United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
take notice that the attached Magistrate Judge's Report
has been filed with the Clerk of the United States District
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), you have fourteen
(14) days after being served with the attached Report to file
written objections to the proposed findings of fact,
conclusions of law and recommendations 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 of the Magistrate Judge which
have been accepted by the District Court.
NO EXTENSION OF TIME SHALL BE GRANTED TO FILE WRITTEN
OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT.
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion to Remand (R.
Doc. 31) filed on November 9, 2017.
about July 15, 2016, Wanda Brumfield
(“Plaintiff”) filed this action in the 19th
Judicial District Court, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana,
naming as defendants Farmers Insurance Company, Randy Gantt,
and Travelers Insurance Company. (R. Doc. 1-6 at 1-3).
Plaintiff alleges that she sustained personal injuries as a
result of an automobile accident with Mr. Gantt, including
medical expenses; physical pain and suffering; disability,
scarring, and disfigurement; mental anguish and emotional
trauma; and loss of enjoyment of life. (R. Doc. 1-6 at 2).
Plaintiff does not, however, identify any specific injuries
sustained in her Petition. Furthermore, Plaintiff
specifically states in the Petition that she did “not
believe” at the time of filing that her damages
exceeded the amount required for a jury trial in Louisiana
state court. (R. Doc. 1-6 at 3).
October 17, 2016, Travelers removed the action on the basis
of diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
(R. Doc. 1). With regard to the amount in controversy
requirement, Travelers states that Plaintiff's counsel
represented in a telephone conference prior to removal that
Plaintiff “suffered from significant prior injuries
that may have been aggravated in the subject accident and her
damages may exceed $75, 000, ” and that Plaintiff
refused to sign a pre-removal stipulation that the amount in
controversy requirement to sustain diversity jurisdiction was
not satisfied. (R. Doc. 1 at 3-4). The Notice of Removal did
not provide any additional evidence, such as incurred medical
expenses, indicating that the amount in controversy
requirement was satisfied at the time of removal.
22, 2017, Travelers was dismissed from the action with
prejudice. (R. Doc. 30).
November 9, 2017, Plaintiff filed the instant unopposed
motion to remand. (R. Doc. 31). Attached to the motion is
Plaintiff's stipulation that “the value of her
claim in this matter does not exceed the sum of $75, 000.00,
exclusive of legal interest and costs.” (R. Doc. 31-1).
Law and Analysis
defendant may remove “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).
When original jurisdiction is based on diversity of
citizenship, the cause of action must be between
“citizens of different States” and the amount in
controversy must exceed the “sum or value of $75, 000,
exclusive of interest and costs.” 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a)-(a)(1). Subject matter jurisdiction must exist at the
time of removal to federal court, based on the facts and
allegations contained in the complaint. St. Paul
Reinsurance Co., Ltd. v. Greenberg, 134 F.3d 1250, 1253
(5th Cir. 1998) (“jurisdictional facts must be judged
as of the time the complaint is filed”). Remand is
proper if at any time the court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
removal is sought on the basis of diversity jurisdiction,
then “the sum demanded in good faith in the initial
pleading shall be deemed to be the amount in
controversy.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(2). If, however,
the “State practice . . . permits the recovery of
damages in excess of the amount demanded, ” removal is
proper “if the district court finds, by the
preponderance of the evidence, that the amount in controversy
exceeds [$75, 000].” 28 U.S.C. §
1446(c)(2)(A)(ii)-(B). In Louisiana state court, plaintiffs
are generally prohibited from alleging a specific monetary
amount of damages sought in their ...