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Rossetto v. Oaktree Capital Management, LLC

664 F. Supp. 2d 1122 (2009)

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Rossetto v. Oaktree Capital Management, LLC

United States District Court for the District of Hawaii

664 F. Supp. 2d 1122 (2009)

Facts

Gustavo Rossetto (plaintiff) worked at the Turtle Bay Resort (the resort) (defendant) as a food server for banquets. The resort assessed a service charge in connection with each banquet. Rossetto and the other servers received a portion of each service charge. Rossetto filed a lawsuit in state court against the resort on behalf of himself and other workers, claiming that the resort violated state law by failing to either pay the workers all the service charge or notify customers that the resort was retaining part of the service charge. Approximately three months after the complaint was filed, the resort removed the case to federal court under federal-question jurisdiction. The resort claimed that Rossetto’s state-law claims were preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act because Rossetto was a member of a union. A court would have to interpret the collective-bargaining agreement between the resort and the union to decide the case. Rossetto did not mention his union membership in his original complaint, though the resort knew of Rossetto’s membership. Rossetto filed a motion in federal court to remand the case, arguing that the resort’s removal was untimely under 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b). The resort claimed that it based its grounds for removal on its answer to Rossetto’s complaint, or Rossetto’s motion to remand, both of which mentioned Rossetto’s union membership. A federal magistrate judge recommended that the district court grant Rossetto’s motion for remand. The resort objected.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kay, J.)

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