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