Givens v. Food Giant Supermarkets, Inc. et al
ORDER granting 15 Motion to Remand to State Court. This cause is remanded to the Circuit Court of Leflore County, Mississippi. CASE CLOSED. Signed by District Judge Sharion Aycock on 10/17/2011. (sba)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSSISSIPPI
FOOD GIANT SUPERMARKETS, INC.
D/B/A BIG STAR 9 AND BIG STAR AND
JOHN DOES #1-10
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO REMAND
Before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand  this matter to the Circuit Court of
Leflore County, Mississippi. The Court finds that the motion should be granted as the amount in
controversy does not exceed $75,000.
The Plaintiff originally filed this action in the Circuit Court of Leflore County, Mississippi.
Plaintiff asserts state law claims for negligence in connection with injuries the Plaintiff alleges she
suffered as a result of a fall while on the Defendant’s premises in Greenwood, Mississippi. The
Complaint seeks an unspecified amount of compensatory damages for past and future medical
expenses, physical and emotional pain, lost wages, and attorneys’ fees. The Defendant subsequently
removed the case to this Court, asserting diversity jurisdiction as the basis for removal. The Plaintiff
has moved to remand this case to state court, contending that federal jurisdiction does not exist
because the amount in controversy requirement has not been satisfied.
The Judiciary Act of 1789 provides that “any civil action brought in a State court of which
the district courts of the United States have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant
or the defendants, to the district court of the United States for the district and division embracing the
place where such action is pending.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). Original federal diversity jurisdiction
exists “where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000.00, exclusive of interest
and costs, and is between . . . citizens of different States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a); Addo v. Globe Life
and Accident Ins. Co., 230 F.3d 759, 761 (5th Cir. 2000).
Once a motion to remand has been filed, the burden is on the removing party to establish that
federal jurisdiction exists. De Aguilar v. Boeing Co., 47 F.3d 1404, 1408 (5th Cir. 1995). After
removal of a case, the plaintiff may move for remand, and “[if] it appears that the district court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). The Fifth Circuit has
held that the removal statutes are to be construed “strictly against removal and for remand.” Eastus
v. Blue Bell Creameries, L.P., 97 F.3d 100, 106 (5th Cir. 1996); Shamrock Oil & Gas Corp. v.
Sheets, 313 U.S. 100, 108-109, 61 S. Ct. 868, 85 L. Ed. 1214 (1941).
Specifically, in cases such as this one, where the plaintiff concedes that the action is between
citizens of different States but asserts that diversity jurisdiction does not exist due to the amount in
controversy being less than $75,000, the plaintiff’s claim for damages—as set forth in the
complaint—normally remains presumptively correct unless the removing defendant can show by a
preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy is actually greater than $75,000. See
Horton v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co ., 367 U.S. 348, 353, 81 S. Ct. 1570, 6 L. Ed. 2d 890 (1961) (holding
that amount in controversy is determined from complaint itself, unless it appears that “the amount
stated in the complaint is not claimed in good faith”); St. Paul Mercury Indem. Co. v. Red Cab Co.,
303 U.S. 283, 288, 58 S. Ct. 586, 82 L. Ed. 845 (1938); St. Paul Reinsurance Co., Ltd. v. Greenberg,
134 F.3d 1250, 1253 (5th Cir. 1998); De Aguilar, 47 F.3d at 1412.
Here, Plaintiff is seeking an unspecified amount of damages. After Defendant removed the
case, the Plaintiff executed a stipulation that her damages do not exceed the jurisdictional amount,
and “agree[d] pursuant to the terms of this stipulation not to seek damages in excess of $75,000.00
less interest to which she may or may not be entitled.” Based on Plaintiff’s stipulation, Defendant
has no objection to this matter being remanded.
In light of Plaintiff’s stipulation that the amount in controversy in this case is less than
$75,000.00, the Court finds that federal jurisdiction is not present. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Motion
to Remand is granted.
The Court concludes that federal subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 20 U.S.C. § 1332 is
not present as the amount in controversy does not exceed $75,000. As such, the Court GRANTS
Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand .
This matter is REMANDED to the Circuit Court of Leflore County, Mississippi; therefore,
this case is CLOSED.
SO ORDERED on this, the 17th day of October, 2011.
/s/ Sharion Aycock
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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