Nix v. Mapco Express, Inc.
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins on 5/11/2016. (JLC)
2016 May-11 AM 10:29
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
MAPCO EXPRESS, INC.,
) Case No.: 1:16-CV-127-VEH
Introduction and Procedural History
Plaintiff Shannon Nix (“Ms. Nix”) initiated this personal injury action in the
Circuit Court of Calhoun County, Alabama on December 30, 2015. (Doc. 10 at 1 ¶
1). Defendant Mapco Express, Inc. (“Mapco”) removed Ms. Nix’s lawsuit to federal
court on January 25, 2016, on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. (Doc. 1 at 2 ¶ 3). Ms.
Nix, on April 15, 2016, filed a Motion To Remand (the “Motion”). (Doc. 10). Mapco
responded to her Motion on April 21, 2016. (Doc. 11).
The burden of establishing federal jurisdiction falls on the party who is
attempting to invoke the jurisdiction of the federal court. McNutt v. Gen. Motors
Acceptance Corp. of Indiana, 298 U.S. 178, 189, 56 S. Ct. 780, 785, 80 L. Ed. 1135
(1936). Thus, here the jurisdictional burden falls upon the removing party, Mapco.
28 U.S.C. § 1332 is the jurisdictional statute upon which Mapco relies. Section
1332(a)(1) bestows this court with the authority to hear disputes arising under state
law when complete diversity of citizenship exists between the adverse parties and the
lawsuit meets the amount in controversy threshold. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) (“The
district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in
controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and
is between--(1) citizens of different States[.]”).
As Ms. Nix indicates in her Motion, on March 14, 2016, she filed a postremoval Amended Complaint. (Doc. 8). In this amended pleading, Ms. Nix limits the
amount of damages that she will accept to below the jurisdictional threshold for
WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff(s) in this matter make a prayer of relief to
this Honorable Court that the Defendant be ordered to pay to the
Plaintiff compensatory damages and other damages sustained by the
Plaintiff(s), up to but not exceeding an amount of $74,999.99, and also
ask this Court to grant any other relief that may be fair and just under the
(Doc. 8 at 5 (emphasis added)); (see also Doc. 10 at 2 ¶ 5 (“In her Amended
Complaint, the Plaintiff expressly and specifically disclaims any and all damages
sought that equal or exceed an amount of $75,000.”)). Ms. Nix also has filed an
affidavit “waiv[ing] and/or disclaim[ing] any damages equaling or exceeding an
amount of $75,000 resulting from the claims [she] ha[s] alleged . . . .” (Doc. 10-1 at
In light of these filings, Mapco has responded that it “consents to Plaintiff’s
Motion to Remand the case to the Circuit Court of Calhoun County, Alabama.” (Doc.
11 at 2 ¶ 6). As relief in the form of a remand is now uncontested, the court does not
need to reach the issue of whether Ms. Nix post-removal Amended Complaint and
affidavit are effective in destroying this court’s diversity jurisdiction. Cf. St. Paul
Mercury Indem. Co. v. Red Cab Co., 303 U.S. 283, 289-90, 58 S. Ct. 586, 590-91, 82
L. Ed. 845 (1938) (“Events occurring subsequent to the institution of suit which
reduce the amount recoverable below the statutory limit do not oust jurisdiction.”).
Thus with the parties in agreement and, more specifically, Mapco’s express
consent to return to state court, the Motion is due to be granted and this case is due
to be remanded to the Circuit Court of Calhoun County. The court will enter a
separate remand order in conformance with this opinion.
DONE and ORDERED this 11th day of May, 2016.
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS
United States District Judge
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