United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER & REASONS
E. FALLON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Remand. R. Doc. 10.
The motion is opposed. R. Doc. 13. Having considered the
parties' arguments and the applicable law, the Court now
rules as follows.
case arises from the alleged breach of an employment
contract. R. Doc. 1-1. Plaintiff filed a brief petition in
state court, alleging that Plaintiff was employed by Sprint
United Management Company (erroneously named and sued as
Sprint Communications Company, L.P.) as a manager of the
company's retail store in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. R.
Doc. 1-1 ¶ 2, 4. Plaintiff alleges that under her
employment contract, “Defendant had a duty to provide
employment for [Plaintiff].” R. Doc. 1-1 ¶ 6.
Plaintiff contends Defendant breached this contract by
terminating her employment “without cause, notice, or
justification” in September 2017. R. Doc. 1-1 ¶ 7.
Plaintiff alleges she suffered damages, including loss of
income, loss of opportunity, and other costs, as a result. R.
Doc. 1-1 ¶ 8.
timely removed the matter to federal court on the basis of
diversity jurisdiction. R. Doc. 1. According to the Notice of
Removal, Plaintiff is a citizen of Louisiana and Defendant, a
corporation organized under Kansas law with its principal
place of business in Kansas, is a citizen of Kansas for
jurisdictional purposes. R. Doc. 1 ¶ 7, 8. Further,
Defendant explains that the amount in controversy exceeds
$75, 000 because Plaintiff seeks compensation for lost
income, among other damages. Defendant contends that
Plaintiff was earning $69, 368.98 per year at the time she
was terminated, so an award of back pay from the time of
termination to the filing of the instant lawsuit would alone
exceed the jurisdictional amount. R. Doc. 1 ¶ 14.
has filed a motion to remand. R. Doc. 10. In the motion,
Plaintiff purports to stipulate that the amount in
controversy does not exceed $74, 999.99, exclusive of
interest and costs. R. Doc. 10 ¶ IV. Plaintiff further
explains that she has filed for leave to amend her petition
in order to name Duana Jordan, a Louisiana citizen and the
District Manager of the retail store, as an additional,
non-diverse defendant, thereby “plead[ing] elements
demonstrating a lack of diversity jurisdiction by the federal
courts of the United States.” R. Doc. 10 ¶ IV. Her
motion to amend is currently pending in state court where the
matter is set for a hearing on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at
9:00 a.m. R. Doc. 10-3 at 3.
opposes the motion. R. Doc. 13. Defendant argues that
Plaintiff's post-removal efforts to destroy diversity
jurisdiction by stipulating to an amount in controversy below
$75, 000 and adding a non-diverse defendant are ineffective
because jurisdiction is determined at the time of removal. R.
Doc. 13 at 1. Defendant also argues that the state court
lacks jurisdiction to allow Plaintiff to amend her petition
and that even if Plaintiff could do so, diversity
jurisdiction would not be destroyed because joinder of the
non-diverse defendant would be fraudulent. R. Doc. 13 at 6.
LAW & ANALYSIS
Motion to Remand
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.”
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of America, 511
U.S. 375, 377 (1994). This Court “may not exercise that
jurisdiction absent a statutory basis.” Exxon Mobil
Corp. v. Allapattah Servs., Inc., 545 U.S. 546, 552
(2005). Because removal jurisdiction “raises
significant federalism concerns, ” Willy v. Coastal
Corp., 855 F.2d 1160, 1164 (5th Cir. 1988), it is
strictly construed and doubts regarding removal jurisdiction
should be resolved against federal jurisdiction, Acuna v.
Brown & Root, Inc., 200 F.3d 335, 339 (5th Cir.
courts have original jurisdiction over matters involving
state law claims when the parties are completely diverse and
when the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(a)(1). Complete diversity exists when no
plaintiff shares a state of citizenship with any defendant.
McLaughlin v. Mississippi Power Co., 376 F.3d 344,
353 (5th Cir. 2004). A case may be removed on the basis of
diversity jurisdiction if, when the case was originally, the
parties were diverse and the jurisdictional amount was