United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
WILDER-DOOMES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
take notice that the attached Magistrate Judge's Report
has been filed with the Clerk of the U.S. District Court.
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), you have 14 days
after being served with the attached report to file written
objections to the proposed findings of fact, conclusions of
law, and recommendations set forth therein. Failure to file
written objections to the proposed findings, conclusions and
recommendations within 14 days after being served will bar
you, except upon grounds of plain error, from attacking on
appeal the unobjected-to proposed factual findings and legal
conclusions accepted by the District Court.
NO EXTENSION OF TIME SHALL BE GRANTED TO FILE WRITTEN
OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT.
August 28, 2017, plaintiffs, Dominique Nash, Kwamie Gaines,
and Tequila Carter ("Plaintiffs") filed a Petition
for Damages (the "Petition") in state court against
Sable Chase Apartments, Big Sable Chase at Sherwood
Apartments, LLC ("BSC"), Cottonwood Residential,
and ABC Insurance Agency. Per the Petition, Plaintiffs allege
they were tenants at Sable Chase Apartments and, after being
advised it was safe to return to the apartment following
flooding, were exposed "to toxic mold causing
respiratory issues... ." Plaintiffs allege that their
requests to move were denied and that defendants' refusal
to provide a letter to vacate based on inhabitability of the
apartment hindered their ability to obtain disaster housing
assistance. Plaintiffs allege that as a result of
defendants' negligence, they "were exposed to mold
and suffered injuries to structure, tissues, and
cardiovascular system of their body."
October 6, 2017, BSC and Cottonwood Capital Property
Management II, LLC ("Cottonwood Capital")
(collectively, the "Removing Entities") removed
this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. On October 12,
2017, the Removing Entities were ordered to file a Motion to
Substitute the Notice of Removal with a proposed Notice of
Removal that properly alleged the citizenship of the
parties. Additionally, the undersigned found that
it was not apparent from the face of Plaintiffs' Petition
that the claims were likely to exceed $75,
000.00. Based on the allegations set forth in the
Petition, as well as the information asserted in the Notice
of Removal, the court sua sponte raised the issue of
whether it may exercise diversity jurisdiction in this
matter, specifically, whether the amount in controversy
requirement has been met, and - in addition to ordering the
Removing Entities to file the Motion to Substitute - ordered
the Removing Entities to file a memorandum and supporting
evidence concerning subject matter jurisdiction, specifically
whether the amount in controversy requirement of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332 is met.
October 19, 2017, Sable Chase Apartments, Big Sable Chase at
Sherwood Apartments, LLC, and Cottonwood Residential
(collectively, "Defendants") filed a Memorandum
Concerning Subj ect Matter Jurisdiction and Withdrawing
Notice of Removal. Defendants assert that "recently
obtained information indicates to Defendants that the
jurisdictional amount in controversy requirement will likely
not be met at this time" and therefore
"Defendants hereby withdraw
their October 6, 2017 Notice of Removal."
removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1441, is strictly construed
and any doubt as to the propriety of removal should be
resolved in favor of remand. Gasch v. Hartford Ace. &
Indem. Co., 491 F.3d 278, 281-82 (5th Cir. 2007). The
removing party has the burden of proving federal diversity
jurisdiction. Garcia v. Koch Oil Co. of Tex. Inc.,
351 F.3d 636, 638 (5th Cir. 2003). Here, Defendants have not
met their burden of proving federal diversity jurisdiction.
In addition to failing to correct the insufficiencies
regarding the allegations of citizenship raised in this
court's October 12, 2017 Notice and Order,  Defendants
have responded to that Notice and Order "by withdrawing
their Notice of Removal, because, at least at this time, the
Plaintiffs' damages do not appear to meet the
jurisdictional amount in controversy necessary to maintain
based on the Memorandum Concerning Subject Matter
Jurisdiction and Withdrawing of Notice of Removal, the
undersigned RECOMMENDS that this matter be
remanded to the 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish
of East Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana.
 R. Doc. 1-2.
R. Doc. 1-2, ¶¶