Young v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER : IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants motion to remand is GRANTED. (Doc. No. 10 .) IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this matter is REMANDED to the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Missouri, in which it was filed. (cc: St. Louis City) Signed by District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig on 10/18/2016. (KCB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY
Case No. 4:16-cv-01557-AGF
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
In this action initially filed in state court, Plaintiff Andrea Young seeks to recover
from Defendant damages related to a policy of uninsured motor vehicle coverage arising
out of a February 20, 2016 motor vehicle collision. Defendant removed the case to this
Court, asserting diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Plaintiff
thereafter filed a “Stipulation Regarding Amount in Controversy,” in which she stipulates
that the claim as set forth in her petition does not involve an amount in controversy in
excess of $75,000. (Doc. No. 11.) Based on that stipulation, Defendant has filed an
unopposed motion to remand the case to state court. (Doc. No. 10.)
“Allowing a plaintiff to unequivocally establish [her] . . . damages as no greater
than $75,000 through use of an affidavit (or other binding declaration) is entirely
consistent with the congressional purpose underlying the amount-in-controversy
requirement, that is, to keep the diversity caseload of the federal courts under some
modicum of control.” Walsh v. J.B. Hunt Transp., Inc., 20 F. Supp. 2d 1300, 1301 (E.D.
Mo. 1998) (citation omitted). In this case, the proffered stipulation indicates that the
value of the claim at the time of removal did not exceed the jurisdictional minimum, such
that the amount in controversy on the face of the complaint is ambiguous at best. See
Halsne v. Liberty Mut. Grp., 40 F. Supp. 2d 1087, 1092 (N.D. Iowa 1999). “In these
circumstances, the stipulation serves to clarify rather than amend the pleadings,” and the
Court may find on the basis of the stipulation that jurisdiction never attached. Id.
Upon review of the record, and based upon Plaintiff’s stipulation, the Court finds
that the amount in controversy does not exceed $75,000, and as a result, jurisdiction was
lacking at the time of removal.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant’s motion to remand is GRANTED.
(Doc. No. 10.)
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this matter is REMANDED to the Circuit
Court of the City of St. Louis, Missouri, in which it was filed.
AUDREY G. FLEISSIG
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 18th day of October, 2016.
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?