United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND (DKT.
Fischer United States District Judge
Health Care Service Corporation and Illinois Tool Works Inc.
removed this case based on diversity jurisdiction under 28
U.S.C. § 1332. Plaintiff California Spine and
Neurosurgery Institute move to remand. The Court deems this
matter appropriate for decision without oral argument.
See Fed.R.Civ.P. 78; Local Rule 7-15. The hearing
set for July 22, 2019 is removed from the Court's
courts have diversity jurisdiction where the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000 and the action is between
parties who are citizens of different states. 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1332, 1441. “[F]ederal removal
jurisdiction on the basis of diversity . . . is determined
(and must exist) as of the time the complaint is filed and
removal is effected.” Strotek Corp. v. Air Transp.
Ass'n of Am., 300 F.3d 1129, 1131 (9th Cir. 2002).
Defendants have the burden of establishing that removal is
proper. Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th
Cir. 1992). The removal statute is strictly construed against
removal jurisdiction. Id. “Federal
jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the
right of removal in the first instance.” Id.
argue remand is improper because the amount in controversy
exceeds $75, 000. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). The
amount in controversy is determined by the complaint
operative at the time of removal. Chavez v. JPMorgan
Chase & Co., 888 F.3d 413, 414-15 (9th Cir. 2018).
it is not facially evident from the complaint that more than
$75, 000 is in controversy, the removing party must prove, by
a preponderance of the evidence, that . . . the
jurisdictional threshold [is met].” Matheson v.
Progressive Specialty Ins. Co., 319 F.3d 1089, 1090 (9th
Cir. 2003). However, when a complaint “alleges on its
face an amount in controversy sufficient to meet the federal
jurisdictional threshold, such requirement is presumptively
satisfied unless it appears to a ‘legal certainty'
that the plaintiff cannot actually recover that
amount.” Guglielmino v. McKee Foods Corp., 506
F.3d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 2007).
face of Plaintiff's original state-court complaint seeks
relief in excess of $75, 000. Specifically, Plaintiff seeks
at least $66, 611.85 in connection with its first, second,
third, fifth and seventh causes of action. See Dkt.
1-1, Complaint (Compl.), ¶¶ 32, 42, 49, 60, 76, 91.
Further, Plaintiff seeks $91, 500 in connection with its
ninth and tenth causes of action. Id. ¶¶
105-111, 114-115. Moreover, Plaintiff seeks attorneys'
fees, punitive damages, and up to an additional $74, 999 in
“other relief.” Id. ¶ 112; Prayer.
now claims the $91, 500 in damages was a typographical error,
but such a mistake does not overcome the presumption that the
amount-in-controversy requirement is met. See, e.g.,
Perez v. Hermetic Seal Corp., No. 16-05211-BRO, 2016
WL 5477990, at *2 (CD. Cal. Sept. 27, 2016). Nor does
Plaintiffs First Amended Complaint, which now limits the
total amount of relief sought to $66, 611.85, deprive the
Court of jurisdiction. See St. Paul Mercury Indem. Co. v.
Red Cab Co., 303 U.S. 283, 292 (1938) (“And though
. . . the plaintiff after removal, by stipulation, by
affidavit, or by amendment of his pleadings, reduces the
claim below the requisite amount, this does not deprive the
district court of jurisdiction.”); Chavez, 888
F.3d at 417.
next argue that Plaintiff has not shown to a legal certainty
that it will not recover in excess of $75, 000.
Attorneys' fees and punitive damages are included in the
amount in controversy for establishing diversity
jurisdiction. See Gibson v. Chrysler Corp., 261 F.3d
927, 945 (9th Cir. 2001) (“It is well established that
punitive damages are part of the amount in controversy in a
civil action.”). Plaintiff has not rebutted this
presumption, nor established that its request for (i)
attorneys' fees, (ii) punitive damages, and (iii)
“other relief will not exceed $8, 388.15, or $75, 000
in the aggregate.
Court has subject-matter jurisdiction. Plaintiffs motion ...