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Novak v. Saybrook Buick GMC, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

July 24, 2018

RICHARD NOVAK, Plaintiff,
v.
SAYBROOK BUICK GMC, INC., Defendant.

          RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND [DOC. 7]

          CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Richard Novak ("Plaintiff") filed this state-law wrongful termination action in the Superior Court of Connecticut against Defendant Saybrook Buick GMC ("Defendant"). Defendant removed the case to federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. Plaintiff has now moved to remand the matter to state court. This Ruling resolves the motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed the original state court complaint in May of 2018.[1] On June 6, 2018, Defendant removed the case to federal court, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441. See Doc. 1 at 6-8. Defendant asserts that, "[b]ecause complete diversity of citizenship exists and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000, this Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(a) and 1441(b)." Id. at 8.

         Plaintiff filed a Motion to Remand [Doc. 7], asserting that removal was improper under the so-called "forum defendant rule," 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b)(2), and seeking to have this case remanded to state court. Plaintiff's pending Motion further asks this Court for an award of attorney fees, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). The deadline for Defendant's opposition or other response to that motion has expired, and Defendant has filed no papers in response.

         Defendant now moves the Court for an "extension of time to plead," a motion apparently (and quixotically) directed at Defendant's response deadline as to Plaintiff's state court Complaint. See Doc. 13.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Propriety of Remand

         Diversity jurisdiction, the alleged basis for federal jurisdiction in this matter, exists "where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between [] citizens of different States." 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). For the purposes of §§ 1332 & 1441 (the removal statute), "a corporation shall be deemed to be a citizen of every State and foreign state by which it has been incorporated and of the State or foreign state where it has its principal place of business." 28 U.S.C.A. § 1332(c).

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a), a defendant in a civil action that has been brought in state court may instead choose to litigate in federal court, if the complaint is one over which the federal court has original jurisdiction. Defendant's Notice of Removal [Doc. 1], asserted, as sole basis of federal jurisdiction, diversity under the terms of § 1332:

Here, Novak is a Rhode Island resident and Saybrook Buick is a Connecticut corporation with a principle place of business in Connecticut. Therefore, complete diversity exists among the parties, both at the time the state court action was filed and at the time of removal to this Court.
Upon faith and belief, the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000 . . . .
Because complete diversity of citizenship exists and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000, this Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ...

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