United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
SHARION AYCOCK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Remand  in
which she attached an affidavit, “attest[ing] that
regardless of any judgment obtained . . . total damages are
limited to and I will not seek to recover . . . any amount in
excess of $75, 000.00.” Because the Court does not have
jurisdiction over this case, the case is REMANDED.
and Procedural Background
21, 2016, Plaintiff Mary Lou Hanes filed an action in the
County Court of Washington County, Mississippi, alleging
claims of negligence, gross negligence, and intentional torts
pursuant to Mississippi state common and statutory law.
Complaint , Plaintiff requested damages in the amount of
“not less than $75, 000.00” for injuries
allegedly sustained when her sneaker was caught on a gum ball
machine causing her to fall and injure herself. Defendant
timely filed a Notice of Removal  based on federal
diversity jurisdiction. In response, Plaintiff filed a Motion
to Remand , asserting that federal diversity jurisdiction
is not satisfied in this matter because the
amount-in-controversy does not exceed $75, 000.00 as required
by 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). She attached her affidavit,
attesting that she no longer seeks damages over $75, 000.00.
Defendant did not object to the Plaintiff's Motion to
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Epps v.
Bexar-Medina-Atascosa Counties Water Improvement Dist. No.
1, 665 F.2d 594, 595 (5th Cir. 1982). The Judiciary Act
of 1789 provides that “any civil action brought in a
State court of which the district courts of the United States
have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant
or the defendants, to the district court of the United States
for the district and division embracing the place where such
action is pending.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Original
federal diversity jurisdiction exists “where the matter
in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000.00,
exclusive of interest and costs, and is between . . .
citizens of different States.” 28 U.S.C. §
removal of a case, the plaintiff may move for remand, and
“[if] it appears that the district court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction, the case shall be
remanded.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) (emphasis added).
Moreover, once a motion to remand has been filed, the
removing party bears the burden to establish that federal
jurisdiction exists. De Aguilar v. Boeing Co., 47
F.3d 1404, 1408 (5th Cir. 1995). Furthermore, the Fifth
Circuit has held that “[a]ny ambiguities are construed
against removal because the removal statute should be
strictly construed in favor of remand.” Manguno v.
Prudential Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 276 F.3d 720, 723
(5th Cir. 2002) (citing Acuna v. Brown & Root,
Inc., 200 F.3d 335, 339 (5th Cir. 2000)).
plaintiff's claim for damages normally remains
presumptively correct unless the removing defendant can show
by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in
controversy actually exceeds $75, 000. See Horton v.
Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 367 U.S. 348, 353, 81 S.Ct. 1570,
6 L.Ed.2d 890 (1961) (holding that the complaint establishes
the amount-in-controversy, unless it appears that “the
amount stated in the complaint is not claimed in good
faith”). Therefore, unless the removing party can meet
its burden, a plaintiff may normally avoid federal diversity
jurisdiction by pleading, in good faith, state court damages
below the minimum federal jurisdictional amount. Allen v.
R & H Oil & Gas Co., 63 F.3d 1326, 1335 (5th
in cases where a defendant establishes by a preponderance of
the evidence that the amount-in-controversy actually exceeds
the jurisdictional amount, the case becomes removable, unless
the plaintiff can then prove that it is legally certain that
he will not be able to recover such an amount. De
Aguilar, 47 F.3d at 1412. As such, the Fifth Circuit has
established that plaintiffs “who want to prevent
removal must file a binding stipulation or affidavit with
their complaints.” Id. Moreover, this Court
has previously held that “when a plaintiff fails to
admit or stipulate that he will not accept more than $75, 000
in damages, a federal court may deem that failure to be
sufficient proof that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,
000 and that the federal diversity jurisdictional amount is
therefore satisfied. Easley v. Lowe's Home Ctrs.,
Inc., 2007 WL 2127281, *2 (N.D. Miss. July 23, 2007);
Holmes v. Citifinancial Mortgage Co., 436 F.Supp.2d
829 (N.D. Miss. 2006); Fields v. Household Bank, 280
F.Supp.2d 530, 532 (N.D. Miss. 2003); Blount v.
Hardcastle, 2006 WL 278567 (N.D. Miss. Jan. 5, 2006).
undisputed that the first prong of federal diversity
jurisdiction, complete diversity, is satisfied, as Plaintiff
is a Mississippi citizen and Defendant is a foreign
corporation, incorporated in Virginia and with its principal
place of business in Virginia.
Plaintiff's original Complaint, Plaintiff demanded a
judgment against Defendant. She alleged damages not less than
$75, 000, but later stipulated by affidavit that she would
neither seek nor accept damages in excess of $75, 000, the
federal diversity jurisdictional minimum. While it is true
that “the jurisdictional facts that support removal
must be judged at the time of the removal, . . . post-removal
affidavits may be considered in determining the amount in
controversy at the time of removal . . . if the basis for
jurisdiction is ambiguous at the time of removal.”
Gebbia v. Wal-Mart Stores, 233 F.3d 880, 883 (5th
Cir. 2000); see also De Aguilar, 47 F.3d at 1412
(plaintiffs “who want to prevent removal must ...