Mai et al v. Bank of America, N.A.
ORDER remanding case to the District Court, Douglas County, Colorado, by Judge Christine M. Arguello on 2/25/14. (dkals, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Judge Christine M. Arguello
Civil Action No. 14-cv-00416-CMA-MJW
DANI MAI, and
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.,
ORDER SUA SPONTE REMANDING CASE TO STATE COURT
This matter is before the Court sua sponte. For the reasons discussed below,
the Court concludes that Defendant Bank of America has not established the Court’s
subject matter jurisdiction over this case. As such, the Court remands this case to the
District Court, Douglas County, Colorado, for further proceedings.
Plaintiffs allege that Defendant Bank of America improperly foreclosed on a
house located in Littleton, Colorado. (Doc. # 4 at 2.) On August 15, 2013, Plaintiffs filed
a Complaint in Colorado state court alleging claims for negligence, breach of contract,
and promissory estoppel, all of which are related to this improper foreclosure. (Doc.
# 4.) Defendant filed a Notice of Removal on February 14, 2014, alleging diversity
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (Doc. # 1.)
Section 1332(a) sets forth two requirements for diversity jurisdiction: (1) an
“amount in controversy [that] exceeds the sum or value of $75,000 exclusive of interest
and costs” and (2) diversity of citizenship between the parties. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
The party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden of proving that such jurisdiction
exists. Montoya v. Chao, 296 F.3d 952, 955 (10th Cir. 2002). A removing defendant
must prove jurisdictional facts by a “preponderance of the evidence,” including that the
amount in controversy may exceed $75,000. McPhail v. Deere & Co., 529 F.3d 947,
953 (10th Cir. 2008). Such proof may arise in a variety of ways, see id. at 954, but
conclusory assertions or outright speculation do not suffice, Tafoya v. American Family
Mutual Insurance Co., No. 08–cv–01656, 2009 WL 211661, at *2 (D. Colo. Jan. 28,
In the instant case, while Defendant asserts that the amount in controversy
exceeds $75,000. (Doc. # 1 at 3) Plaintiffs, in their Complaint, did not specify a
monetary estimate of the damages they allegedly suffered. (See Doc. # 5 at 3)
Instead, Plaintiff merely asks for “all economic damages,” along with attorney fees and
costs and any other relief determined appropriate by the Court. (Id.) The sole instance
of Plaintiffs’ estimate of damages is found on the state court Civil Cover Sheet
accompanying Plaintiffs’ Complaint, which includes a check-marked box indicating
that Plaintiffs are seeking a monetary judgment for more than $100,000.00 against
Defendant. (Doc. # 1-2 at 2.) This Court has previously addressed the evidentiary
value, or lack thereof, of the state court Civil Cover Sheet in, for example, Garner v.
Vaki, No. 11-cv-01283, 2011 WL 2463285, at *1 (D. Colo. June 21, 2011) (unpublished),
and Tejada v. Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 09-cv-02096, 2009 WL
2958727, at *1 (D. Colo. Sept. 10, 2009) (unpublished). In both Garner and Tejada,
the Court stated that “the Colorado Civil Cover Sheet, by itself, does not establish the
requisite amount in controversy to sustain diversity jurisdiction.” Id. (citing Baker v.
Sears Holding Corp., 557 F. Supp. 2d 1208 (D. Colo. 2007)).
Other sources of evidence often relied on to establish the amount in controversy,
including “interrogatories obtained in state court before the notice of removal was filed,
a proposed settlement amount, or affidavits,” are not present in this case. Tejada, 2009
WL 2958727, at *1. As such, there is insufficient evidence that the value of this action
exceeds the amount in controversy requirement of $75,000. Any attempt by the Court
to calculate the potential amount of damages “would simply be guesswork and, thus,
amount to improper speculation.” Garner, 2011 WL 2463285, at *1 (citing Tafoya, 2009
WL 211661, at *2.) Thus, the Court concludes that Defendant's Notice of Removal does
not establish the requisite jurisdictional amount by a preponderance of the evidence.
For the foregoing reasons, it is hereby ORDERED that this action is REMANDED
to the District Court, Douglas County, Colorado, for further proceedings.
BY THE COURT:
CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO
United States District Judge
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