United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Remand, [Doc. No. 6]. Defendant has failed to file a response
in opposition. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion
will be granted.
executed a Note and Deed of Trust, which was secured by
property, on March 29, 2001, to secure a Note and
indebtedness in the amount of $81, 868.00. The Deed of Trust
was recorded on April 4, 2001 in Book 1687, Page 4478 in the
Office of the Recorder of Deeds for the City of St. Louis,
Missouri. On November 13, 2013, Millsap & Singer, P.C.,
as Successor Trustee, conducted a foreclosure sale of the
property. Plaintiff was the highest bidder for the amount of
$26, 806.98 and was granted a Successor Trustee's Deed
Under Foreclosure. This deed was recorded on December 4,
2014, in Book 12042014, Page 0119, in the Office of the
Recorder of Deeds for the City of St. Louis, Missouri.
April 30, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Verified Petition to Strike
Non-Consensual Lien Pursuant to RSMo §428.120 and §
428.135 and to Quiet Title. Plaintiff verifies in its
Petition that Plaintiff was and continues to be the fee
simple owner of property pursuant to the Trustee's Deed.
August 23, 2018, Defendant, acting pro se, filed a
Notice of Removal “pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure.” Defendant claimed that
“Plaintiff's claims in this matter are barred by
claim preclusion or res judicata.”
defendant may remove a state law claim to federal court only
if the action originally could have been filed there.”
In re Prempro Prods. Liab. Litig., 591 F.3d 613, 619
(8th Cir. 2010) (citing Phipps v. FDIC, 417 F.3d
1006, 1010 (8th Cir. 2005)). The removing defendant bears the
burden of establishing federal jurisdiction by a
preponderance of the evidence. Altimore v. Mount Mercy
Coll., 420 F.3d 763, 768 (8th Cir. 2005). “All
doubts about federal jurisdiction should be resolved in favor
of remand to state court.” In re Prempro, 591
F.3d at 620 (citing Wilkinson v. Shackelford, 478
F.3d 957, 963 (8th Cir. 2007)). A case must be remanded if,
at anytime, it appears that the district court lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c);
of citizenship jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332
requires an amount in controversy greater than $75, 000 and
complete diversity of citizenship among the litigants.
“Complete diversity of citizenship exists where no
defendant holds citizenship in the same state where any
plaintiff holds citizenship.” OnePoint Solutions,
LLC v. Borchert, 486 F.3d 342, 346 (8th Cir. 2007).
Defendant fails completely to set forth the basis of the
removal. Although she claims that the removal is
“pursuant to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, ” removal is not effectuated under Rule 11.
Assuming Defendant intended to remove this matter pursuant to
the Court's diversity of citizenship jurisdiction,
Defendant has failed to establish that such jurisdiction
attaches in this case.
removal is based on diversity jurisdiction, “the sum
demanded in good faith in the initial pleading shall be
deemed to be the amount in controversy” unless
“the State practice either does not permit demand for a
specific sum or permits recovery of damages in excess of the
amount demanded.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(2)(A). In
that case, “the notice of removal may assert the amount
in controversy.” Id. Missouri does not permit
a plaintiff to demand a specific sum, so the Court looks to
the Notice of Removal to ascertain the amount in controversy.
To show the amount in controversy is met, Defendant's
burden is a pleading requirement and not a demand for proof.
Raskas v. Johnson & Johnson, 719 F.3d 884, 888
(8th Cir. 2013). “Confusion may arise because the
relevant jurisdictional fact, that is, the issue that must be
proved by the preponderance of evidence, is easily
misidentified. The jurisdictional fact...is not whether the
damages are greater than the requisite amount, but whether a
fact finder might legally conclude that they are....”
Kopp v. Kopp, 280 F.3d 883, 885 (8th Cir. 2002). The
defendant need only demonstrate a fact finder could legally
award more than $75, 000. Hartis v. Chicago Title Ins.
Co., 656 F.3d 778, 781 (8th Cir. 2009).
removal is completely devoid of any support for establishing
that the amount in controversy in this matter satisfies the
jurisdictional requirement. The Notice of Removal merely
claims that the property was “sold unlawfully to
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.” Defendant has
failed to satisfy her burden of pleading the jurisdictional
amount in controversy.
has failed to establish the Court has jurisdiction over this
matter. As such, this action must be remanded. Accordingly,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that ...