Chau v. Standard Mutual Insurance Company
ORDER AND REASONS REMANDING CASE TO STATE COURT. Signed by Judge Susie Morgan on 11/16/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Remand Letter)(clc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
STANDARD MUTUAL INSURANCE
COMPANY, ET AL.,
ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court is Plaintiff Kanetha Chau’s Motion to Remand. 1 The Motion is
unopposed. 2 After considering the pleadings and applicable law, the Court GRANTS the
On February 16, 2016, Ms. Chau was driving northbound on O’Keefe Avenue when
Clarence Osteen, who was also driving northbound, “ignored applicable traffic laws and
illegally merged in petitioner’s lane, crashing into the side of her vehicle and causing the
accident at issue herein.” 3 On July 7, 2016, Ms. Chau filed suit in Civil District Court for
the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana against Mr. Osteen and his insurer, Standard
Mutual Insurance Company (“Standard Mutual”). In her state court petition, Ms. Chau
alleges she is a Louisiana citizen and that Standard Mutual and Mr. Osteen are both
Pursuant to this Court’s diversity subject matter jurisdiction, Standard Mutual
removed the case on October 14, 2016. At the time of removal, Mr. Osteen had not been
served. After serving him, Ms. Chau deposed Mr. Osteen on April 13, 2017, revealing “that
R. Doc. 17.
R. Doc. 20.
3 R. Doc. 1-1 at ¶ 3.
although Mr. Osteen was a citizen of the [sic] Illinois, he had established a change in his
domicile to Louisiana” prior to his accident with Ms. Chau. 4
As a general rule, jurisdictional facts are determined when a case is removed, not
by subsequent events. 5 Thus, a court would retain jurisdiction even if the amount in
controversy falls below the jurisdictional amount or one of the parties changes residency
during the pendency of the suit. 6 In diversity cases, however, the addition of a non-diverse
party destroys diversity jurisdiction. 7 Mr. Osteen, a non-diverse defendant, having been
served, the Court must remand this case to state court. 8
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff Kanetha Chau’s motion to remand 9 is
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this case be remanded to the Civil District
Court for the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana.
New Orleans, Louisiana, this 16th day of November, 2017.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
R. Doc. 20 at 1.
Louisiana v. Am. Nat’l Prop. & Cas. Co., 746 F.3d 633, 635 (5th Cir. 2014).
6 Hensgens v. Deere & Co., 833 F.2d 1179, 1180–81 (5th Cir. 1987).
7 Id. at 1181 (citing Owen Equip. & Erection Co. v. Kroger, 437 U.S. 365, 374 (1978)).
8 See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) (“If at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.”); Sharp v. Kmart Corp., 991 F. Supp. 519, 527 (M.D. La.
1998) (“If a non-diverse party is added to the case after it is removed . . . the Court must remand the suit to
9 R. Doc. 17.
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