United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND TO STATE
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Foley (“Plaintiff” or “Foley”) moves
to remand this case to the Superior Court of Connecticut,
Judicial District of New Haven. Pl. Mot., ECF No. 24.
Plaintiff indicates that all opposing parties consent to the
motion. Id. at 1.
reasons that follow, the motion is GRANTED.
a citizen of Florida and past resident of Connecticut,
alleges she fell while on the premises of a CVS pharmacy in
Guilford, Connecticut. Compl., ECF No. 1-1 Upon exiting the
store on the night of August 31, 2015, she alleges she
tripped and fell in the parking lot of the premises “as
the result of an absence of lighting and a slope connecting
the sidewalk to the adjacent parking lot thereby creating an
uneven surface.” Id.
originally filed this lawsuit in state court, alleging that
Connecticut CVS Pharmacy, LLC. (“CVS”) was
negligent in failing to maintain its facilities; allowing the
facilities to remain in an unsafe or dangerous condition and
failing to warn about potential hazards that existed on the
property. Id. She also alleged similar claims
against Third West Lodging Associates L.C. (“Third
West”) and Finast Acquisition LLC
(“Finast”), whom she alleges were responsible for
maintenance services, under a similar theory of negligence.
Id. Ms. Foley did not specify damages; she claimed
“monetary damages, ” as well as the “costs
and expenses of suit” and “such other relief as
in law or equity may appertain.” Id.
then removed the case to this Court under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1446 and 1332. See Notice of Removal,
ECF No. 1. CVS argued that the amount-in-controversy
requirement was met because “Though the amount of
medical expenses being claimed is not specified in the
Complaint, [Foley] claims that she will be forced to incur
‘significant medical expenses' going forward (in
addition to what is very likely to be significant medical
expenses for the aforementioned surgery).” Id.
all parties appeared and answered the Complaint, Foley moved
to remand to state court. Pl. Mot. to Remand, ECF No. 24. In
her motion, Foley stipulated that she would not seek more
than $75, 000 in damages for her claims against defendants.
See Id. at 2. She argued that, due to the
stipulation, “the amount in controversy does not exceed
$75, 000, such that the District Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction.” Id. at 1. She also indicated
that all defendants consented to the filing. Id. at
STANDARD OF REVIEW
courts have “original jurisdiction of all civil actions
where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of
$75, 000, exclusive of interests and costs, and is between .
. . citizens of different States.” 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1441, “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 . . . to the district court of the United
States for the district . . . embracing the place where such
action is pending.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a).
has the burden of demonstrating that removal of a case to
federal court is proper. California Pub. Employees'
Ret. Sys. v. WorldCom, Inc., 368 F.3d 86, 100 (2d Cir.
2004); Mehlenbacher v. Akzo Nobel Salt, Inc., 216
F.3d 291, 296 (2d Cir. 2000). The Court must “resolve
any doubts against removability, ” out of
“respect for the limited jurisdiction of the federal
courts and the rights of states.” In re Methyl
Tertiary Butyl Ether (“MTBE”) Prod. Liab.
Litig., 488 F.3d 112, 124 (2d Cir. 2007) (internal
quotation marks omitted).
issue is whether a plaintiff in a diversity case may secure a
post-removal remand to state court by stipulating that the
amount-in controversy is less than the diversity threshold of
$75, 000. Because Plaintiff now has stipulated that the
amount in controversy is not greater than $75, 000, exclusive
of interests and costs, she argues that the Court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction. Pl. Mot. at 2. The Court agrees.
existence of federal subject matter jurisdiction over an
action removed from state court to federal court is normally
to be determined as of the time of removal.”
Hallingby v. Hallingby, 574 F.3d 51, 56 (2d Cir.
2009). Typically, the amount in controversy is established by
the face of the complaint and the dollar-amount actually
claimed. Horton v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 367 U.S.
348, 353 (1961); Scherer v. Equitable Life Assurance
Society of U.S.,347 F.3d 394, 397 (2d Cir. 2003). The
Second Circuit “recognizes a rebuttable presumption
that the ...