Taylor v. Family Dollar Stores of Connecticut, Inc.
ORDER denying 12 Motion to Remand to State Court. Signed by Judge Warren W. Eginton on 9/14/2017. (Gould, K.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
FAMILY DOLLAR STORES OF
RULING ON PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO REMAND
Plaintiff Natasha Taylor filed this tort action against Family Dollar Stores of
Connecticut, Inc., in Connecticut Superior Court on May 8, 2017. Defendant removed
the case from the state court to the United States District Court on the basis of diversity
jurisdiction. Pending before this Court is a motion by the plaintiff to remand to the
Connecticut Superior Court; plaintiff argues that defendant has improperly asserted
diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. For the reasons set forth below, the
plaintiff’s motion will be denied.
On a motion to remand, the court construes all factual allegations in favor of the
party seeking the remand. Metro. Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. J.C. Penney Casualty Ins.
Co., 780 F. Supp. 885, 887 (D. Conn. 1991). When a party challenges the removal of
an action from state court, the burden falls on the removing party to establish its right to
a federal forum by competent proof. R. G. Barry Corp. v. Mushroom Makers, Inc., 612
F.2d 651, 655 (2d Cir. 1979). “In light of the congressional intent to restrict federal
court jurisdiction, as well as the importance of preserving the independence of state
governments, federal courts construe the removal statute narrowly, resolving any
doubts against removability.” Lupo v. Human Affairs Intern., Inc., 28 F.3d 269, 274 (2d
Cir. 1994). The existence of federal subject matter jurisdiction over an action removed
from state court to federal court is generally determined as of the time of removal.
Blockbuster, Inc. v. Galeno, 472 F.3d 53, 57 (2d Cir. 2006).
To determine whether the defendant has met its burden of proving that the claim
is in excess of the jurisdictional amount, courts look first to the plaintiff's complaint and
then to the defendant's petition for removal. Mehlenbacher Akzo Nobel Salt, Inc., 216
F.3d 291, 296 (2d Cir. 2000). However, if the pleadings are inconclusive, the Court
may look to documents outside the pleadings to other evidence in the record to
determine the amount in controversy. Yong Qin Luo v. Mikel, 625 F.3d 772, 775 (2d
In the instant case, plaintiffs assert that defendant has not sustained its burden of
demonstrating that diversity exists. Defendant’s removal asserts that plaintiff was
injured in a Family Dollar Store that had been owned by Family Dollar Stores of
Connecticut, Inc. until February 10, 2016, on which date the corporation was
redomesticated to the Commonwealth of Virginia. On February 21, 2017, the
corporation was converted to a limited liability company named Family Dollar Stores of
Connecticut, LLC, in Virginia. It has a sole member, Family Dollar, Inc., which is
incorporated in North Carolina. Defendant represents that the direction and control of
Family Dollar Stores of Connecticut, LLC, has occurred in Virginia since February 21,
Plaintiff argues that the creation of the Virginia entity and transfer or merger of
the prior entity does not destroy the existence of the Connecticut corporation, Family
Dollar Stores of Connecticut, Inc. Upon review of the papers, the Court finds that
defendant has demonstrated that the property where plaintiff sustained her injury was
owned by Family Dollar Stores of Connecticut, LLC, as of the time of removal.
Accordingly, removal on the basis of diversity was proper, and plaintiff’s motion for
remand will be denied.
For the reasons set forth above, the plaintiff’s motion to remand to Connecticut
Superior Court (Doc. #12) is DENIED.
Dated this 14th day of September, 2017, at Bridgeport, Connecticut.
/s/Warren W. Eginton
WARREN W. EGINTON
SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
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