United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ORDER DISMISSING CASE
L. ROSENBERG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE is before the Court on Defendants' motions
to dismiss at docket entries 64 and 65. Both motions have
been fully briefed. For the reasons set forth below,
Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint is dismissed as the
Court concludes that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over Plaintiff's claims.
Defendants in this case are alleged to have exercised control
over a country club: Boca West Country Club, Inc.
(“Boca West”). DE 62 at 1-3. Plaintiff, a Boca
West property owner, brought this case alleging, inter
alia, that Defendants mismanaged Boca West. Id.
Defendants are alleged to have mismanaged the Boca West
community by raising fees and dues in contravention of the
community by-laws, by improperly selling certain vacant land,
and by improperly collecting locker rental fees. Plaintiff
has brought this case on behalf of a proposed class of Boca
West property owners.
filed this case on May 5, 2017. After the Court entered an
order setting trial, Plaintiff soon thereafter amended his
complaint as a matter of right on May 25, 2017. Defendants
filed a motion to dismiss on June 22, 2017. On October 16,
2017, the Court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss,
placed Plaintiff on notice of the Court's concerns about
whether the Court had subject matter jurisdiction over
Plaintiff's claims, and permitted Plaintiff to file
another amended complaint. Plaintiff then filed his third
complaint, a second amended complaint, on November 2, 2017.
In response, Defendants filed two motions to dismiss. Both
motions are now before the Court.
THE COURT'S SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION OVER THE
plaintiff files suit in federal court, he must allege facts
that, if true, show federal subject matter jurisdiction over
his case exists. Travaglio v. Am. Exp. Co., 735 F.3d
1266, 1268 (11th Cir. 2013) (citing Taylor v.
Appleton, 30 F.3d 1365, 1367 (11th Cir. 1994)).
“If the court determines at any time that it lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the
action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3).
the parties are not diverse, Plaintiff asserts that this
Court has subject matter jurisdiction over his case under the
Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”). CAFA provides
that federal district courts have original jurisdiction over
class actions where (1) the amount in controversy exceeds $5,
000, 000 and (2) “any member of a class of plaintiffs
is a citizen of a State different from any defendant.”
28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2). CAFA did not alter the
traditional rule that the party seeking access to the federal
court bears the burden of persuasion regarding jurisdictional
issues. See Miedema v. Maytag Corp., 450 F.3d 1322,
1328 (11th Cir. 2006). Further, in assessing if the party
seeking access to the federal court has met its burden,
“the trial court is free to weigh the evidence and
satisfy itself as to the existence of its power to hear the
case[.] . . . [N]o presumptive truthfulness attaches to
plaintiff's allegations.” Lawrence v.
Dunbar, 919 F.2d 1525, 1529 (11th Cir. 1990).
Court's prior order dismissing Plaintiff's First
Amended Complaint, the Court put Plaintiff on notice of its
concerns about its subject matter jurisdiction over this
case. Specifically, the Court focused Plaintiff's
attention on the $5, 000, 000 amount-in-controversy
requirement under CAFA:
Plaintiff does not allege sufficient facts for this Court to
conclude that the amount in controversy exceeds $5, 000, 000.
Plaintiff makes two allegations regarding the amount in
controversy. First, he alleges that “Defendants'
mismanaging the sale of club property led to a loss of over
$17, 000, 000. . . . Because the Akoya units [at Boca West]
were not timely built, the Club lost $9, 000, 000 in yearly
dues- 120 units x $15, 000 annual dues x 5 years = $9, 000,
000. Further, the Club lost $8, 400, 000.00 in initiation
fees - 120 units x $70, 000 initiation fee = $8, 4000,
000.” DE 9 ¶ 3. Notably, Plaintiff does not
explain how he and the Class Members suffered any injury as a
result of Defendants' alleged actions. Rather, he states
that Boca West-one of the Defendants-lost $17, 000, 000. It
is unclear how this loss shows that the amount in controversy
exceeds $5, 000, 000.
Plaintiff also alleges that Class Members' properties
have decreased over $120, 000 per unit, for a total loss of
$500, 000, 000, as a result of Defendants' mismanagement.
DE 9 ¶¶ 4. Plaintiff, however, does not explain how
he calculated the loss of over $120, 000 per unit. Plaintiff
does not allege sufficient facts for the Court to plausibly
infer that the amount in controversy exceeds the
jurisdictional requirement of $5, 000, 000.
DE 57. Thus, the Court placed Plaintiff on notice of two
specific issues. First, that Plaintiff had not plausibly
alleged damages in excess of $5, 000, 000 as CAFA requires.
Id. at 4. Second, that Plaintiff had to present
evidence such that the Court was satisfied that it had
subject matter jurisdiction over this case. Id. at
has had three opportunities to file a complaint in this case
that properly alleges the Court has subject matter
jurisdiction. Plaintiff has also had eight months to marshal
evidence in support of his contention that this Court
possesses subject matter jurisdiction over his case under
CAFA. Upon review of Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint
and the evidence Plaintiff has placed into the court file,
the Court ...