Richard St. Pe Company, Inc. v. BellSouth Long Distance, Inc. et al

Filing 7

ORDER granting in part and denying in part 5 Motion to Compel. Plaintiff shall respond to defendants propounded discovery no later than Friday, November 26, 2010; Oral argument set for November 24, 2010, is CANCELED; All other requested relief is D ENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that or on before December 10, 2010, defendants shall file a memorandum setting forth specific facts in controversy which support a finding that the jurisdictional amount exists. Signed by Magistrate Judge Patrick J Hanna on 11/16/10. (crt,Smith, C)

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- P J H Richard St Pe Co Inc v. A T & T L D et al Doc. 7 U N IT E D STATES DISTRICT COURT W E S T E R N DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA L A F A Y E T T E -O P E L O U S A S DIVISION R I C H A R D ST. PE COMPANY, INC. VERSUS A T & T LD, ET AL C I V I L ACTION 10-1466 J U D G E DOHERTY M A G I S T R A T E JUDGE HANNA O R D E R GRANTING MOTION TO COMPEL A N D REQUIRING BRIEFING ON JURISDICTIONAL A M O U N T IN CONTROVERSY D e f en d a n ts filed a Motion to Compel (Rec. Doc. 5) on October 19, 2010, asking th e court to compel plaintiff to answer Requests for Admission and Interrogatories p ro p o u n d e d in state court on January 21, 2010, and BellSouth's Interrogatories and R eq u ests for Production of Documents dated April 7, 2010. These sets of discovery were p ro p o u n d e d while the action was pending in Louisiana state court, prior to removal to f e d era l court on September 22, 2010. Defendants argue that despite multiple requests and d e m a n d s , plaintiff has not responded at all to any of the propounded discovery. Opposition to the motion to compel was due by November 9, 2010. However, to d a te no opposition has been received. O n e request for admission asks plaintiff to admit his damages are less than the n e c e s s a r y amount in controversy for federal court jurisdiction and an interrogatory also re q u e sts clarification of plaintiff's damages. After a review of the pleadings, the u n d e rsig n e d has serious concerns regarding the amount in controversy and whether this 1 c o u rt has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1332. A removing defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the a m o u n t in controversy exceeds $75,000 by either (1) demonstrating that it is facially a p p a re n t that the claims are likely above $75,000 or (2) setting forth the specific facts in c o n tr o v e r sy that support a finding of the jurisdictional amount. Simon v. WalMart Stores, 1 9 3 F.3d 848 (5th Cir. 1999); Luckett v. Delta Airlines, Inc., 171 F.3d 295 (5th Cir. 1 9 9 9 ). The jurisdictional amount is not "facially apparent" from the complaint and r e m o v in g defendants have failed to set forth sufficient specific facts to establish ju r is d ic tio n . I T IS THEREFORE ORDERED that defendants' Motion to Compel (Rec. Doc. 5 ) is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART as follows: 1) P la in tif f shall respond to defendants' propounded discovery no later than F rid a y, November 26, 2010; O r a l argument set for November 24, 2010, is CANCELED; A ll other requested relief is DENIED. 2) 3) I T IS FURTHER ORDERED that or on before December 10, 2010, defendants sh a ll file a memorandum setting forth specific facts in controversy which support a f in d in g that the jurisdictional amount exists and citing applicable case law involving s im ila r facts and which reflect verdicts in an amount of $75,000.00 or more. Supporting d o c u m e n t a tio n , such as the value of the claim at issue, and an affidavit from defense 2 c o u n se l setting forth the value, and the underlying facts, are advisable. Simon and L u c k e tt, supra, establish that a showing of jurisdictional amount is properly made by a f f id a v it. L a f aye tte , Louisiana, this 16 th day of November, 2010. 3

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