United States District Court, S.D. Florida
N. Scola, Jr. United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Defendant's
partial motion to dismiss the Plaintiff's
complaint (ECF No. 3) and the Plaintiff's motion to
remand this case to state court (ECF No. 8.) The motions are
fully briefed and ripe for the court's review. Upon
review of the record, the parties' briefs, and the
relevant legal authorities, the Court denies
the Plaintiff's motion to remand (ECF No.
8) and grants in part and denies in
part the Defendant's motion to dismiss. (ECF No.
Lilia Perez filed a nine-count complaint in state court
against Defendant Scottsdale Insurance Company for property
damage following a plumbing leak that occurred on October 2,
2017. (ECF No. 3 at ¶ 1.) On July 3, 2019, the Defendant
filed its notice of removal. (ECF No. 1.)
10, 2019, the Defendant filed a motion to dismiss. (ECF No.
3) On August 8, 2019, the Plaintiff filed a motion to remand.
(ECF No. 8.) Both motions are now before this Court.
considering a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), the Court must accept all of the
complaint's allegations as true, construing them in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff. Pielage v.
McConnell, 516 F.3d 1282, 1284 (11th Cir. 2008). A
pleading need only contain “a short and plain statement
of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “[T]he pleading
standard Rule 8 announces does not require detailed factual
allegations, but it demands more than an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(quotation omitted). A plaintiff must articulate
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “The
plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability
requirement,' but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
Id. “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do
not suffice.” Id. Thus, a pleading that offers
mere “labels and conclusions” or “a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action” will not survive dismissal. See
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. “Rule 8 marks a notable
and generous departure from the hyper-technical,
code-pleading regime of a prior era, but it does not unlock
the doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing
more than conclusions.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
Motion to Remand
Court must first consider the Plaintiff's motion to
remand to state court (ECF No. 8) to ensure that it has
jurisdiction over this case. The Plaintiff argues that this
case should be remanded because the Defendant is unable to
show that the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000 to meet
the court's jurisdictional requirements. In response, the
Defendant argues that it has sufficiently alleged damages in
the amount of $68, 401.32 and $32, 500 in attorneys'
fees. (ECF No. 14.) Upon careful review, the Court agrees
with the Defendant.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Federated Mut.
Ins. Co. v. McKinnon Motors, LLC, 239 F.3d 805, 807
(11th Cir. 2003). A civil action may be removed from state
court to federal district court if the action is within the
“original jurisdiction” of the federal court. 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a). Original jurisdiction exists when a
civil action raises a federal question, or where the action
is between citizens of different states and the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000. See 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331, 1332. Scottsdale removed this action based
upon diversity jurisdiction and therefore has the burden to
prove by a preponderance of the evidence that federal
jurisdiction exists. Pretka v. Kolter City Plaza II,
Inc., 608 F.3d 744, 751 (11th Cir. 2010) (citing
Vega v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., 564 F.3d 1256, 1268 n.12
(11th Cir. 2009)).
Plaintiff did not claim a specific amount of damages in her
complaint and simply alleges that damages exceed $15, 000. As
a result, Scottsdale must prove by a preponderance of the
evidence that the amount in controversy exceeds the
jurisdictional requirement of $75, 000. See Pretka,
608 F.3d at 751.
Amount in Controversy
submitted a $68, 401.32 estimate of damages to meet the
amount in controversy. (DE 1-3.) The estimate of damages was
issued by the Plaintiff's public adjuster as a
“supplemental request for damages” on November
12, 2018. (Id.) The Plaintiff argues that the
Defendant cannot ...