United States District Court, S.D. Florida
BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CAUSE is before the Court upon Plaintiffs Jaclyn
Caceres and Xavier Caceres's (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”) Motion to Remand, ECF No. 
(“Motion”). Defendant Scottsdale Insurance
Company (“Defendant”) filed its Response in
Opposition, ECF No.  (“Response”), to which
Plaintiffs replied, ECF No.  (“Reply”). The
Court has reviewed the Motion, all opposing and supporting
submissions and related exhibits, the record in this case,
and the applicable law, and is otherwise fully advised. For
the reasons that follow, the Motion is granted.
facts giving rise to the instant action are as follows. The
parties entered into an insurance contract, bearing Policy
Number DFS1139525, which was effective from September 11,
2016, to September 11, 2017 (“2017 Policy”). ECF
No. [1-3] ¶ 5; ECF No. [17-1] at 2, ¶ 6. On
September 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma struck South Florida and
damaged Plaintiffs' home. ECF No. [1-3] ¶ 7.
Plaintiffs notified Defendant of the loss pursuant to the
2017 Policy. Id. ¶¶ 5-7. Defendant
assigned Claim Number 01787768 to this loss. ECF No. [17-1]
at 2, ¶ 8. On November 10, 2017, Defendant issued
Plaintiffs a check in the amount of $10, 975.00, listing the
Claim Number 1787768. ECF No.  ¶ 7; ECF No. [17-3].
The 2017 Policy also carried a wind deductible in the amount
of $5, 853.68. ECF No.  ¶ 7.
parties later renewed their insurance contract under the same
Policy Number DFS1139525, which was effective from September
11, 2018, to September 11, 2019 (“2019 Policy”).
ECF No. [17-1] at 2, ¶ 7. In mid May 2019, under this
subsequent 2019 Policy, Plaintiffs reported a separate claim
for property damage due to heavy rain and roof collapse, to
which Defendant assigned the Claim Number 01893418.
Id. at 2, ¶ 10. On June 12, 2019, Defendant
issued Plaintiffs a check in the amount of $7, 975.04, for
Claim Number 01893418. Id. at 2, ¶ 11; ECF No.
to this action being filed, on June 22, 2019, Plaintiffs
presented Defendant with a repair estimate in the amount of
$91, 862.51. ECF No.  ¶ 8; ECF No. [1-2]; ECF No.
[12-4]. This estimate listed September 10, 2017, as the date
of loss, but listed the Claim Number 01893418. ECF No.
[12-2]. The repair estimate covered the estimated damages for
both the claim under Claim Number 01787768 and Claim Number
01893418. See ECF No. [17-1] at 5-6; ECF No. [17-2];
ECF No. [17-4]; ECF No.  at 5; ECF No. [18-6]
September 5, 2019, Plaintiff commenced this action by filing
a Complaint in the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial
Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida. ECF No. [1-1].
Defendant was served with process on September 19, 2019. ECF
No.  ¶ 3. Plaintiffs' Complaint generally alleges
that they are seeking damages in excess of $15, 000.00. ECF
No. [1-3] ¶ 1. On October 9, 2019, Defendant removed the
state court action to federal court, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332. ECF No.  (“Notice”). Defendant
indicated that the parties to this action are completely
diverse and the amount in controversy in this case is $75,
033.83, based on the $91, 862.51 repair estimate minus the
$10, 975.00 check paid and the $5, 853.68 wind deductible.
now file the instant Motion seeking to remand this action
back to the Circuit Court, arguing a lack of diversity
jurisdiction, although the parties are citizens of different
states, because the amount in controversy does not exceed
$75, 000.00. See generally ECF No. .
Specifically, Plaintiffs argue that this Court lacks
diversity jurisdiction because (1) Defendant cannot use a
pre-suit damage estimate as a basis for establishing the
amount in controversy, and (2) even using the pre-suit damage
estimate, Defendant failed to account for the second check
paid to Plaintiffs, which would decrease the amount in
controversy from $75, 033.83 to $67, 058.79. See
generally Id. Plaintiffs also request an award of
attorney's fees incurred as a result of the allegedly
improper removal. Id. at 11-12.
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) vests a district court with subject
matter jurisdiction when the parties are diverse and the
amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000.00. Id. A
party may remove the action from state court to federal court
if the action is within the federal court's subject
matter jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a).
removing defendant bears the burden of proving proper federal
jurisdiction.” Coffey v. Nationstar Mortg.,
LLC, 994 F.Supp.2d 1281, 1283 (S.D. Fla. 2014).
“Where, as here, the plaintiff has not pled a specific
amount of damages, the removing defendant must prove by a
preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy
exceeds the jurisdiction requirement.”
Pretka v. Kolter City Plaza II, Inc., 608 F.3d 744,
752 (11th Cir. 2010); see also 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a). Further, in determining whether a subject matter
jurisdiction exists, the Court must focus on the amount in
controversy at the time of removal, not at any later
point. Pretka, 608 F.3d at 751 (citations omitted);
E.S.Y., Inc. v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 217 F.Supp.3d
1356, 1360 (S.D. Fla. 2015).
determine whether this standard is met, a court first
examines whether ‘it is facially apparent from the
complaint that the amount in controversy exceeds the
jurisdictional requirement.'” Miedema v. Maytag
Corp., 450 F.3d 1322, 1330 (11th Cir. 2006) (quoting
Williams v. Best Buy Co., Inc., 269 F.3d 1316, 1319
(11th Cir. 2001)), abrogated on other grounds by Dudley
v. Eli Lilly & Co., 778 F.3d 909 (11th Cir. 2014).
“If 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.”
Id. (quoting Williams, 269 F.3d at 1319).
is a matter of federal right, ” but on a motion to
remand, “‘ambiguities are generally construed
against removal.'” Butler v. Polk, 592
F.2d 1293, 1296 (5th Cir. 1979); see also Shamrock Oil
& Gas Corp. v. Sheets, 313 U.S. 100, 108-09 (1941).
Nonetheless, “a removing defendant is not required to
prove the amount in controversy beyond all doubt or to banish
all uncertainty about it.” Pretka, 608 F.3d at
754 (citations omitted). “Where, as in this case, the
complaint alleges an unspecified amount of damages,
‘the district court is not bound by the plaintiff's
representations regarding its claim,' and may review the
record for evidence relevant to the amount in
controversy.” DO Rests., Inc. v. Aspen Specialty
Ins. Co., 984 F.Supp.2d 1342, 1344 (S.D. Fla. 2013)
(citing Roe v. Michelin N. Am., Inc., 613 F.3d 1058,
1061 (11th Cir. 2010)). Moreover, “defendants may
submit a wide range of evidence in order to satisfy the
jurisdictional requirements of removal, ” including
“affidavits, declarations, or other
documentation.” Pretka, 608 F.3d at 755. The
Court may also use its judicial experience and make
reasonable inferences and deductions to determine the amount
in controversy. See Roe, 613 F.3d at 1061-62;
Pretka, 608 F.3d at 754 (discussing the difference
between reasonable deductions and inferences with
“conjecture, speculation, or star gazing”);
E.S.Y., Inc., 217 F.Supp.3d at 1360.