United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
NOTICE AND ORDER
WILDER-DOOMES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Donald Rowe (“Plaintiff”), filed suit against
Primerica Life Insurance Company (“Primerica”),
Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
(“Guardian”), Chris Dantin, Inc.
(“CDI”), and Chris Dantin (“Dantin”)
in state court seeking to recover as beneficiary of two life
insurance policies issued to Plaintiff's son, Corey J.
Rowe (“Decedent”). On December 13, 2019, Guardian
filed a Notice of Removal asserting that this Court has
federal subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332 based on the assertions that the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000, exclusive of interest and
costs, and the properly joined parties are completely
alleges that it is incorporated in the State of New York,
with its principal place of business in New
York. Guardian also alleges that Primerica is
incorporated in the State of Tennessee, with its principal
place of business in Georgia. Guardian further alleges that CDI
is incorporated in the State of Louisiana, with its principal
place of business in Louisiana, and that Dantin is a
Louisiana domiciliary. Although Guardian alleges that both
Plaintiff, and Defendants CDI and Dantin, are Louisiana
citizens,  Guardian asserts that CDI and Dantin have
been “improperly joined in this action” and their
citizenships must be ignored for purposes of assessing the
presence of complete diversity. Specifically, Guardian argues
that Plaintiff's claims against CDI and Dantin “are
time barred under La. R.S. 9:5606's preemptive
period” because Plaintiff “failed to bring his
action within three (3) years of the purchase of the Guardian
Policy.” Thus, Guardian argues that
“Plaintiff has no possibility of recovery against Mr.
Dantin or [CDI].”
party seeking removal bears a heavy burden of proving that
the joinder of the in-state party was
improper.” “‘[A]ny contested issues of
fact and any ambiguities of state law must be resolved'
in favor of remand, ” and “[a]ny doubts
regarding whether removal jurisdiction is proper should be
resolved against federal jurisdiction.” The Fifth
Circuit has “recognized two ways to establish improper
joinder: ‘(1) actual fraud in the pleading of
jurisdictional facts, or (2) inability of the plaintiff to
establish a cause of action against the non-diverse party in
state court.'” As to the second method, the test
“is whether the defendant has demonstrated that there
is no possibility of recovery by the plaintiff against an
in-state defendant, which stated differently means that there
is no reasonable basis for the district court to predict that
the plaintiff might be able to recover against an in-state
appears to rely on the second method of establishing improper
joinder. A court may resolve this issue in one of two ways.
“The court may conduct a Rule 12(b)(6) analysis,
looking at the allegations of the complaint to determine
whether the complaint states a claim under state law against
the in-state defendant. Ordinarily, if a plaintiff can
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) challenge, there is no improper
joinder. That said, there are cases, hopefully few in number,
in which a plaintiff has stated a claim, but has misstated or
omitted discrete facts that would determine the propriety of
joinder. In such cases, the district court may, in its
discretion, pierce the pleadings and conduct a summary
inquiry.” The Fifth Circuit has cautioned that
such summary inquiry “is appropriate only to identify
the presence of discrete and undisputed facts that would
preclude plaintiff's recovery against the in-state
courts are duty bound to determine their own jurisdiction and
may do so sua sponte if
necessary.” This Court cannot ensure the existence
of federal subject matter jurisdiction until the issues of
CDI and Dantin's joinder are resolved. Accordingly,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that on or before
January 8, 2020, Plaintiff shall file
either: (1) a Motion to Remand based on lack of subject
matter jurisdiction, addressing the alleged improper joinder
of Chris Dantin, Inc. (“CDI”) and Chris Dantin
(“Dantin”); or (2) an Amended Complaint deleting
all claims against CDI and Dantin.
case will be allowed to proceed if jurisdiction is adequately
 With respect to the amount in
controversy, Guardian asserts that Plaintiff alleges
entitlement to $1, 000, 000 in insurance benefits. R. Doc. 1,
 R. Doc. 1, ¶ 17.
 R. Doc. 1, ¶ 18.
 R. Doc. 1, ¶ 19.
 R. Doc. 1, ¶¶ 16,