United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
ORDER CONCERNING REMOVAL
CHARLES HAW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on review of the file following
removal. “Courts have an independent obligation to
determine whether subject-matter jurisdiction
exists[.]” Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 559 U.S. 77,
94 (2010). “Federal courts are courts of limited
jurisdiction. The requirement that jurisdiction be
established as a threshold matter springs from the nature and
limits of the judicial power of the United States and is
inflexible and without exception.” Kessler v.
National Enters., Inc., 347 F.3d 1076, 1081 (8th Cir.
2003) (quotation marks and quoted case omitted). Statutes
conferring diversity jurisdiction are to be strictly
construed, Sheehan v. Gustafson, 967 F.2d 1214, 1215
(8th Cir. 1992), as are removal statutes. Nichols v.
Harbor Venture, Inc., 284 F.3d 857, 861 (8th Cir. 2002).
initially filed suit in the Circuit Court of Crawford County,
State of Missouri. This case arises out of an alleged
vehicular accident resulting in personal injury to plaintiff.
Defendant removed the action to this Court pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §§ 1332(a), 1441(b) and 1446.
removal cases, the district court reviews the complaint or
petition pending at the time of removal to determine the
existence of subject matter jurisdiction. St. Paul
Mercury Indem. Co. v. Red Cab Co., 303 U.S. 283, 291
(1938). The district court may also look to the notice of
removal to determine its jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. §
1446(c)(2)(A)(ii); Ratermann v. Cellco P'ship,
2009 WL 1139232, at *3 (E.D. Mo. Apr. 28, 2009). The removing
defendant, as the party invoking jurisdiction, bears the
burden of proving that all prerequisites to jurisdiction are
satisfied. Central Iowa Power Co-op. v. Midwest Indep.
Transmission Sys. Operator, Inc., 561 F.3d 904, 912 (8th
Cir. 2009). “[A]ll doubts about federal jurisdiction
must be resolved in favor of remand[.]” Id.
case based upon this Court's diversity jurisdiction, in
addition to complete diversity of citizenship among the
parties, the amount in controversy must exceed $75, 000,
exclusive of interest and costs. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
Federal courts are to strictly construe the amount in
controversy requirement, as the purpose underlying it is to
limit the federal courts' diversity caseload. Snyder
v. Harris, 394 U.S. 332, 339 (1969).
respect to the amount in controversy, the prayer in
plaintiff's petition is for a “fair and reasonable
sum in excess of” $25, 000.00. This is in accordance
with Missouri pleading requirements which prohibit a
plaintiff claiming tort damages from pleading a monetary
amount of damages, except to determine the proper
jurisdictional authority. See Mo. R. Civ. P. 55.05;
Mo. Rev. Stat. § 517.011.1(1) (2000). Plaintiff alleges
that the vehicular collision caused him “to be thrown
about and suffer injuries to his head, neck, shoulders, upper
and lower spine, ribs and body generally and as a result
thereof, plaintiff has been caused to incur expenses for his
medical care and treatment for said injuries and will in the
future incur additional expenses for same.” Petition at
its burden with regard to the jurisdictional amount, the
removing party must prove by a preponderance of the evidence
that the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1446(c)(2)(B); Bell v. Hershey Co., 557 F.3d
953, 956 (8th Cir. 2009). “The preponderance of the
evidence standard requires a defendant to demonstrate by
sufficient proof that a plaintiff's verdict reasonably
may exceed the jurisdictional amount.” City of
University City, Mo. v. AT & T Wireless Servs.,
Inc., 229 F.Supp.2d 927, 932 (E.D. Mo. 2002) (internal
quotation marks and quoted case omitted). Specific facts or
evidence are required to demonstrate that the jurisdictional
amount is met. Hill v. Ford Motor Co., 324 F.Supp.2d
1028, 1036 (E.D. Mo. 2004).
removal notice, defendant asserts on “information and
belief” that the amount in controversy exceeds the $75,
000 jurisdictional amount because plaintiff has alleged
“fair and reasonable damages for injuries alleged to
have been serious in nature, including past medical care and
future medical treatment.” Notice of Removal at 2. The
Court finds the record does not demonstrate that defendant
has met his burden to establish by a preponderance of the
evidence, by specific facts or evidence, that an amount in
excess of $75, 000 is actually in controversy.
on the foregoing, the Court cannot determine whether it has
subject matter jurisdiction over this action. The Court will
grant defendant seven (7) days to file an amended Notice of
Removal to establish the existence of the requisite
jurisdictional amount in controversy by specific facts or
evidence. See 28 U.S.C. § 1653. Defendant's
failure to timely and fully comply with this Order will
result in the remand of this case for lack of subject matter
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that by October
12, 2017, defendant shall file an amended Notice of
Removal alleging specific facts or evidence sufficient to
establish the requisite jurisdictional amount in controversy.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that if defendant does not timely
and fully comply with this order, this matter will be
remanded to the state court from which it was ...