintiff, 9 10 v. SAKS & COMPANY LLC., United States District Court Northern District of California 11 CALIFORNIA UNION SQUARE L.P., 13 Plaintiff, Re: Dkt. No. 6 ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO REMAND Defendant. 12 Case No. 17-cv-1765-HSG 14 15 16 v. SAKS & COMPANY LLC., Case No. 16-cv-04043-HSG Re: Dkt. Nos. 33-5 ORDER DISMISSING CASE FOR LACK OF JURISDICTION AND STRIKING DOCUMENT Defendant. 17 18 Pending before the Court is Plaintiff California Union Square L.P.’s motion to remand. 19 Case No. 17-cv-1765, Dkt. No. 6. Having read the parties’ papers and carefully considered their 20 arguments, the Court finds the matter appropriate for decision without oral argument, see Civil 21 L.R. 7-1(b), and GRANTS Plaintiff’s motion for the reasons stated below. 22 “Except as otherwise expressly provided by Act of Congress, any civil action brought in a 23 State court of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction, may be 24 removed” to federal court. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). The Ninth Circuit has held that “[f]ederal 25 jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first 26 instance.” Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). Because of this “strong 27 presumption against removal jurisdiction,” a defendant “always has the burden of establishing that 28 removal is proper.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). 1 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) establishes federal jurisdiction over cases in which there is 2 complete diversity of citizenship between the parties and the amount in controversy exceeds 3 $75,000. “The presence of [a] nondiverse party automatically destroys original jurisdiction: No 4 party need assert the defect. No party can waive the defect or consent to jurisdiction. No court 5 can ignore the defect; rather a court, noticing the defect, must raise the matter on its own.” 6 Wisconsin Dept. of Corr. v. Schacht, 524 U.S. 381, 389 (1998). Plaintiff contends that this Court 7 has no jurisdiction over Case No. 17-cv-1765, and must remand the case to state court, because 8 complete diversity is lacking. See Case No. 17-cv-1765, Dkt. No. 6 at 7. The Court agrees. 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Plaintiff submitted the affidavit of William A. Molinski, an attorney at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, and Plaintiff’s counsel of record, describing Plaintiff’s corporate structure. Id. Dkt. No. 6-2. Plaintiff is a limited partnership. See id., Dkt. Nos. 6-2 ¶¶ 12, 13, 6-3, Ex. L. Plaintiff’s general partner is California Union Square LLC, a limited liability company. Id. California Union Square LLC’s sole and managing member is DB Immobilienfonds 13 California L.P., a limited partnership. Id. Dkt. Nos. 6-2 ¶¶ 12, 14, 6-3, Ex. M. DB Immobilienfonds 13 California L.P.’s general partner is IC Associate LLC, a limited liability company. Id. Dkt. Nos. 6-2 ¶¶ 12, 15, 6-3, Ex. N. IC Associate LLC’s sole and managing member is GSS Holdings (IC Associate), Inc., a New York corporation with its principal place of business in New York. Id. Dkt. Nos. 6-2 ¶¶ 12, 16-19, 6-3, Exs. O, P, Q. Because partnerships and limited liability 18 companies are “citizen[s] of every state of which [their] owners/members are citizens,” Plaintiff is 19 a citizen of New York. Johnson v. Columbia Props. Anchorage, LP, 437 F.3d 894, 899 (9th Cir. 20 2006). Defendant is a limited liability company. See Case No. 17-cv-1765, Dkt. No. 1 ¶ 10. Its 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 sole member, Saks Incorporated, is incorporated in Tennessee with its principal place of business in New York. Id. Defendant is therefore also a citizen of New York, and thus there is no diversity jurisdiction. The Court accordingly GRANTS Plaintiff’s motion to remand Case No. 17-cv-1765. Plaintiff’s request for attorneys’ fees and costs incurred as a result of the removal under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) is DENIED: Plaintiff’s contribution to the confusion surrounding diversity jurisdiction in this action was substantial, to include a complete reversal from the position it took initially in 28 2 1 Case No. 16-cv-4043. The Court also DISMISSES Case No. 16-cv-4043 for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, 2 3 because complete diversity does not exist in that case either, for the reasons described above.1 4 Finally, the Court STRIKES Dkt. No. 33-5 in Case No. 16-cv-4043, because that 5 document contains confidential business information, trade secrets, and market research. Because 6 the case is being dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, the Court finds good cause not to require the 7 refiling of a redacted version of the document. It is ORDERED that Case No. 17-cv-1765 is remanded under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) to San 8 9 10 Francisco County Superior Court. The Clerk of this Court is directed to remand the case forthwith and close the case. The Clerk is also directed to close Case No. 16-cv-4043. IT IS SO ORDERED. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 Dated: 5/23/2017 ______________________________________ HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. United States District Judge 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 While the petition in Case No. 16-cv-4043 sought the appointment of an arbitrator under 9 U.S.C. § 5, diversity was cited as the basis for this Court’s jurisdiction. See Case No. 16-cv-4043, Dkt. No. 1 ¶ 6. Moreover, the Court understands that the sole issue raised in that case—whether the Court should appoint an arbitrator—has been rendered entirely moot by the completed arbitration that is the subject of Case No. 17-cv-1765. 3

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