United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
ST VÁZQUEZ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff's
Motion to Remand and Memorandum in Support of Motion to
Remand. [Doc. 5]. The Court, having considered the motion,
briefs, and relevant law, and being otherwise fully informed,
finds that the Motion is well-taken and will be granted.
about April 8, 2018, Plaintiff Jose Enriquez was involved in
an automobile accident. On November 13, 2018, Plaintiff filed
this action in state court for breach of contract, insurance
bad faith, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing,
and violations of the New Mexico Unfair Trade Practices Act
(“UPA”). On October 24, 2018, Plaintiff offered
to settle his claim for $25, 000, and Defendants made a
counteroffer of $10, 000. See [Doc. 5, Aff. of Sara
January 8, 2019, Defendants Francisco R. Almaraz, Rosalinda
Garza, and Fred Loya Insurance removed the case to federal
court based on diversity jurisdiction. [Doc. 1]. On January
22, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant motion to remand,
arguing that diversity jurisdiction does not exist because
the matter in controversy does not exceed $75, 000. [Doc. 5].
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and there is a
presumption against removal jurisdiction, which the defendant
seeking removal must overcome. See Fajen v. Found. Res.
Ins. Co., 683 F.2d 331, 333 (10th Cir. 1982); see
also Martin v. Franklin Capital Corp., 251 F.3d 1283,
1290 (10th Cir. 2001). Removal statutes are to be strictly
construed, and all doubts are to be resolved against removal.
removed this case to federal court based on diversity
jurisdiction. To invoke diversity jurisdiction, “a
party must show that complete diversity of citizenship exists
between the adverse parties and that the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000.” Dutcher v.
Matheson, 733 F.3d 980, 987 (10th Cir. 2013). When
analyzing a removal based on diversity jurisdiction, the
amount in controversy “is ordinarily determined by the
allegations in the complaint, or, where they are not
dispositive, by the allegations in the notice of
removal.” Laughlin v. Kmart Corp., 50 F.3d
871, 873 (10th Cir. 1995) (citation omitted); see also
Siloam Springs Hotel, L.L.C. v. Century Sur. Co., 781
F.3d 1233, 1239 (10th Cir. 2015) (“[T]he relevant time
period for determining the existence of complete diversity is
the time of the filing of the complaint.”). A matter
may be remanded to state court if the federal court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction (such as diversity jurisdiction).
28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). Where a state court complaint does
not identify a specific amount that the plaintiff seeks to
recover, the burden is on the defendant seeking removal to
prove jurisdictional facts by a preponderance of the evidence
such that the amount in controversy may exceed $75, 000.
McPhail v. Deere & Co., 529 F.3d 947 (10th Cir.
2008). “The burden of establishing subject-matter
jurisdiction is on the party asserting jurisdiction.”
Montoya v. Chao, 296 F.3d 952, 955 (10th Cir. 2002)
(citing Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am.,
511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)).
defendant must affirmatively establish jurisdiction by
proving jurisdictional facts that [make] it
possible that $75, 000 [is] in play.”
Id. at 955 (emphasis in original). The Tenth Circuit
has held that “[b]oth the requisite amount in
controversy and the existence of diversity must be
affirmatively established on the face of either the petition
or the removal notice.” Laughlin, 50 F.3d at
873. “Moreover, there is a presumption against removal
jurisdiction.” Id. (citation omitted). There
are a number of ways in which a defendant seeking removal can
establish jurisdictional facts by a preponderance of the
by contentions, interrogatories or admissions in state court;
by calculation from the complaint's allegations[;] by
reference to the plaintiff's informal estimates or
settlement demands[;] or by introducing evidence, in the form
of affidavits from the defendant's employees or experts,
about how much it would cost to satisfy the plaintiff's
McPhail, 529 F.3d at 954 (quoting Meridian Sec.
Ins. Co. v. Sadowski, 441 F.3d 536, 541-42 (7th Cir.
The Court does not have Diversity Jurisdiction because the
Matter in Controversy does not Exceed $75, 000.
argue that this Court has federal diversity jurisdiction
because the parties are diverse and the amount in controversy
exceeds $75, 000. The Court will analyze whether the amount
in controversy exceeds $75, 000, and if the amount in
controversy does not exceed $75, 000, the Court will remand
to state court. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447 (“If
at any time before final judgment it appears that the
district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the case
shall be remanded.”); seealso Tuck v.
United Servs. Auto. Ass'n, 859 F.2d 842, 844 (10th
Cir. 1988) (“A court lacking jurisdiction . . . must
dismiss the cause at any stage of the proceedings in which ...