United States District Court, D. Oregon
Frederick M. Millard, Douglas M. Bragg, and Melissa L. Young,
Millard & Bragg, P.C., 419 Fifth Street, Oregon City,
Oregon 97045. Attorneys for Plaintiff.
N. Kastan, Damian P. Stutz, and Melanie E. Rose, DKM Law
Group, LLP, 1050 SW Sixth Avenue, Suite 1100, Portland,
Oregon 97204. Attorneys for Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
J. IMMERGUT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
removed this insurance coverage dispute from state court.
Plaintiff seeks remand because removal was not timely or,
alternatively, because the amount in controversy is too low
for federal-court jurisdiction. For the reasons that follow,
Plaintiff's motion is denied.
state-court civil action may be removed to federal court if
plaintiff could have filed there in the first instance. 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a). For a federal court to have diversity
jurisdiction, the parties must be citizens of different
states, and the amount in controversy must exceed $75, 000.
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a); see Weeping Hollow Ave. Tr. v.
Spencer, 831 F.3d 1110, 1112 (9th Cir. 2016).
the state-court complaint does not clearly plead the minimum
amount in controversy, “the removing defendant bears
the burden of establishing, by a preponderance of the
evidence, that the amount in controversy exceeds the
jurisdictional threshold.” Urbino v. Orkin Servs.
of Cal., Inc., 726 F.3d 1118, 1121-22 (9th Cir. 2013)
(quotations and citations omitted). The
“defendant's notice of removal need include only a
plausible allegation that the amount in controversy exceeds
the jurisdictional threshold.” Dart Cherokee Basin
Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, 574 U.S. 81, 89 (2014).
However, if the court or a party questions whether the matter
satisfies the amount-in-controversy requirement, the court
looks to “summary-judgment-type evidence relevant to
the amount in controversy at the time of the removal”
in addition to the complaint and removal petition.
Fritsch v. Swift Transp. Co. of Ariz., LLC, 899 F.3d
785, 793 (9th Cir. 2018) (quoting Kroske v. U.S. Bank
Corp., 432 F.3d 976, 980 (9th Cir. 2005)); see Dart
Cherokee, 574 U.S. at 89. There exists a “strong
presumption” against removal jurisdiction, and federal
jurisdiction “must be rejected if there is any doubt as
to the right of removal in the first instance.”
Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir.
1992) (per curiam).
addition to the requirements of federal subject-matter
jurisdiction, there are procedural requirements for a timely
removal under 28 U.S.C. § 1446. Fritsch, 899
F.3d at 788. A defendant normally has 30 days after receipt
of the complaint or summons to remove a civil case to federal
court. 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(1). However, if the initial
pleading does not “affirmatively reveal on its face
the facts necessary for federal court jurisdiction, ”
Rea v. Michaels Stores, Inc., 742 F.3d 1234, 1238
(9th Cir. 2014) (quoting Harris v. Bankers Life &
Cas. Co., 425 F.3d 689, 691 (9th Cir. 2005)), then the
petition for removal may be filed within the 30-day period
after defendant receives “an amended pleading, motion,
order or other paper from which it may first be ascertained
that the case is one which is or has become removable,
” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(3). Under this statute,
“other paper” includes responses to discovery.
Id. at § 1446(c)(3)(A).
originally filed this action in Clackamas County Circuit
Court on June 3, 2019, ECF 1-1 at 11, and served Defendant on
June 5, ECF 1-2 at 2. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant
breached the parties' contract and committed defamation,
causing both economic damages and emotional distress. ECF 1-5
at 3-8. According to the complaint, Plaintiff seeks
attorney's fees, available under ORS 742.061, on top of
damages specified in the amount of $52, 500. Id. at
answering the complaint on July 3, 2019, ECF 1-7 at 10,
Defendant sent Plaintiff a set of requests for admission,
dated the same day, ECF 1-8 at 10. Three of those queries
REQUEST FOR ADMISSION NO. 5:
Admit that YOU are not seeking damages exceeding $75, 000.01,
exclusive of interest ...