United States District Court, C.D. California, Western Division
August 28, 2014
ENRIQUE MIGUEL, Plaintiff,
LOWE'S COMPANIES INC., and DOES 1 to 100, inclusive, Defendants. No. BC543335
CHARLES D. MAY, ESQ., GENE B. SHARAGA, ESQ., BRIAN J. KIM, ESQ., THARPE & HOWELL, LLP, Sherman Oaks, California, Attorneys for Defendant LOWE'S HOME CENTERS, LLC.
S. JAMES OTERO, District Judge.
On or about April 22, 2014, Plaintiff ENRIQUE MIGUEL ("Plaintiff") commenced the above-entitled civil action in the Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles by filing a Complaint therein entitled Enrique Miguel v. Lowe's Companies, Inc., and DOES 1 to 100, inclusive, Case No. BC543335. Plaintiff's complaint for negligence and premises liability arises from an alleged incident on September 13, 2012, at defendant's retail store in West Hills, California. On that date, plaintiff alleges that that he suffered injury when tripped and fell while he was shopping at Lowe's. Plaintiff contends that Defendant negligently and carelessly managed, maintained, replaced, repaired, kept, built, modified, designed, serviced, operated, controlled, manufactured, constructed, supplied, equipped, selected material for, assembled, installed, inspected and otherwise cared for its premises.
On April 22, 2014, Plaintiff filed his Statement of Damages contemporaneously with the filing of the Summons and Complaint. Plaintiff's Statement of Damages indicated that he sought more than $200, 000.00 in combined special and general compensatory damages. Based on this "other paper", Defendant determined that the amount in controversy exceeded the $75, 000.00 statutory minimum. Accordingly, Defendant removed the matter to federal court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§1332, 1441, and 1367.
The parties have now agreed and stipulate to limit any and all recovery of damages by plaintiff ENRIQUE MIGUEL in this matter at $75, 000 or less, as evidenced by the Stipulation Capping Plaintiff's Damages and Recovery at $75, 000, executed by both plaintiff ENRIQUE MIGUEL and his counsel, Julia Skler, Esq. Accordingly, the parties seek an order from this Court remanding the case to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. BC543335.
United States Code, Title 28, Section 1447(c), provides that "[i]f at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded. " (Emphasis added). In light of the parties' stipulation limiting any and all recovery by plaintiff ENRIQUE MIGUEL to $75, 000 or less, this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and must, therefore, remand the case to state court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). See Bruns v. NCUA 122 F.3d 1251, 1257 (9th Cir. 1997) ("Section 1447(c) is mandatory, not discretionary.")
Because the amount in controversy does not exceed $75, 000, this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction in the present case. Accordingly, the case is REMANDED to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. BC543335.