United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING
PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO REMAND
Plaintiff’s MOTION TO REMAND (Doc. No. 9) filed
September 12, 2019, Plaintiff Yessica Ayala Luna asserts that
the Court lacks federal jurisdiction over this case and asks
the Court to remand this case to state court. For the reasons
stated below, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff’s MOTION TO
April 2017, an uninsured motorist struck Plaintiff’s
vehicle causing damage to the vehicle and physical injuries
to Plaintiff. NOTICE OF REMOVAL, Doc. No. 5, FIRST AMENDED
COMPLAINT, Ex. B. At that time, Defendant Farmers Insurance
Company of Arizona insured Plaintiff. Id. On June
29, 2019, Plaintiff filed her First Amended Complaint in the
Second Judicial District Court in Bernalillo County, New
Mexico, alleging violations of the New Mexico Unfair
Insurance Practices Act (NMSA 1978, § 59A-16-20), the
New Mexico Unfair Practices Act (NMSA 1978, § 57-12-1),
and New Mexico common law claims of bad faith breach of
contract and intentional infliction of emotional distress
against Defendant. Id. Plaintiff’s complaint
did not quantify the damages she seeks, however, a
certification regarding arbitration filed at the same time as
the complaint stated that Plaintiff seeks damages over $25,
000 but not more than $75, 000. Id.
removed this case under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), on the
ground that this Court has diversity jurisdiction. Doc. No.
5. In order 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.” Symes v.
Harris, 472 F.3d 754, 758 (10th Cir. 2006). The parties
do not dispute that complete diversity exists in this
case. Plaintiff, however, contests that the
amount in controversy meets the threshold for removal.
remove a case to federal court, a defendant must file a
notice of removal following the requirements of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1446. The requirements are not arduous; the notice
must contain “a short and plain statement of the
grounds for removal, together with a copy of all process,
pleadings, and orders served upon such defendant or
defendants in such action.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(a).
When a defendant removes a case to federal court on the basis
of diversity jurisdiction, “a defendant’s notice
of removal need include only a plausible allegation that the
amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional
threshold”, but “[e]vidence establishing the
amount is required by § 1446(c)(2)(B) . . .
when the plaintiff contests . . . the
defendant’s allegation.” Dart Cherokee Basin
Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, 135 S.Ct. 547, 554 (2014)
(emphasis added). The Supreme Court has instructed that,
“[i]n such a case, both sides submit proof and the
court decides . . . whether the amount-in-controversy
requirement has been satisfied.” Id. Thus, the
district court must find “by a preponderance of the
evidence that the amount in controversy exceeds the amount
specified in section 1332(a)” for such cases to proceed
in federal court. 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(2)(B).
Plaintiff contests Defendant’s allegation that the
amount in controversy exceeds the $75, 000 jurisdictional
threshold. Doc. No. 9. Accordingly, Defendant bears the
burden as the proponent of removal to establish the amount in
controversy by a preponderance of the evidence. But Defendant
did not file a response to Plaintiff’s MOTION TO
REMAND. As a result, the Court is left without jurisdictional
evidence from Defendant beyond the contentions in
Defendant’s NOTICE OF REMOVAL (Doc. No. 5).
28 U.S.C. § 1446 places no obligation on proponents of
removal to submit evidence of the amount in controversy along
with the notice of removal. See 28 U.S.C. §
1446(a); see also Pudlowski v. The St. Louis Rams,
LLC, 829 F.3d 963, 965 (8th Cir. 2016) (explaining that
the “notice of removal . . . need [not] be accompanied
by a submission of evidence.”). Even so, Defendant
argues in its NOTICE OF REMOVAL that on the face of the
operative complaint (Doc. No. 5, Ex. B), Plaintiff seeks to
recover more than $75, 000. Defendant’s argument,
however, relies solely on the categories of damages Plaintiff
seeks to recover. Indeed, Defendant does not explain how
those categories of damages result in an amount in
controversy that exceeds the jurisdictional threshold.
Plaintiff stipulated that she does not and “will not
ever seek any type or category of damages in excess of $75,
000 in this matter.” Doc. No. 9, Ex. A. Given
Defendant’s failure to offer evidence in support of the
amount in controversy and Plaintiffs stipulation that the
damages she seeks do not exceed $75, 000, the Court concludes
that Defendant has not met its burden of establishing by a
preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy
exceeds $75, 000.
IT IS ORDERED THAT Plaintiffs MOTION TO REMAND (Doc. No. 9)
is GRANTED. This case is remanded to the Second Judicial
District Court of New Mexico.
 The parties agree that Plaintiff is a
citizen of New Mexico and Defendant is a citizen of Arizona.
Accordingly, complete diversity exists. See Dutcher v.
Matheson,733 F.3d 980, 987 (10th Cir. 2013)
(“Complete diversity is lacking when any of the
plaintiffs has ...