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Cty. of San Mateo v. Chevron Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

February 5, 2020, Argued and Submitted, Pasadena, California; May 26, 2020, Filed

No. 18-15499, No. 18-15502, No. 18-15503, No. 18-16376

Opinion

IKUTA, Circuit Judge:

In this appeal, we consider a district court's order remanding complaints to state court after the defendants had removed the complaints to federal court on eight separate grounds. ] Under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(d), we have jurisdiction to review the remand order only to the extent it addresses whether removal was proper under § 1442(a)(1), see Patel v. Del Taco, Inc., 446 F.3d 996, 998 (9th Cir. 2006), which authorizes removal by "any person acting under" a federal officer, 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)(1). We conclude that the defendants did not carry their burden of establishing this criteria for removal. Because we lack jurisdiction to review other aspects of the remand order, we dismiss the remainder of the appeal.

The County of San Mateo, the County of Marin, and the City of Imperial Beach filed three materially similar complaints in California state court against more than 30 energy companies in July 2017.2 The complaints allege that the Energy Companies' "extraction, refining, and/or formulation of fossil fuel products; their introduction of fossil fuel products into the stream of commerce; their wrongful promotion [*10]  of their fossil fuel products and concealment of known hazards associated with use of those products; and their failure to pursue less hazardous alternatives available to them; is a substantial factor in causing the increase in global mean temperature and consequent increase in global mean sea surface height." Based on these allegations, the complaints assert causes of action for public and private nuisance, strict liability for failure to warn, strict liability for design defect, negligence, negligent failure to warn, and trespass.

The Energy Companies removed the three complaints to federal court, asserting seven bases for subject-matter jurisdiction, including jurisdiction under the federal-officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)(1). The three cases were assigned to Judge Vince G. Chhabria.

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2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 16643 *; 50 ELR 20125

