Ortego v. F C A U S L L C
SUA SPONTE JURISDICTION BRIEFING ORDER. IT IS ORDERED that, not more than twenty-one days after the date of this order, FCA US shall file a memorandum setting forth specific facts that support a finding that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. Signed by Magistrate Judge Carol B Whitehurst on 8/15/16. (crt,Jordan, P)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DIVISION OF LOUISIANA
Civil Action No. 6:15-cv-02838
Judge Rebecca R. Doherty
FCA US LLC
Magistrate Judge Carol B. Whitehurst
SUA SPONTE JURISDICTIONAL BRIEFING ORDER
FCA US LLC (“FCA US”) removed this action, alleging that this Court has
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, because the parties are diverse in citizenship and
the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.00. The undersigned reviewed the
pleadings and concluded that he cannot determine whether the amount in controversy
has been satisfied.
The party invoking subject matter jurisdiction in federal court has the burden
of establishing the court’s jurisdiction.1 Here, FCA US must bear that burden. When,
as in this case, the plaintiffs do not seek to recover a determinate amount in the
complaint, the removing party has the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the
evidence, that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional minimum.2 To
St. Paul Reinsurance Co., Ltd. v. Greenberg, 134 F.3d 1250, 1253 (5th
Simon v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 193 F.3d 848, 850 (5th Cir. 1999);
Luckett v. Delta Airlines, Inc., 171 F.3d 295, 298 (5th Cir. 1999).
satisfy that burden, the removing defendant must either (1) demonstrate that it is
facially apparent that the claims are likely above $75,000 or (2) set forth the specific
facts that support a finding of the jurisdictional amount.3
The undersigned finds that the amount in controversy is not “facially apparent”
from the plaintiffs’ petition. Although the plaintiffs expressly alleged that their
damages exceed $50,000, they did not allege that their damages exceed $75,000.
FCA US’s removal notice referred to the allegations of the petition but presented no
additional facts regarding the nature or severity of the plaintiff’s injuries that are
relevant to the amount in controversy. The allegations of the petition in that regard
are vague. The plaintiffs allege only that they sustained “serious personal injuries.”
These factual allegations are insufficient for the undersigned to determine whether
the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional requirement.
When jurisdiction is based on diversity, the citizenship of the parties must be
distinctly and affirmatively alleged.4 The petition alleges that the plaintiffs are
Louisiana citizen and that the sole remaining defendant is a is a Limited Liability
Company organized under Delaware law, having its principal place of business in
Michigan, and having no members who are citizens of the State of Louisiana. Thus
Allen v. R & H Oil & Gas Co., 63 F.3d 1326, 1335 (5th Cir. 1995).
Mullins v. Testamerica Inc., 300 Fed. App’x 259, 259 (5th Cir. 2008).
the parties are diverse in their citizenship.5
IT IS ORDERED that, not more than twenty-one days after the date of this
order, FCA US shall file a memorandum setting forth specific facts that support a
finding that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. These facts should be
supported with summary-judgment-type evidence. The plaintiffs will have seven
days to respond to FCA US’s submission if they deem appropriate.
Signed at Lafayette, Louisiana, this 15th day of August, 2016.
See Harvey v. Grey Wolf Drilling Co., 542 F.3d 1077, 1080 (5th Cir. 2008).
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?