Jackson v. Landmark Worldwide, LLC et al

Filing 9

ORDER Granting Leave to Amend the Complaint and Declining Supplemental Jurisdiction. Signed by Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo on 4/11/2018.(mxn)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 DONNA JACKSON, Case No.: 18-cv-659-CAB-BGS Plaintiff, 12 13 v. 14 ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT AND DECLINING SUPPLEMENTAL JURISDICTION LANDMARK WORLDWIDE, LLC, 15 Defendant. 16 17 Defendant Landmark Worldwide, LLC, removed this lawsuit to this Court 18 contending that the complaint asserts a claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act 19 (“FLSA”), giving the Court original federal question jurisdiction. Even assuming that the 20 fifth cause of action is a federal claim pursuant to the FLSA, the remaining eleven counts 21 in the complaint are all brought under California state law. Further, the facts relevant to 22 the sole FLSA claim are almost entirely unrelated to the state claims. Whether Defendant 23 wrongfully characterized Plaintiff as exempt under the FLSA bears no relation to whether 24 Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff, wrongfully discharged Plaintiff, or is liable for 25 meal and rest period violations under California law. Moreover, the eleven state law claims 26 substantially predominate over the FLSA claim in terms of proof, the scope of the issues 27 raised, and the comprehensiveness of the remedy sought. See United Mine Workers of Am. 28 v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 726–27 (1966). “Put another way, if said state law claims remain 1 18-cv-659-CAB-BGS 1 joined with the federal claim herein, the ‘federal tail’ will ‘wag what is in substance a state 2 dog.’” Wong v. HSBC Mortg. Corp. (USA), No. C-07-2446 MMC, 2009 WL 151014, at *3 3 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 21, 2009) (citing DeAsencio v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 342 F.3d 301, 311 (3rd 4 Cir. 2003)). In light of the foregoing, the Court ordered Defendant to show cause why 5 claims 1-4 and 6-12 should not be severed and remanded to state court. The Court gave 6 Plaintiff the opportunity to respond as well. 7 In their responses, Defendant argued that the Court should exercise supplemental 8 jurisdiction, while Plaintiff asked the Court to remand the entire matter to state court. 9 Neither party’s response persuaded the Court to deviate from its initial inclination to 10 decline supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims and to sever and remand them 11 to state court. In particular, both parties’ arguments concerning the duplicity of litigation 12 ring hollow, considering that to avoid that result, Defendant could simply consent to 13 remand of the entire lawsuit to state court, while Plaintiff could simply abandon any claims 14 under the FLSA. Indeed, Plaintiff indicated in her response that she would file an amended 15 complaint removing any reference to the FLSA to avoid severance of her claims and make 16 it possible to remand the entire action to state court. 17 In light of the foregoing, it is hereby ORDERED that Plaintiff is permitted to file 18 an amended complaint in this court on or before April 18, 2018. If the amended complaint 19 does not state any claim arising under the FLSA or other federal law, the Court will remand 20 the entire lawsuit to state court. If the amended complaint retains an FLSA claim or 21 otherwise states a claim arising under federal law, or Plaintiff does not file an amended 22 complaint, the Court will remand any state law claims that are unrelated to, or predominate 23 over, the FLSA or federal claim. 24 25 It is SO ORDERED. Dated: April 11, 2018 26 27 28 2 18-cv-659-CAB-BGS

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