United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
ZAINEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is a Motion to Remand (Rec. Doc.
25) filed by Plaintiffs Owen Casnave and Angela
Casnave (the “Casnaves”). The Motion, set for
submission on October 4, 2017, is before the Court on the
briefs without oral argument. Defendant SP Plus Corporation
(“SP Plus”) has not filed an opposition. For the
following reasons, Plaintiffs' motion is
March 3, 2017, Defendant SP Plus filed a Notice of Removal
with this Court. (Rec. Doc. 1). The basis for removal was
diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 and
removal was proper under 28 U.S.C. §
1441(a). SP Plus was and is a Delaware corporation
with its principal place of business located in Chicago,
Illinois, and it is thus a citizen of the Delaware and
Illinois for diversity purposes. (Rec. Doc. 1, p. 2, ¶
5). On the other hand, the Casnaves are residents of and
domiciled in St. Tammany Parish, and thus citizens of
Louisiana for diversity purposes. Id. at ¶ 4.
SP Plus removed on the basis that there was complete
diversity between the parties at the time of removal.
Moreover, SP Plus alleged that the amount in controversy
exceeds the sum of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs,
which satisfied the amount in controversy requirement for
diversity purposes. Id. at p. 3, ¶ 6.
on August 3, 2017, this Court granted a Motion for Leave
(Rec. Doc. 12) allowing Plaintiffs to file a First Amending
and Supplemental Complaint. (Rec. Doc. 13). The amended
complaint added a new Defendant to this lawsuit, the Board of
Commissioners of the Port of Orleans (the
“Board”). Plaintiffs requested to add the Board
as a Defendant because during the depositions of Plaintiffs
and three SP Plus employees on July 10, 2017 and July 11,
2017, respectively, Plaintiffs' counsel became aware that
adding the Board was necessary. (Rec. Doc. 11, p. 1).
Plaintiffs allege that this information was not, and
practically could not have been known to Plaintiffs prior to
the July depositions. However, joinder of the Board destroyed
complete diversity as the Board was and is a citizen of
Louisiana along with the Plaintiffs. As a result, Plaintiff
filed this motion for remand pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
Law and Analysis
to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c), “[i]f at any time before
final judgment it appears that the district court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be
remanded.” Moreover, § 1447(e) provides,
“[i]f after removal the plaintiff seeks to join
additional defendants whose joinder would destroy subject
matter jurisdiction, the court may deny joinder, or permit
joinder and remand the action to the State court.” Read
in conjunction, these two subparts of § 1447 mandate
that this matter be remanded to State court. The Court
permitted joinder of the Board on August 3, 2017. Because
Defendant Board and Plaintiffs Casnaves are both domiciled in
Louisiana, complete diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332 is destroyed.
joinder of an indispensable party defendant with the same
citizenship as the plaintiff destroys diversity jurisdiction
under the applicable statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. However,
an exception to the requirement of complete diversity for
diversity jurisdiction arises when a non-diverse defendant
has been fraudulently joined; if a defendant whose joinder
destroys diversity is fraudulently joined, the case is
properly in federal court. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1);
see also Heritage Bank v. Redcom Laboratories, Inc.,
250 F.3d 319 (5th Cir. 2001).
current matter before the Court, there is no evidence or
contention that the newly joined, non-diverse Defendant Board
was fraudulently joined. Plaintiffs contend that they
discovered the necessity of adding the Board during two
depositions, occurring a few months after this case was
removed to this Court. The Court finds no evidence of
fraudulent joinder and Defendants have not filed an
opposition to Plaintiffs Motion to Remand attempting to show
fraudulent joinder. The Court finds that there is an absence
of any hint of fraudulent joinder occurring in this case.
Thus, remand is proper under § 1447.
ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand (Rec.
Doc. 25) is GRANTED and the
above-captioned matter be and is hereby remanded to the 41st
Judicial District Court of the Parish of Orleans, State of