RUCKELSHAUS v. COWAN et al
ORDER - The Court ORDERS Defendants to file an Amended Notice of Removal by June 23, 2017, which addresses the issue outlined in this Order and properly alleges a basis for this Court's diversity jurisdiction. Plaintiff is reminded of her obligation to file a statement within thirty days of Defendants' filing of the Amended Notice of Removal pursuant to Local Rule 81-1. SEE ORDER. Signed by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson on 6/15/2017.(JRB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
ELIZABETH G. RUCKELSHAUS,
GERALD L. COWAN, KENT EMSWILLER, and
EMSWILLER, WILLIAMS, NOLAND & CLARK,
A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION,
Defendants have removed this matter to this Court, and have alleged that this Court has
diversity jurisdiction over this matter. While Defendants have properly set forth the citizenships
of the respective parties, the Court notes the following issue with the jurisdictional allegations in
Defendants’ Notice of Removal:
Defendants do not properly allege the amount in controversy. The amount in
controversy must exceed “$75,000, exclusive of interest and costs.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332. The “exclusive of interest and costs” language must be included in the
amount in controversy allegation.
The Court is not being hyper-technical: Counsel has a professional obligation to analyze
subject-matter jurisdiction, Heinen v. Northrop Grumman Corp., 671 F.3d 669, 670 (7th Cir.
2012), and a federal court always has a responsibility to ensure that it has jurisdiction, Hukic v.
Aurora Loan Servs., 588 F.3d 420, 427 (7th Cir. 2009). The Court must know the details of the
underlying jurisdictional allegations because parties cannot confer jurisdiction on the Court simply
by stipulating that it exists. See Evergreen Square of Cudahy v. Wisconsin Housing and Economic
Development Authority, 776 F.3d 463, 465 (7th Cir. 2015) (“the parties’ united front is irrelevant
since the parties cannot confer subject-matter jurisdiction by agreement…and federal courts are
obligated to inquire into the existence of jurisdiction sua sponte”).
For these reasons, the Court ORDERS Defendants to file an Amended Notice of Removal
by June 23, 2017, which addresses the issue outlined in this Order and properly alleges a basis for
this Court’s diversity jurisdiction. Plaintiff is reminded of her obligation to file a statement within
thirty days of Defendants’ filing of the Amended Notice of Removal pursuant to Local Rule 81-1,
Within 30 days after the filing of the notice of removal, every plaintiff who has not
filed a motion to remand must file a statement responding to the notice of removal’s
allegations as to the citizenship of the parties and the amount in controversy. If the
plaintiff lacks sufficient information upon which to form a belief about those allegations despite meeting and conferring in good faith with the removing party about
them, the plaintiff may so state.
The parties are advised that, to the extent the Amended Notice of Removal and the Local Rule 811 Statement reflect anything other than total agreement regarding any jurisdictional allegations,
the Court will require the parties to conduct whatever investigation is necessary and file a joint
jurisdictional statement confirming that all parties are in agreement with the underlying jurisdictional allegations before the litigation moves forward.
Distribution via ECF only to all counsel of record
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