Latiker v. Ameren Corporation et al
OPINION MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff Gregory Latikers Motion to Remand to State Court [ECF No. 14] is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that all other pending motions [ECF Nos. 51, 60, 61 and 63] are all DENIED due to the Courts lack of subject matter jurisdiction. 64 (Doc. 61 63 51 61 60 14 13 Signed by District Judge Henry E. Autrey on 3/20/12. CC: cert. copy of order and docket sheet mailed to state court.(CLA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
AMEREN CORPORATION and
No. 4:11CV2010 HEA
OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Gregory Latiker’s Motion to
Remand to State Court [ECF No. 14]. Defendants Ameren Corporation
(“Ameren”) and Steve Hampton oppose the motion [ECF No. 16]. Defendant
Ameren has filed a Motion to Compel [ECF No. 51]. Plaintiff filed an Opposition
to the Motion to Compel [ECF No. 55], to which Defendant Ameren replied [ECF
No. 58]. Defendants also filed a Motion to Amend/Correct Defendants’ Expert
Deadlines [ECF No. 60]. Plaintiff also filed a Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 61],
which Defendants oppose [ECF No. 62]. Additionally, Defendant Ameren and
Hampton filed a Motion for Extension of Dispositive Motions Deadline [ECF No.
Plaintiff Latiker was an African American Male who began working for
Ameren on August 19, 1985. On June 23, 2009, Plaintiff filed a Charge of
Discrimination with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (“MCHR”)
against Ameren. His Charge alleged that he was subjected to racial discrimination
and retaliated against in violation of the Missouri Human Rights Act (“MHRA”).
On October 6. 2011, Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Defendants in St. Louis City
Circuit Court. Plaintiff’s Original Complaint alleged race discrimination under the
MHRA (Count I) and race discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (Count II).
Defendants removed Plaintiff’s claims to the United States District Court or the
Eastern District of Missouri on November 17, 2011. On May 15. 2012, Plaintiff
Latiker died after sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident.
Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand
“Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. They possess only that
power authorized by Constitution and statute.” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins.
Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). A claim may be removed to federal court only if it
could have been brought in federal court originally; thus, the diversity
and amount in controversy requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1332 must be met, or the
claim must be based upon a federal question pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Peters
v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., 80 F.3d 257, 260 (8th Cir. 1996). The party invoking
jurisdiction bears the burden of proof that the prerequisites to jurisdiction are
satisfied. Green v. Ameritide, Inc., 279 F.3d 590, 595 (8th Cir. 2002); In re Bus.
Men’s Assurance Co., 992 F.2d 181, 183 (8th Cir. 1993). Removal statutes must
be strictly construed because they impede upon states’ rights to resolve
controversies in their own courts. Nichols v. Harbor Venture, Inc., 284 F.3d 857,
861 (8th Cir. 2002). If “at any time before final judgment it appears that the
district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction,” the case must be
remanded to the state court from which it was removed. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
Plaintiff’s Original Complaint alleged race discrimination under the MHRA
(Count I) and race discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (Count II). Since this
case was removed to federal court, Plaintiff requested leave to amend his Original
Complaint [ECF No. 8]. The Court granted Plaintiff’s request. See ECF No. 20.
Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint no longer asserts racial discrimination under 42
U.S.C. § 1981, which was the original basis for Defendants’ removal. The
Amended Complaint contains the following claims: Race Discrimination under the
MHRA (Count I), Emotional Distress (Count II), Retaliation (Count III), and
Wrongful Termination (Count IV). ECF No. 10. All of Plaintiff’s claims in his
Amended Complaint are brought as Missouri state law claims.
Defendants initial removal of this case to federal court was proper; however,
the Court now lacks subject jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
Although a defendant has a statutory right to remove when jurisdiction is proper,
the plaintiff remains the master of the claim and any doubts about the propriety of
removal are resolved in favor of remand. See In re Bus. Men’s, 992 F.2d at 183;
McHugh v. Physicians Health Plan of Greater St. Louis, 953 F. Supp. 296, 299
(E.D. Mo. 1997). Pursuant to well settled 8th Circuit law and 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c),
and due to Plaintiff withdrawing his racial discrimination claim under 42 U.S.C. §
1981, the Court no longer has subject matter jurisdiction. As such, remand is
Because the Court is granting Plaintiff’s Motion to Remand, all of the other
pending motions are deemed moot, as the Court no longer has subject matter
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff Gregory Latiker’s Motion to
Remand to State Court [ECF No. 14] is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that all other pending motions [ECF Nos.
51, 60, 61 and 63] are all DENIED due to the Court’s lack of subject matter
Dated this 20th day of March, 2013.
HENRY EDWARD AUTREY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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