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Ballard v. Best Buy Stores, L.P.

United States District Court, District of Nevada

January 27, 2015

PAIGE BALLARD, Plaintiffs(S),
v.
BEST BUY STORES, L.P., et al., Defendants(S).

ORDER

Presently before the court is plaintiff Paige Ballard’s (hereinafter “plaintiff”) motion to remand. (Doc. # 4). Defendant Best Buy Stores, L.P. (hereinafter “defendant”) filed a response, (doc. # 8), and plaintiff filed a reply, (doc. # 9).

I. Background

This is a personal injury case. Defendant is a Virginia limited partnership with its principal place of business in Minnesota. (Doc. # 7). Plaintiff is a resident of Clark County, Nevada. (Doc. # 7). Plaintiff tripped and fell over a frayed section of carpet at defendant’s store. (Doc. # 7-2). She incurred multiple injuries including a torn rotator cuff on her left shoulder. (Doc. # 7-2).

On September 30, 2014, plaintiff filed a complaint in Nevada state court asserting causes of action for negligence and negligence per se. (Doc. # 7-2). She requested general damages in excess of $10, 000.00; medical and incidental expenses; past and future lost earnings and earning capacity; loss of past and future household services; attorney’s fees and costs; and other appropriate relief. (Doc. # 1-2). Defendant was served with the complaint on October 10, 2014. (Doc. # 1). On October 31, 2014, defendant filed its answer. (Doc. # 4-2).

On or about November 20, 2014, plaintiff filed a petition for exemption from the Nevada mandatory arbitration program. (Doc. # 7-2). At that time, she reported her total medical expenses to be $48, 764.00. (Doc. # 7-2). She also claimed damages for lost income and loss of past and future household services. (Doc. # 7-2). Accordingly, plaintiff stated that the case involves an amount in excess of $50, 000.00. (Doc. # 7-2).

On December 9, 2014, defendant removed the case to this court. (Doc. # 1). On December 11, 2014, plaintiff filed the instant motion to remand the action to state court. (Doc. # 4).

II. Legal Standard

For a district court to have diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, the parties must be completely diverse and the amount in controversy must exceed $75, 000.00. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a); Matheson v. Progressive Specialty Ins. Co., 319 F.3d 1098 (9th Cir. 2003).

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 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).

Removal of a case to a United States district court may be challenged by motion. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(c). A federal court must remand a matter if there is a lack of jurisdiction. Id. Removal statutes are construed restrictively and in favor of remanding a case to state court. See Shamrock Oil & Gas Corp. v. Sheets, 313 U.S. 100, 108-09 (1941); Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992).

A defendant removing a case to federal court has the burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the jurisdictional amount is met. See Sanchez v. Monumental Life Ins. Co., 102 F.3d 398, 403-04 (9th Cir. 1996). On a motion to remand, the removing defendant faces a strong presumption against removal, and bears the burden of establishing that removal is proper. Gaus, 980 F.2d at 566-67; Sanchez v. Monumental Life Ins. Co., 102 F.3d 398, 403-04 (9th Cir. 1996).

A defendant wishing to remove an action must generally file a notice of removal within thirty days of receipt of the initial pleading or service of summons. 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(2)(B). However, “a notice of removal may be filed within thirty days after receipt by the defendant, through service or otherwise, of a copy of an amended pleading, motion, order or other paper from which it may be first ascertained that the case is one which is or has become removable.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(3).

III. Discussion

Plaintiff makes two arguments in support of remand. The court will ...


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