United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
ELITE ROOFING AND RESTORATION LLC, a/a/o Mike Schuchman and Myron Schuchman Plaintiff,
METROPOLITAN CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER 
POLSTER CHAPPEEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant Metropolitan Casualty Insurance
Company's Motion to Dismiss Petition (Doc. 24). Plaintiff
Elite Roofing and Restoration LLC has not responded, and the
time to do so has expired.
Roofing filed this declaratory judgment action to determine
whether an insurance policy covers certain property damage
caused by Hurricane Irma. (Doc. 5). Metropolitan issued the
policy to Mike and Myron Schuchman. The Schuchmans filed a
claim for the damage with Metropolitan, then assigned it to
Elite Roofing. Metropolitan denied coverage, Elite Roofing
sued in state court to determine its rights under the policy,
and Metropolitan removed the case. (Doc. 1). As a result,
this Court must apply Florida substantive law and federal
procedural law. See Erie R.R. Co. v.
Thompkins, 304 U.S. 64 (1938). Yet in its Motion,
Metropolitan relies on the Florida procedural laws it
eschewed by removing the case.
first argues the Complaint should be dismissed because it
does not satisfy the requirements of Florida's
declaratory judgment statutes. (Doc. 24 at 2-5). But federal
courts must apply the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C.
§ 2201 et seq. Manuel v. Convergys
Corp., 430 F.3d 1132, 1138 (11th Cir. 2005). And cases
that actionable under the Declaratory Judgment Act need not
be authorized by the procedures of the forum state.
Allstate Ins. Co. v. Prasad, 991 F.2d 669, 671 (11th
Cir. 1993). Metropolitan thus foreclosed its state law
argument when it removed this case to federal court, and it
does not assert that the Complaint is deficient under federal
law. What is more, Metropolitan complains that if the Court
allows Elite Roofing to go forward with its declaratory
judgment claim, Metropolitan will be unable to benefit from
Florida's offer of judgment procedure, codified at Fla.
Stat. § 768.79. (Doc. 24 at 5-6). Of course,
Metropolitan itself took that option off the table by
removing the case to federal court.
next argues that Elite Roofing lacks standing to sue because
Mike Schuchman does not own the insured property. (Doc. 24 at
6-7). In support, Metropolitan attached a warranty deed and a
Lee County Property Appraiser listing and requests that the
Court take judicial notice of these documents under Fla.
Stat. § 90.202, a state procedural statute not
applicable here. The Court declines to consider the
Metropolitan's exhibits now. Anyhow, Elite Roofing's
standing is based on an assignment of policy benefits made by
Mike and Myron Schuchman. The Complaint alleges that both
Schuchmans were insured by Metropolitan, and the Court must
accept this allegation as true in deciding the Motion.
See Chandler v. Sec'y Fla. Dep't of
Transp., 695 F.3d 1194, 1198-99 (11th Cir. 2012).
Metropolitan has offered no evidence that Mike Schuchman was
not a named insured in the policy. Its attack on Elite
Roofing's standing thus fails.
Metropolitan argues that the case should be dismissed because
Elite Roofing did not comply with a Florida procedural rule
that would require it to attach a copy of the policy to the
Complaint. (Doc. 24 at 7-8). But Metropolitan is foiled once
again by its removal to federal court, where exhibits to a
complaint are permissive, not mandatory. See
Centennial Bank v. Bakerfield Custom Homes Corp.,
No. 8:17-cv-1721-T-27JSS, 2018 WL 461098, at *2 (M.D. Fla.
Jan. 16, 2018).
it is now
Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company's Motion to
Dismiss Petition (Doc. 24) is DENIED.
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site does not affect the opinion of the Court.
 When an attorney files a motion in
federal court, she certifies that it has a legal basis.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(b); see alsoPierce v.
Commercial Warehouse, 142 F.R.D. 687, 690 (M.D. Fla.
1992) (“A court has the right to expect that counsel
will state the controlling law fairly and fully.”). The
Court admonishes counsel for Metropolitan to note the