United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
KAREN L. HAYES, Magistrate Judge.
Before the undersigned Magistrate Judge, on reference from the District Court, is a Motion to Remand, [doc. # 8], filed by Plaintiffs Alvin Kie and Pecola Kie. Defendant Werner Enterprises, Inc. opposes the Motion. [doc. # 10]. For reasons stated below, the Motion is GRANTED.
On May 11, 2015, Plaintiffs, husband and wife, filed suit against Tory Williams, Tommie Morgan, and Werner Enterprises, Inc. in the Fifth Judicial District Court, Parish of Richland. [doc. # 1-7]. According to Plaintiffs, on June 4, 2014, Tory Williams, while driving a 2012 Freightliner tractor trailer owned by Defendant Werner Enterprises, Inc., negligently changed lanes and collided with Plaintiff Alvin Kie's vehicle. Id.
Plaintiffs claim that, as a result of the collision, Alvin Kie sustained unspecified injuries to his back, neck, shoulders, head, hips, legs, arms, thighs, fingers, hands, ankles, and emotions. Id. They further claim that, as a result of these injuries, Alvin experiences headaches, forgetfulness, and dizziness, he is no longer able to enjoy life, he is inconvenienced and embarrassed, he suffers from pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress, he incurred unspecified medical expenses, property damage, and non-economic damages, he has lost earnings, the capacity to earn, and vacation time, and he is disabled. Id. at 2-3. Both plaintiffs bring claims for loss of consortium and damage to community property, and both seek all the relief to which they are entitled. Id. at 3, 5.
On June 5, 2015, Defendant removed the matter on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. [doc. # 1]. On June 18, 2015, Plaintiffs filed the instant Motion to Remand on the basis that the amount in controversy does not exceed $75, 000. [doc. # 8]. Defendant filed its opposition on July 10, 2015. [doc. # 10]. The matter is now before the Court.
Law and Analysis
Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Howery v. Allstate Ins. Co., 243 F.3d 912, 916 (5th Cir. 2001). A suit is presumed to lie outside this limited jurisdiction unless and until the party invoking federal jurisdiction establishes otherwise. Id. Federal law authorizes the removal to federal court of "any civil action brought in a State court of which the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction...." 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a).
In this case, Defendant invokes the Court's jurisdiction via diversity, which requires complete diversity of citizenship between the adverse parties and an amount in controversy greater than $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Plaintiffs do not contest that the parties are diverse; rather, as mentioned, they dispute Defendant's assertion that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional minimum.
Pursuant to the Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011, the removal statute now specifies:
If removal of a civil action is sought on the basis of the jurisdiction conferred by section 1332(a), the sum demanded in good faith in the initial pleading shall be deemed to be the amount in controversy, except that-
(A) the notice of removal may assert the amount in controversy if the initial pleading seeks-
(i) nonmonetary relief; or
(ii) a money judgment, but the State practice either does not permit demand for a specific sum or permits recovery of damages in ...