Linlor v. Five9, Inc. et al

Filing 9

ORDER denying Plaintiff's 8 Motion to Remand to State Court. Plaintiff filed an "opposition to Defendant's notice of removal" and "request to remand". Court construes Pla's filing as motion to remand, and as a mot ion for sanctions. Court is satisfied that it has subject matter jurisdiction over this case, and denies Pla's motion to remand based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Court is unpersuaded that Dft removed this action for "improper purposes". Court denies Pla's motion for sanctions. Signed by Judge Michael M. Anello on 2/15/2017. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service) (jah)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 13 14 Case No.: 17CV218-MMA (BLM) JAMES LINLOR, ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO REMAND AND MOTION FOR RULE 11 SANCTIONS Plaintiff, v. FIVE9, INC., 15 [Doc. No. 8] Defendant. 16 17 18 On February 3, 2017, Defendant Five9, Inc. removed this action from the Superior 19 Court of California, County of San Diego. See Doc. No. 1. Defendant’s notice of 20 removal is based on federal question jurisdiction, as Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint 21 (FAC) contains claims arising under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. 22 § 227 et seq. (“TCPA”). Plaintiff filed an “opposition to Defendant’s notice of removal” 23 and “request to remand.” See Doc. No. 8. In his brief, Plaintiff also requests the Court 24 impose sanctions on Defendant for removing this action, pursuant to Federal Rule of 25 Civil Procedure 11. See Doc. No. 8. The Court construes Plaintiff’s filing as a motion to 26 remand, and as a motion for sanctions, and addresses Plaintiff’s arguments and the 27 Court’s jurisdiction over this action below. 28 // -1- 17CV218-MMA (BLM) 1 DISCUSSION 2 The federal court is one of limited jurisdiction and possesses only that power 3 authorized by the Constitution or a statute. See Lowdermilk v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n, 479 4 F.3d 994, 997 (9th Cir. 2007); Bender v. Williamsport Area Sch. Dist., 475 U.S. 534, 541, 5 106 S. Ct. 1326 (1986). The federal court is constitutionally required to raise issues 6 related to federal subject matter jurisdiction and may do so sua sponte. See Steel Co. v. 7 Citizens for a Better Env’t, 523 U.S. 83, 93-94 (1998); see Indus. Tectonics, Inc. v. Aero 8 Alloy, 912 F.2d 1090, 1092 (9th Cir. 1990). 9 Removal jurisdiction is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1441 et seq. A defendant may 10 remove a state court action if the plaintiff could have originally filed the action in federal 11 court. See Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987); Duncan v. Stuetzle, 76 12 F.3d 1480, 1485 (9th Cir. 1996). Thus, for a defendant to remove an action on the basis 13 of federal question jurisdiction, the complaint must establish either that federal law 14 creates the cause of action or that the plaintiff’s right to relief necessarily depends on the 15 resolution of substantial questions of federal law. See Franchise Tax Board of Cal. v. 16 Construction Laborers Vacation Trust for Southern Cal., 463 U.S. 1, 10–11 (1983). 17 Additionally, a federal court also has jurisdiction over an action involving citizens of 18 different states when the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332. 19 “The burden of establishing federal jurisdiction is on the party seeking removal, 20 and the removal statute is strictly construed against removal jurisdiction.” Nishimoto v. 21 Federman-Bachrach & Assoc., 903 F.2d 709, 712 n.3 (9th Cir. 1990). The well-pleaded 22 complaint rule governs whether federal jurisdiction exists. See Caterpillar, 482 U.S. at 23 392. Under this rule, the federal question must be “presented on the face of the plaintiff’s 24 properly pleaded complaint.” Id.; accord Wayne v. DHL Worldwide Express, 294 F.3d 25 1179, 1183 (9th Cir. 2002). 26 Here, the Court determines that it has federal question jurisdiction over this action 27 because Plaintiff alleges violations of the TCPA, a federal statute. In Mims v. Arrow 28 Financial Services, LLC, the United States Supreme Court held that federal courts have -2- 17CV218-MMA (BLM) 1 original jurisdiction over TCPA claims, as the federal statute “creates the right of action 2 and provides the rules of decision.” See Mims, 565 U.S. 368, 385–86 (2012). Thus, 3 plaintiffs may file actions alleging TCPA claims in state court or federal court. Id. at 4 379. Similarly, Defendants may remove cases involving TCPA claims to federal court 5 because the plaintiff could have originally filed the action there. Cf. Caterpillar, Inc. v. 6 Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987); Duncan v. Stuetzle, 76 F.3d 1480, 1485 (9th Cir. 7 1996). Further, albeit in dicta, the Supreme Court stated that “[w]hen Congress wants to 8 make federal claims instituted in state court nonremovable, it says just that” in the 9 legislation, but, the TCPA does not include such language. See Mims, 565 U.S. at 386, 10 n.15 (rejecting the defendant’s argument that federal courts would be inundated by 11 private actions alleging TCPA violations through removal to federal court). Accordingly, 12 the Court is satisfied that it has subject matter jurisdiction over this case, and DENIES 13 Plaintiff’s motion to remand based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. 14 Lastly, the Court is unpersuaded that Defendant removed this action to this Court 15 for “improper purposes.” See Doc. No. 8. Accordingly, the Court DENIES Plaintiff’s 16 motion for sanctions. 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. 18 19 20 21 22 Dated: February 15, 2017 _____________________________ Hon. Michael M. Anello United States District Judge 23 24 25 26 27 28 -3- 17CV218-MMA (BLM)

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