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Love v. Chester's Diesel, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division

April 5, 2017

POLLY LOVE and TIMOTHY LOVE PLAINTIFFS
v.
CHESTER'S DIESEL, LLC DEFENDANT

          ORDER DENYING REMAND

          DEBRA M. BROWN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This motor vehicle collision action is before the Court on the motion to remand filed by Polly Love and Timothy Love. Doc. #7. Because the Court has jurisdiction over this case, the motion to remand will be denied.

         I

         Procedural History

         On July 12, 2016, Polly Love and Timothy Love filed a complaint against Chester's Diesel, LLC (“Chester's”), in the Circuit Court of Bolivar County, Mississippi. Doc. #2. In their complaint, the Loves allege that on September 1, 2015, their vehicle was struck by a truck owned and operated by Chester's. Id. at ¶ 6. The Loves further allege that Polly “suffered significant bodily injuries in the collision” and that “[t]he injuries to Polly Love negatively affected the party's normal conjugal relationship as well as the household services that Polly Love provided to Timothy Love prior to the collision.” Id. at ¶¶ 15-16. The complaint seeks damages “in the amount of $74, 500.00 as actual and compensatory damages, plus all legal costs.” Id. at 4. Chester's was served with a copy of the summons and complaint on or about July 26, 2016. Doc. #1-4.

         On August 25, 2016, Chester's removed the state court action to this Court based on diversity jurisdiction. Doc. #1. On September 27, 2016, the Loves filed a motion to remand this case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Doc. #7. Chester's responded to the motion on October 14, 2016. Doc. #9. The Loves did not file a reply in support of their motion to remand.

         II

         Standard of Review

         “Under the federal removal statute, a civil action may be removed from a state court to a federal court on the basis of diversity. This is so because the federal court has original subject matter jurisdiction over such cases.” Int'l Energy Ventures Mgmt., L.L.C. v. United Energy Grp., Ltd., 818 F.3d 193, 199 (5th Cir. 2016). “The party seeking to remove bears the burden of showing that federal jurisdiction exists and that removal was proper. Any ambiguities are construed against removal and in favor of remand to state court.” Scarlott v. Nissan N. Am., Inc., 771 F.3d 883, 887 (5th Cir. 2014) (internal citations omitted). In this regard, “[i]f at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).

         III

         Analysis

         In its notice of removal, Chester's argues that this action implicates the Court's diversity jurisdiction. Diversity jurisdiction requires that there be (1) complete diversity between the parties; and (2) an amount in controversy in excess of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs. 28 U.S.C. § 1332; Caterpillar Inc. v. Lewis, 519 U.S. 61, 68 (1996).

         A. Complete Diversity

         Complete diversity “requires that all persons on one side of the controversy be citizens of different states than all persons on the other side.” Valliancourt v. PNC Bank, Nat'l Ass'n, 771 F.3d 843, 847 (5th Cir. 2014). Here, the Loves are citizens of Mississippi. Doc. #2 at ¶¶ 2. Chester's is “a single-member limited liability company with its principal place of business in Eudora, Arkansas, whose sole member, Chester Hensley is ... a citizen of Eudora, Arkansas.” Doc. #1 at ¶ 17. Under these circumstances, the Court concludes that complete diversity exists. See Tewari De-Ox Sys., ...


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