Arnold Crossroads, L.L.C. v. Gander Mountain Company
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff Arnold Crossroads, L.L.C. and Intervenor City of Arnold, Missouris Motions to Remand Case to State Court [ECF Nos. 12 and 15, respectively] are both GRANTED. 12 15 Signed by District Judge Henry E. Autrey on 4/26/13. cc; State Court(CLA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
ARNOLD CROSSROADS, L.L.C.,
GANDER MOUNTAIN COMPANY,
CITY OF ARNOLD, MISSOURI,
No. 4:12CV0506 HEA
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Arnold Crossroads, L.L.C.
(“Arnold Crossroads”) and Intervenor City of Arnold, Missouri’s (“City”) Motion
to Remand Case to State Court [ECF Nos. 12 and 15, respectively]. Defendant
Gander Mountain Company (“Gander Mountain”) opposes the motions [ECF Nos.
18 and 17, respectively]. Intervenor City of Arnold, Missouri filed a reply to
Defendant Gander Mountain Company’s opposition [ECF No. 21]. For the reasons
set forth below, Plaintiff and Intervenor’s Motions to Remand are granted.
Plaintiff Arnold Crossroads filed this matter against Gander Mountain in
state court on February 24, 2009. Defendant Gander Mountain removed this matter
to federal court on May 14, 2009 on the grounds of diversity of citizenship. On
January 12, 2010, the Court remanded the action to state court. On January 29,
2010, Gander Mountain filed a separate declaratory judgment action against
Arnold Crossroads, which Judge Stohr subsequently dismissed on March 23,
2010. See Gander Mountain Co. V. Arnold Crossroards, L.L.C., 2010 WL
1170014 (E.D. Mo. 2010). On November 19, 2010, Defendant Gander Mountain
filed another Notice of Removal, which the Court subsequently remanded back to
state court. See 4:10CV2173 HEA. On March 16, 2012, Defendant Gander
Mountain once again filed a Notice of Removal, which is the matter now before
the Court. ECF No. 1.
“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).
Intervenor City contends that §1441(a) does not permit a defendant to
remove less than the entire case. This argument is in response to Defendant
Gander Mountain’s argument that Plaintiff Arnold Crossroads is not a party in this
federal matter because Gander Mountain only removed Intervenor City’s claims,
not Arnold Crossroads. Under § 1441(a), any “civil action” can be removed.
Additionally, the most basic reading of §1441(c) says that the entire action can be
removed, not piecemeal claims for the parties to choose. Given the basic language
of §1441, a party is not permitted to remove less than the entire case. The Court
recognizes that case law on this issue is not entirely clear. The Court must resolve
all ambiguity in favor of jurisdiction in the state court. Masepohl v. American
Tobacco Company, Inc., 974 F.Supp. 1245, 1249 (D.Minn.1997). Additionally,
removal jurisdiction must be narrowly construed in favor of the non-removing
party. Shamrock Oil & Gas Corp. v. Sheets, 313 U.S. 100, 107-09 (1941). For
these reasons, and for some of the same reasons offered in the Court’s previous
remand orders in this matter, Plaintiff Arnold Crossroads and Intervenor City’s
motions to remand are granted.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff Arnold Crossroads, L.L.C. and
Intervenor City of Arnold, Missouri’s Motions to Remand Case to State Court
[ECF Nos. 12 and 15, respectively] are both GRANTED.
Dated this 26th day of April, 2013.
HENRY EDWARD AUTREY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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