Crawford et al v. Kohl's Department Stores, Inc.
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER: Dft shall Show Cause by 4/2/2013 why this matter should not be remanded to Jessamine Circuit Court. Signed by Judge Joseph M. Hood on 3/12/2013.(STB)cc: COR
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
CENTRAL DIVISION at LEXINGTON
JAMES LEE CRAWFORD, et al.,
KOHL’S DEPARTMENT STORES,
Civil Case No. 13-cv-65-JMH
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
Upon a review of the Defendant’s Notice of Removal [DE 1],
as well as Plaintiffs’ Complaint [DE 1-1], which was originally
filed in Jessamine Circuit Court, the Court calls into question
its jurisdiction over this matter under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or
Further, “any civil action brought in a State court
of which the district courts of the United States have original
division embracing the place where such action is pending.”
In this instance, the Court is concerned that
Defendant come forward with competent proof to show that it is
more likely than not that Plaintiffs’ claims exceed $75,000
“The objection that a federal court lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction, see Fed. Rule Civ. P. 12(b)(1), may be raised by a
party, or by a court on its own initiative, at any stage in the
litigation even after trial and the entry of judgment.”
v. Y&H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 506 (2006).
Indeed, this Court has
“an independent obligation to determine whether subject-matter
jurisdiction exists, even in the absence of a challenge from any
Id. at 514; see also Freeland v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins.
obligation in mind that the Court undertakes this inquiry at
injury due to the negligence of Defendant with respect to the
Specifically, Plaintiff James Lee Crawford alleges
that he tripped on a display protruding into an aisle at a store
in Nicholasville, Kentucky.
[DE 1, Compl. at ¶1.]
injuries which have resulted in, and will continue to result in,
Plaintiff Norma Crawford alleges that she has suffered “the loss
of enjoyment with her husband, .. . . loss of consortium and the
[Id. at ¶4.]
Plaintiffs seek unspecified amount of
jurisdictional requirements” of the Jessamine Circuit Court.
As to the amount in controversy, Defendant offers nothing
more than stating that “upon information and belief, the amount
interests and costs” and that because “Plaintiffs have placed no
limitation on their prayer for relief . . . [,] it is apparent
jurisdictional amount” for diversity jurisdiction in this Court.
Rather, “[i]n cases like the one at hand, ‘where the plaintiff
evidently greater or less than the federal amount-in-controversy
requirement,’ the defendant must show that it is more likely
than not that the plaintiff's claims exceed $75,000."
Household Finance Corp. II, 593 F.Supp.2d 958, 959 (E.D. Ky.
2009) (emphasis in original).
Defendants must come forward with
requirement is satisfied and speculation is not sufficient to
meet this burden.
Id. (holding that defendant offered “mere
averments” and not “competent proof” where notice of removal
compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney fees, "it
is clear that the amount in controversy threshold is met”).
also Hackney v. Thibodeaux, Civil Action No. 10-35-JBC, 2010 WL
(E.D.Ky. May 10, 2010) (holding that there was no
defendant relied on plaintiff’s pleading which sought to recover
past and future medical expenses, lost wages, future impairment
suffering and mental anguish for injuries which are “serious and
permanent in nature.”).
In the Notice of Removal, Defendant relies solely on the
averments of Plaintiffs’ Complaint in an attempt to demonstrate
the requisite amount-in-controversy.
This is not enough, and,
unless Defendants can offer some competent proof of an amount in
controversy which exceeds $75,000, the Court is of the opinion
that it lacks jurisdiction over this matter and that the matter
should be remanded to Jessamine Circuit Court.
Accordingly and upon the Court’s own motion, IT IS ORDERED
that Defendant shall SHOW CAUSE on or before April 2, 2013, why
this matter should not be remanded to Jessamine Circuit Court.
This the 12th day of March, 2013.
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