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Serwe v. U.S. Secuirty Associates, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 25, 2019

MICHAEL SERWE, Plaintiff,
v.
U.S. SECURITY ASSOCIATES, INC., et al. Defendants.

          ORDER

          GLORIA M. NAVARRO, CHIEF JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff Michael Serwe's (“Plaintiff”) Motion to Remand, (ECF No. 7). Defendant U.S. Security Associates, Inc. (“U.S. Security”), filed a Response, (ECF No. 10), and Plaintiff filed a Reply, (ECF No. 12). For the reasons stated herein, Plaintiff's Motion to Remand is DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case arises from a motor vehicle collision between Plaintiff and a U.S. Security employee, Defendant Tia Cooks (“Cooks”)[1] on March 25, 2017. (First Am. Compl. (“FAC”) ¶¶ 11, 15, ECF No. 21). On or about September 20, 2017, Plaintiff submitted a settlement demand letter to U.S. Security, explaining that as a result of the collision he had “sustained serious bodily injuries for which he required medical treatment.” (Settlement Demand at 8, Ex. 1 to Mot. to Remand, ECF No. 7). Plaintiff's settlement demand included special damages totaling more than $265, 000. (Mot. to Remand 2:4-9, ECF No. 7).

         On January 17, 2018, Plaintiff filed his Complaint in the Eighth Judicial District Court for Clark County, Nevada. (Compl. 6:14, ECF No. 1-2). U.S. Security was served on February 27, 2018. (Mot. to Remand 2:13-15). In his Complaint, Plaintiff asserted a negligence claim against U.S. Security and its unidentified employee, John Doe Driver. (See generally Compl.). On April 27, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Request for Exemption from state court arbitration, detailing special damages in excess of $265, 000. (Pet. for Removal ¶ 3, ECF No. 1).

         On May 15, 2018, U.S. Security filed its Petition for Removal, asserting that this Court has diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (Id. ¶ 1). Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Remand. After the Motion had been fully briefed, Plaintiff was granted leave to amend the Complaint, replacing John Doe Driver with Cooks. (Order 1:18, ECF No. 20); (FAC ¶ 3).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, possessing only those powers granted by the Constitution and by statute. See United States v. Marks, 530 F.3d 799, 810 (9th Cir. 2008) (citation omitted). For this reason, “[i]f at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).

         If a plaintiff files a civil action in state court, a defendant may remove that action to a federal district court if the district court has original jurisdiction over the matter. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). District courts have jurisdiction in two instances. First, district courts have subject matter jurisdiction over civil actions that arise under federal law. 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Second, district courts have subject matter jurisdiction over civil actions where the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000 and complete diversity of citizenship exists. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Complete diversity of citizenship means that each plaintiff must be a citizen of a different state than each defendant. Morris v. Princess Cruises, Inc., 236 F.3d 1061, 1067 (9th Cir. 2001).

         Removal statutes are strictly construed against removal jurisdiction. Ritchey v. Upjohn Drug Co., 139 F.3d 1313, 1317 (9th Cir. 1998). “Federal jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance.” Gaus v. Miles, 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992) (quoting Libhart v. Santa Monica Dairy Co., 592 F.2d 1062, 1064 (9th Cir. 1979)). The removing defendant always has the burden of establishing that removal is proper. Id.

         III. DISCUSSION

         In the instant Motion, Plaintiff argues that remand is appropriate because U.S. Security's Petition for Removal was untimely filed and because complete diversity does not exist. (Mot. to Remand 4:10-17, ECF No. 7). The Court will address each argument in turn.

         1. Timeliness of Removal

         The notice of removal in a diversity case must be filed within 30 days after receipt of the initial pleading. 28 ...


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