United States District Court, D. Nevada
MIRANDA M. DU UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Alan Prentiss initiated this lawsuit in state court against
Defendants Thor Motor Coach Inc. (“TMC”),
“Camping World, Inc.” (properly “CWI,
Inc.” and hereinafter “CWI”) and Wheeler RV
Las Vegas, LLC (“Wheeler”) concerning the
purchase of a motor home that has fallen short of
Plaintiff's expectations. (ECF No. 1 at 6-12; ECF No.
57-1 (corrected image).) Defendants removed the case based on
federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
(ECF No. 1.). Inter alia before the Court is
Plaintiff's motion to remand (“Motion”) (ECF
No. 10). For the reasons stated below, the Court will grant
facts are taken from the original complaint (ECF No. 57-1).
action arises from Plaintiff's purchase of a new 2017
Thor Hurricane (“Motor Home”) from CWI, by and
through its franchisee, Wheeler for $154, 662.02. The Motor
Home was manufactured, warranted and supplied by TMC. /// In
connection with Plaintiff's purchase of the Motor Home
TMC issued and supplied Plaintiff a written warranty, which
includes 12 months or 15, 000 miles unlimited mileage
coverage and 24 months or 24, 000 miles structural coverage.
Shortly after Plaintiff took possession of the Motor Home, he
witnessed defects and conditions necessitating substantial
repairs. However, the repairs were either faulty and or
incomplete, and ultimately put the Motor Home out of service
for an extended period of time “and counting.”
(Id. at 4.) Plaintiff made a demand for compensation
and revocation of acceptance. Plaintiff filed the lawsuit
because efforts to reach settlement were futile.
Plaintiff's state court complaint alleged two claims for
relief: violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 15
U.S.C. §§ 2301-2310 (“the Act”)-a
federal statute-and revocation of acceptance under NRS §
104.2608. (ECF No. 57-1.)
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having
subject-matter jurisdiction only over matters authorized by
the Constitution and Congress. U.S. Const. art. III, §
2, cl. 1; see also, e.g., Kokkonen v. Guardian
Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). A suit
filed in state court may be removed to federal court if the
federal court would have had original jurisdiction over the
suit. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). However, courts strictly
construe the removal statute against removal jurisdiction,
and “[f]ederal jurisdiction must be rejected
if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first
instance.” Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564,
566 (9th Cir. 1992) (emphasis added). Whether federal
question jurisdiction exists is based on the claims asserted
on the “face” of the complaint at the time of
removal. See, e.g., Caterpillar Inc. v.
Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987) (explaining the
“well-pleaded complaint rule.”).The Court has
federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 as
to “only those cases in which a well-pleaded complaint
establishes either that  the federal law creates the cause
of action or that  the plaintiff's right to relief
necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question
of federal law.” Potter v. Hughes, 546 F.3d
1051, 1064 (9th Cir. 2008) (alteration in original) (quoting
Franchise Tax Bd. v. Constr. Laborers Vacation Tr.,
463 U.S. 1, 27-28 (1983)).
party seeking removal bears the burden of establishing
federal jurisdiction by a preponderance of the evidence
standard. Durham v. Lockheed Martin Corp., 445 F.3d
1247, 1252 (9th Cir. 2006). A removing defendant must
“provide evidence establishing that it is ‘more
likely than not' that the amount in controversy
exceeds” the jurisdictional minimum. See Valdez v.
Allstate Ins. Co., 372 F.3d 1115, 1117 (9th Cir. 2004)
(citations omitted). As to the kind of evidence that may be
considered, the Ninth Circuit has adopted the “practice
of considering facts presented in the removal petition as
well as any ‘summary-judgment-type evidence relevant to
the amount in controversy at the time of removal.'”
Matheson v. Progressive Specialty Ins. Co., 319 F.3d
1089, 1090 (9th Cir. 2003) (quoting Singer v. State Farm
Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 116 F.3d 373, 377 (9th Cir. 1997)).
Conclusory allegations are insufficient. See Id. at
1090-91 (citation omitted).
removed the action based on Plaintiff's assertion of a
claim under the Act, and alleging Plaintiff seeks damages in
excess of $50, 000 (ECF Nos. 1, 1-1, 1-2 (TMC consenting to
removal)). The Court rejects jurisdiction here, finding
Defendants fail to demonstrate that the latter was true at
the time of removal.
creates a private right of action for failure to comply with
the terms of a written warranty. See, e.g.,
Millicevic v. Fletcher Jones Imports, Ltd., 402 F.3d
912, 917- 19 (9th Cir. 2005). Such is the gist of the claim
Plaintiff asserted in his original state court complaint as
count 1 (see ECF No. 1-1 at 11 (“Count
I-Breach of Written Warranty Pursuant to the Magnuson-Moss
Warranty Act”)). However, a claim may only be brought
in federal court under the Act where there is an amount in
controversy, “computed on the basis of all claims to be
determine in [the] suit[, ]” of at least $50, 000. 15
U.S.C. § 2310(d)(3); see also Kelly v. Fleetwood
Enters., Inc., 377 F.3d 1034, 1040 (9th Cir. 2004)
(recognizing the Act's $50, 000 jurisdictional
prerequisite); Baldwin v. Jarrett Bay Yacht Sales,
LLC, 683 F.Supp.2d 385, 392 (D. N.C. 2009)
(“Congress then expressly authorized state court
jurisdiction for actions ‘under a written warranty'
that failed to meet the $50, 000 federal jurisdictional
requirements of 15 U.S.C. § 2310(d)(3).”). In the
petition for removal, Defendants particularly contended that
“[a]ccording to Paragraphs 14 and the WHEREFORE
sections immediately following Paragraphs 38 and 45 of his
state court Complaint, plaintiff demands a refund of the
$154, 662.02 that he paid for the motorhome at issue, along
with other damages.” (ECF No. 1 at 1-2; see
also ECF No. 57-1 at 6, 8.) The Court disagrees.
removed complaint, Plaintiff only sought to recover the
diminution in value of the Motor Home, any equitable relief
the state court deemed appropriate, damages in excess of $15,
000 under each claim and other fees and costs. (ECF No. 57-1
at 6, 8.) Under the Act, the amount in controversy
requirement is exclusive of costs and interest. 15 U.S.C.
§ 2310(d)(3)(B). And, based on Plaintiff's artful
pleading, the state court complaint did not render it
plausible that there was an amount in controversy in excess
of $50, 000 (see ECF No. 57-1) at the time of
removal. See, e.g., Ezell's Fried
Chicken v. Stephens, 2011 WL 13228567, at * 1 (W.D.
Wash. Mar. 1, 2011) (explaining that as master of the case, a
plaintiff may defeat removal by only asserting state law
claims although she is able to maintain her claims on both
state and federal grounds); Matheson, 319 F.3d at
1090 (“Where doubt regarding the right to removal
exists, a case should be remanded to state court.”).
The Court will therefore remand this action.