United States District Court, D. Nevada
M. Navarro, Chief Judge United States District Judge
before the Court is the Motion to Remand, (ECF No. 14), filed
by Plaintiff Pound For Pound Promotions, Inc.
(“PFP”). Defendant Golden Boy Promotions, Inc.
(“Golden Boy”) filed a Response, (ECF No. 26),
and PFP filed a Reply, (ECF No. 29). On October 18, 2016,
Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen held a hearing regarding the
jurisdictional dispute in this case and ordered additional
briefing on the issue. (ECF No. 35). Both parties filed
supplemental briefs on December 14, 2016. (ECF Nos. 41, 44).
For the reasons set forth herein, PFP's Motion to Remand
case arises out of a contract dispute over Golden Boy's
promotional and professional relationship with boxer
“Sugar” Shane Mosley (“Mosley”).
(Compl., Ex. 1 to Pet. Removal, ECF No. 1-1). PFP is a Nevada
corporation that furnishes the professional services of
Mosley. (Pl.'s Mot. to Remand 1:17-21, ECF No. 14).
Specifically, PFP promotes Mosely's professional boxing
matches, promotes the boxing matches of PFP's other
boxers, and operates Mosley's boxing-related activities.
(Id.). Golden Boy is a boxing promotional company
headquartered in Los Angeles, California. (Def.'s Mot. to
Transfer 2:8-9, ECF No. 7).
initiated this action in Clark County District Court on July
5, 2016. (Compl., Ex. 1 to Pet. Removal). On August 8, 2016,
Golden Boy removed the case to federal court, alleging that
this Court has jurisdiction under the diversity of
citizenship statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (Pet. Removal,
ECF No. 1).
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, possessing only
those powers granted by the Constitution and by statute.
See United States v. Marks, 530 F.3d 799, 810 (9th
Cir. 2008). “If at any time before final judgment it
appears that the district court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1447(c). Removal statutes are strictly construed
against removal jurisdiction. Gaus v. Miles, Inc.,
980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). “Federal
jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the
right of removal in the first instance.” Id.
(citing Libhart v. Santa Monica Dairy Co., 592 F.2d
1062, 1064 (9th Cir. 1979)). In evaluating diversity
jurisdiction, the defendant has the burden of overcoming the
“strong presumption” against removal.
Gaus, 980 F.2d at 566.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, a federal district court has
original jurisdiction over all civil actions between citizens
of different states where the amount in controversy exceeds
$75, 000. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). Section
1332 requires complete diversity among the parties; each of
the plaintiffs must be a citizen of a different state than
each of the defendants. Morris v. Princess Cruises,
Inc., 236 F.3d 1061, 1067 (9th Cir. 2001).
instant Motion, PFP argues that the parties are non-diverse
and therefore the Court does not have subject matter
jurisdiction over this action. (Pl.'s Mot. to Remand
2:1-5). Neither party disputes that Golden Boy is a citizen
of California and PFP is a citizen of Nevada. Rather, the
issue is whether PFP is also a citizen of California based on
its principal place of business.
purposes of diversity jurisdiction, a corporation is deemed
to be a citizen of every state by which it is incorporated,
as well as the state where it has its principal place of
business. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1). In
Hertz Corp. v. Friend, the Supreme Court held that a
corporation's principal place of business is solely
determined by the state of its “never center.”
130 S.Ct. 1181, 1192 (2010). A corporation's nerve center
is “where a corporation's officers direct, control,
and coordinate the corporation's activities . . . [a]nd
in practice it should normally be the place where the
corporation maintains its headquarters-provided that the
headquarters is the actual center of direction, control, and
coordination.” Id. Thus, the presence of an
office in a state does not necessarily dictate
diversity-rather, courts look to where the company's
“executive-level decisions” are made. See
Giannini v. Am. Home Mortg. Servicing, Inc., 2011 WL
6291789, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 15, 2011).
jurisdiction is challenged, the party asserting federal
jurisdiction must present “competent proof” to
substantiate its jurisdictional allegations. Hertz,
130 S.Ct. at 1195. In the Ninth Circuit, the removing party
must demonstrate that removal is proper by a preponderance of
evidence, and any doubts about the propriety of removal
should be resolved in favor of remand. Gaus, 980
F.2d at 566.
case, PFP asserts that the company operated in “both
Nevada and California with its principal place of business
being Nevada until 2014.” (Mosley Decl. ¶ 5, ECF
No. 15). Beginning in 2014, however, PFP claims that the
principal place of business changed to California.
(Id. ¶ 15). In support of this change, PFP
raises a number of factual assertions: (1) Mosley has not
fought in Nevada since 2014; (2) PFP operates a training camp
in Big Bear, California; (3) Mosley conducts all calls and
meetings regarding PFP in California; (4) all of PFP's
employees-an accountant, secretary, and treasurer-currently
reside in California and perform their duties in California;
(5) all of Mosley's meetings with PFP employees occur in
Playa Vista, California; and (6) PFP's Nevada address is
effectively a mail drop. (See Mosley Decl.
¶¶ 17-28). PFP's Secretary/Treasurer, Trista
Pisani, attests to the validity of these assertions.
(See Pisani Decl., ECF No. 30).
Response, Golden Boy raises two counterarguments: (1) PFP is
not registered to do business in California and thus cannot
have its principal place of business in the state; and (2)
PFP has failed to submit “competent evidence” to
support its claim of California citizenship. ...