COUNTY OF SAN MATEO, individually and on behalf of the People of the State of California, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. CHEVRON CORPORATION; CHEVRON U.S.A. INC.; EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION; BP PLC; BP AMERICA, INC.; ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC; SHELL OIL PRODUCTS COMPANY LLC; CITGO PETROLEUM CORPORATION; CONOCOPHILLIPS; CONOCOPHILLIPS COMPANY; PHILLIPS 66 COMPANY; PEABODY ENERGY CORPORATION; TOTAL E&P USA, INC.; TOTAL SPECIALTIES USA, INC.; ARCH COAL INC.; ENI OIL & GAS, INC.; RIO TINTO ENERGY AMERICA, INC.; RIO TINTO MINERALS, INC.; RIO TINTO SERVICES, INC.; ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORPORATION; OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION; OCCIDENTAL CHEMICAL CORPORATION; REPSOL ENERGY NORTH AMERICA CORP.; REPSOL TRADING USA CORP.; MARATHON OIL COMPANY; MARATHON OIL CORPORATION; MARATHON PETROLEUM CORP.; HESS CORP.; DEVON ENERGY CORP.; DEVON ENERGY PRODUCTION COMPANY, LP; ENCANA CORPORATION; APACHE CORP., Defendants-Appellants.CITY OF IMPERIAL BEACH, individually and on behalf of the People of the State of California, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. CHEVRON CORPORATION; CHEVRON U.S.A. INC.; EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION; BP PLC; BP AMERICA, INC.; ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC; SHELL OIL PRODUCTS COMPANY LLC; CITGO PETROLEUM CORPORATION; CONOCOPHILLIPS; CONOCOPHILLIPS COMPANY; PHILLIPS 66 COMPANY; PEABODY ENERGY CORPORATION; TOTAL E&P USA, INC.; TOTAL SPECIALTIES USA, INC.; ARCH COAL INC.; ENI OIL & GAS, INC.; RIO TINTO ENERGY AMERICA, INC.; RIO TINTO MINERALS, INC.; RIO TINTO SERVICES, INC.; ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORPORATION; OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION; OCCIDENTAL CHEMICAL CORPORATION; REPSOL ENERGY NORTH AMERICA CORP.; REPSOL TRADING USA CORP.; MARATHON OIL COMPANY; MARATHON OIL CORPORATION; MARATHON PETROLEUM CORP.; HESS CORP.; DEVON ENERGY CORP.; DEVON ENERGY PRODUCTION COMPANY, LP; ENCANA CORPORATION; APACHE CORP., Defendants-Appellants.COUNTY OF MARIN, individually and on behalf of the People of the State of California, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. CHEVRON CORPORATION; CHEVRON U.S.A. INC.; EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION; BP PLC; BP AMERICA, INC.; ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC; SHELL OIL PRODUCTS COMPANY LLC; CITGO PETROLEUM CORPORATION; CONOCOPHILLIPS; CONOCOPHILLIPS COMPANY; PHILLIPS 66 COMPANY; PEABODY ENERGY CORPORATION; TOTAL E&P USA, INC.; TOTAL SPECIALTIES USA, INC.; ARCH COAL INC.; ENI OIL & GAS, INC.; RIO TINTO ENERGY AMERICA, INC.; RIO TINTO MINERALS, INC.; RIO TINTO SERVICES, INC.; ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORPORATION; OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION; OCCIDENTAL CHEMICAL CORPORATION; REPSOL ENERGY NORTH AMERICA CORP.; REPSOL TRADING USA CORP.; MARATHON OIL COMPANY; MARATHON OIL CORPORATION; MARATHON PETROLEUM CORP.; HESS CORP.; DEVON ENERGY CORP.; DEVON ENERGY PRODUCTION COMPANY, LP; ENCANA CORPORATION; APACHE CORP., Defendants-Appellants.COUNTY OF SANTA CRUZ, individually and on behalf of The People of the State of California; CITY OF SANTA CRUZ, a municipal corporation, individually and on behalf of The People of the State of California; CITY OF RICHMOND, individually and on behalf of The People of the State of California, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. CHEVRON CORPORATION; CHEVRON USA INC.; ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC; BP PLC; SHELL OIL PRODUCTS COMPANY LLC; BP AMERICA, INC.; EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION; CONOCOPHILLIPS; CONOCOPHILLIPS COMPANY; ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORPORATION; APACHE CORPORATION; DEVON ENERGY CORPORATION; DEVON ENERGY PRODUCTION COMPANY, LP; TOTAL E&P USA, INC.; TOTAL SPECIALTIES USA, INC.; ENCANA CORPORATION; CITGO PETROLEUM CORPORATION; HESS CORPORATION; MARATHON OIL COMPANY; MARATHON OIL CORPORATION; REPSOL ENERGY NORTH AMERICA CORPORATION; REPSOL TRADING USA CORPORATION; PHILLIPS 66 COMPANY; OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION; OCCIDENTAL CHEMICAL CORPORATION; ENI OIL & GAS, INC.; MARATHON PETROLEUM CORPORATION, Defendants-Appellants.

Prior History:  [*1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. D.C. No. 3:17-cv-04929-VC, D.C. No. 3:17-cv-04934-VC, D.C. No. 3:17-cv-04935-VC, D.C. Nos. 3:18-cv-00450-VC, 3:18-cv-00458-VC, 3:18-cv-00732-VC. Vince Chhabria, District Judge, Presiding.

County of San Mateo v. Chevron Corp., 294 F. Supp. 3d 934, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49197 (N.D. Cal., Mar. 16, 2018)

Disposition: AFFIRMED IN PART; DISMISSED IN PART.

CORE TERMS

Energy, oil, subject-matter, lessee, fuel, lease, state-court, contractor, colorable, abrogate, fulfill, plenary, causal, entity

Civil Procedure, Removal, Postremoval Remands, Appellate Review, Specific Cases Removed, Cases Involving Federal Officers, Appeals, Appellate Jurisdiction, Governments, Courts, Authority to Adjudicate, Judicial Precedent, Legislation, Interpretation, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Allocation, Preliminary Considerations, Jurisdiction, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Preponderance of Evidence