Jewell v. Santander Consumer Inc. USA
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER granting 12 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim as to Plaintiffs unjust enrichment claim and libel claim. Signed by Judge John G. Heyburn, II on 8/6/13. cc:counsel (JBM)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:13-CV-308-H
SANTANDER CONSUMER INC., USA
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff, Rachel Jewell, brought this action in Nelson Circuit Court asserting the
following state law claims: violations of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act, conversion,
unjust enrichment, and libel. Defendant, Santander Consumer USA, Inc., removed to federal
court under 28 U.S.C. § 1441. Now before the Court is Defendant’s motion for partial dismissal
on the unjust enrichment and libel claims.1
Defendant asserts that the existence of an express contract is fatal to Plaintiff’s unjust
enrichment claim. Plaintiff does not contest this principle of law, but requested that Defendant
produce a copy of the assignment to prove that Defendant is contractually bound. Defendant has
since submitted a copy of the assignment by which it assumed all of the rights and
responsibilities under the contract. Accordingly, the Court grants Defendant’s motion to dismiss
the unjust enrichment claim.
Plaintiff suggests that with the dismissal of her libel and unjust enrichment counts, the
amount in controversy between the parties is less than $75,000, thereby depriving this Court of
diversity jurisdiction over the case. The Supreme Court, the Sixth Circuit, and this Court have
Plaintiff concedes that Defendant’s motion to dismiss her libel claim is well stated and that dismissal is proper.
For this reason, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff’s libel claim.
held that “’the general principle [is] that jurisdiction once properly invoked is not lost by
developments after a suit is filed[.]’” Long v. Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc., 2010 WL 2044524, at
*2 (W.D. Ky. May 21, 2010); see also King v. Household Finance Corp., 593 F. Supp. 2d 958,
961 (E.D. Ky. Jan. 16, 2009) (‘[b]ecause jurisdiction is determined as of the time of removal,
events occurring after removal that reduce the amount in controversy do not oust jurisdiction.’”)
(internal citations omitted); see also St. Paul Mercury Indem. Co. v. Red Cab Co., 303 U.S. 283,
293-94 (1938) (“If the plaintiff could, . . . reduce the amount of his demand to defeat federal
jurisdiction the defendant’s supposed statutory right of removal would be subject to the
plaintiff’s caprice.”). Thus, this Court’s post-removal dismissal of Plaintiff’s libel and unjust
enrichment claims does not deprive it of diversity jurisdiction because federal jurisdiction existed
at the time of removal.
Being otherwise sufficiently advised,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss is SUSTAINED as to
Plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim and libel claim.
August 6, 2013
Counsel of Record
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