United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
ANGELA D’ALESSANDRO and ROCKY D’ALESSANDRO, an Individual Plaintiffs,
CINTAS CORPORATION NO. 2, Defendant.
POLSTER CHAPPELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant Cintas Corporation No. 2’s
Notice of Removal. (Doc. 1). Plaintiffs Angela and Rocky
D’Alessandro sue Cintas for an alleged trip and fall
over a rug at the entrance of a Big Lots store located in
Fort Myers, Florida. (Doc. 1 at 7-8). The
D’Alessandro’s also sue Cintas for loss of
consortium. (Doc. 1 at 9). The case was originally filed in
Illinois state court. Cintas then removed to the District
Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Finally, the
case was transferred to this Court, which now reviews the
Notice of Removal. (Doc. 1).
permits a defendant to move a case from state court to a
federal district court when the federal court has original
subject matter jurisdiction over the suit. 28 U.S.C. §
1441(a). “A removing defendant bears the burden of
proving proper federal jurisdiction.” Leonard v.
Enter. Rent a Car, 279 F.3d 967, 972 (11th Cir. 2002).
“Because removal jurisdiction raises significant
federalism concerns, federal courts are directed to construe
removal statutes strictly” and resolve “all
doubts about jurisdiction . . . in favor of remand to state
court.” Univ. of S. Ala. v. Am. Tobacco Co.,
168 F.3d 405, 411 (11th Cir. 1999) (citations omitted).
Diversity is one type of original jurisdiction. And a federal
court has diversity jurisdiction if the amount in controversy
exceeds $75, 000 and the parties are citizens of different
states. Morrison v. Allstate Indem. Co., 228 F.3d
1255, 1261 (11th Cir. 2000). Here, the amount in controversy
requirement is problematic because Cintas has not met its
burden to demonstrate the amount in controversy exceeds $75,
the jurisdictional amount is not facially apparent from the
complaint, the court should look to the notice of removal and
may require evidence relevant to the amount in controversy at
the time the case was removed.” Williams v. Best
Buy Co., 269 F.3d 1316, 1319 (11th Cir. 2001). But
neither the Complaint nor Notice of Removal pleads an amount
in controversy. The Complaint’s only attempt to plead
an amount in controversy is a statement by counsel that
“the damages sought to this action do exceed $50,
000.” (Doc. 1 at 9). Even accepting this allegation as
true, it is below the threshold amount in controversy.
See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009).
Notice of Removal similarly falls flat. Cintas merely alleges
that the “claimed amount in controversy is in excess of
$75, 000.” (Doc. 1 at 2). But such a conclusory
statement is insufficient. “[W]here a claim is made for
indeterminate damages . . . the party seeking to invoke
federal jurisdiction bears the burden of proving by a
preponderance of the evidence that the claim on which it is
basing jurisdiction meets the jurisdictional minimum.”
King v. Epstein, 167 Fed.Appx. 121, 123 (11th Cir.
2006) (citation omitted). “A conclusory allegation that
the jurisdictional amount is satisfied, without setting forth
the underlying facts supporting such an assertion, is
insufficient to meet the plaintiff's burden.”
Bradley v. Kelly Servs., 224 Fed.Appx. 893, 895
(11th Cir. 2007) (alterations accepted and citation omitted);
see also Federated Mut. Ins. v. McKinnon Motors,
LLC, 329 F.3d 805, 809 (11th Cir. 2003) (noting that a
party’s mere speculation that the amount in controversy
met the jurisdictional threshold did not satisfy its burden
of proving by a preponderance of the evidence the claim at
issue exceeded $75, 000). Without a sufficiently pleaded
amount in controversy, the Court is left to guess whether it
has jurisdiction over this suit.
it is now
Defendant must SHOW CAUSE on or before
October 7, 2019, as to why this case should
not be remanded for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Failure to comply with this Order will result in this
matter being remanded without further notice.
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