American Income Life Insurance Company et al v. Google, Inc.
NOTICE OF REMOVAL by Google, Inc. from Circuit Court of Jefferson County, AL, Bessemer Division, case number CV-2011-900566 (Filing fee $350 receipt #B4601029104) filed (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(KGE, )
2011 Dec-08 AM 10:54
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA,
AMERICAN INCOME LIFE
INSURANCE COMPANY, a
Corporation, and SCOTT
GOOGLE, INC., a corporation
NOTICE OF REMOVAL
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441, and 1446, Defendant Google Inc.
(“Google”), by and through its undersigned counsel, hereby removes this action
from the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama, Bessemer Division, to the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern
Division. In support of this notice, Google states as follows:
THE STATE COURT ACTION.
On September 23, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a civil action in the Circuit
Court of Jefferson County, Alabama, Bessemer Division, styled as American
Income Life Insurance Company and Scott Sonnenberg v. Google, Inc., et al., Case
No. CV-2011-900566.00. Google was served with the Complaint on November 7,
2011. A true and correct copy of the Complaint is attached hereto as part of
The Complaint alleges that Google is engaging in unlawful business
practices in Alabama based on certain banners and content that appear on computer
terminals in Alabama. (Exh. A, Compl., ¶¶ 3, 5, 13).
As set forth more fully below, this case is properly removed to the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1441, because the procedural requirements for removal are satisfied:
there is complete diversity of citizenship between Plaintiffs and the Defendant; the
amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs; and this
Notice of Removal has been filed within thirty days after service of the summons
and/or complaint upon Defendant Google.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1446(a), true and correct copies of all
summons, process, pleadings, and orders filed in the State Court Action are
attached as Exhibit A.
REMOVAL IS PROPER BECAUSE THIS COURT HAS SUBJECT
MATTER JURISDICTION PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332 AND
Federal jurisdiction exists based upon diversity of citizenship pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 because this is a civil action between citizens of different
states, and the amount in controversy exceeds the sum of $75,000, exclusive of
interest and costs. See 28 U.S.C. § 1441.
Complete Diversity of Citizenship Exists.
Plaintiff American Income Life Insurance Company is alleged to be
an Indiana corporation, with its principal place of business in Waco, Texas. (Exh.
A, Compl., ¶ 1).
Plaintiff Scott Sonnenberg is, upon information and belief, an
Alabama resident. (See Exh. A, Compl., ¶ 2).
Google is the only named Defendant. Google is a Delaware
corporation with a principal place of business in California.
The Complaint purports to sue fictitious defendants. “For purposes of
removal under [§ 1441], the citizenship of defendants sued under fictitious names
shall be disregarded.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a).
The Amount in Controversy Exceeds $75,000.
Although Plaintiffs state they are seeking monetary damages in a sum
of less than $75,000, Plaintiffs also are seeking injunctive relief.
“The value of injunctive relief for amount in controversy purposes is
the ‘monetary value of the object to the litigation that would flow to the plaintiffs if
the injunction were granted.’” Wilson v. Spectera, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
28004 (M.D. Ga. Mar. 18, 2011), citing Leonard v. Enterprise Rent A Car, 279
F.3d 967, 973 (11th Cir. 2002). “In other words, the value of the requested
injunctive relief is the monetary value of the benefit that would flow to the plaintiff
if the injunction were granted.” Cohen v. Office Depot, Inc., 204 F.3d 1069, 1077
(11th Cir. 2000). “In the Eleventh Circuit, the value of the object of the litigation
is measured solely from the plaintiff’s perspective; the value to the defendant is
irrelevant.” Mapp v. Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust Co., 2009 WL 3664118, *2 (M.D.
Ala. Oct. 28, 2009).
Plaintiffs’ Complaint alleges that Google is engaging in business in
Alabama – specifically, the display of certain content on computer terminals in
Alabama – that violates the Alabama Deceptive Trade Practices Act. (See Exh. A,
Compl., ¶¶ 5, 13). Plaintiffs allege that Google’s unlawful business practices are
causing Plaintiffs to sustain damages “exceed[ing] millions of dollars . . ..” (See
Exh. A, Compl., 17th paragraph, which is erroneously numbered as paragraph “1”
on page 5).
Plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief asks for an order enjoining
Google from engaging in any business in Alabama. (See Exh. A, Compl., p. 6, ¶
Thus, from the Plaintiffs’ perspective, the value of the benefit that
would flow to the Plaintiffs if the requested injunctive relief is granted exceeds
“millions of dollars,” and therefore the value of the requested injunctive relief for
amount in controversy purposes is far in excess of $75,000, exclusive of interest
REMOVAL TO THIS COURT IS PROPER
The Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama, Bessemer Division,
is located within the judicial district of the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division. 28 U.S.C. § 81. Thus, venue is
proper in this Court because it is the “district and division embracing the place
where such action is pending.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a).
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1446(d), a copy of this Notice of Removal is
being served upon counsel for Plaintiffs, and a copy is being filed with the Clerk of
the Court for the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Bessemer Division.
Dated: December 7, 2011
James P. Pewitt (PEW001)
Bar Number: ASB ASB-7646-P62J
Daniel J. Martin (MAR197)
Bar Number: ASB-8327-D65M
Attorneys for Defendant Google Inc.
Johnston Barton Proctor & Rose LLP
Colonial Brookwood Center
569 Brookwood Village, Suite 901
Birmingham, AL 35209
Telephone: (205) 458-9400
Facsimile: (205) 458-9500
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
This will certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon all
counsel of record by placing the same in the U. S. Mail, properly addressed and
sufficient postage affixed thereto, this 7th day of December, 2011, as follows:
William J. Baxley, Esq.
Joel E. Dillard, Esq.
Baxley, Dillard, Dauphin,
McKnight & James
2008 Third Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233
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