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Frey v. Grumbine's RV

September 15, 2010

KATHERINE A. FREY, PLAINTIFF
v.
GRUMBINE'S RV; DAMON MOTOR COACH; AND MEYER'S RV CENTERS, LLC, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sylvia H. Rambo United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM

Before the court is Plaintiff Katherine A. Frey's Motion for Remand. (Doc. 10.) Plaintiff asserts that the court does not have subject matter jurisdiction to hear this case because of the parties' incomplete diversity of citizenship. Specifically, Plaintiff asserts that named-Defendant Grumbine's RV is a citizen of Pennsylvania, like Plaintiff, and that it is not the same company as Grumbine's RV Centers, which is a fictitious name used by Meyer's RV Centers, LLC, a Minneapolis, Minnesota corporation. For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's motion will be denied.

I. Background

On June 14, 2010, Plaintiff filed a complaint in the Court of Common Pleas in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, case no. 2010 CV 7908 CV, against Defendants Grumbine's RV, Damon Motor Coach, and Meyer's RV Centers, LLC. Plaintiff alleges that she purchased a motor home manufactured by Damon Motor Coach from Defendant Grumbine's RV for $97,984.65. (Doc. 1-2, Compl. ¶ 6.)

Plaintiff also alleges that "Defendant Meyer's RV Centers LLC, is a business entity who owns the business entity known as Grumbine's RV and is a dealer in recreational vehicles," incorporated in Minnesota with its principal place of business in Illinois. (Id. ¶ 5.) Plaintiff alleges various claims for breach of a written sales agreement, breach of warranty, common law misrepresentation, as well as an equitable claim for rescission.

On July 14, 2010, Defendants filed a Notice of Removal with this court. Defendants assert that the court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, based on diversity of citizenship and an amount in controversy in excess of $75,000. (Doc. 1.) On July 19, 2010, Defendants filed motions to dismiss. (See Docs. 2-3.) On July 29, 2010, Defendants filed their briefs in support. (See Docs. 7-8.) On August 9, 2010, Plaintiff filed her motion to remand, as well as a motion to stay briefing of Defendants' motions to dismiss. (Docs. 10, 12.) On August 10, 2010, the court granted Plaintiff's motion to stay briefing of Defendants' motion to dismiss. (Doc. 16.). The parties have fully briefed Plaintiff's motion for remand.*fn1

II. Legal Standard

A motion to remand is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c), which provides that removed cases shall be remanded "[i]f at any time before final judgment it appears that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction." Id.

Removing defendants bear the burden of proving the existence of federal jurisdiction. Dukes v. U.S. Healthcare, Inc., 57 F.3d 350, 359 (3d Cir. 1995). Moreover, "it is well settled that the removal statutes are to be strictly construed against removal and all doubts should be resolved in favor of remand." Steel Valley Auth. v. Union Switch & Signal Div., 809 F.2d 1006, 1010 (3d Cir. 1987); see also Corwin Jeep Sales & Serv., Inc. v. Am. Motor Sales Corp., 670 F. Supp. 591 (M.D. Pa. 1986).

The removing parties allege that this court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). To establish diversity jurisdiction, a party must show that each plaintiff is completely diverse from each defendant and that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. Id. None of the parties contest that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000; however, Plaintiff alleges that the parties are not completely diverse. The citizenship of Plaintiff and Defendants determines whether the parties are diverse, and if Plaintiff is a citizen of a state where any Defendant is also a citizen then the parties are not diverse. See Midlantic Nat'l Bank v. Hansen, 48 F.3d 693, 696 (3d Cir. 1995). A corporation is a citizen of any state in which it is incorporated and the state where it has its principal place of business. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c).

III. Discussion

A. Motion to Remand

Plaintiff is a citizen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (See Doc. 1-2, Compl. ¶ 2, at 6 of 37.) In her complaint, Plaintiff sues Defendants Grumbine's RV, Damon Motor Coach, and Meyer's RV Centers, LLC. Plaintiff alleges that Grumbine's RV is "a business entity who sells new and used RV's [sic] which is authorized to do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with its principal place of business at 7501 Allentown Boulevard, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania." (Id. ¶ 3, at 6-7 of 37.) Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Meyer's RV Centers, LLC is a business incorporated in Minnesota "who owns the business entity known as Grumbine's RV and is a dealer in recreational vehicles," and has its principal place of business in Illinois. (Id. ¶ 5 at 7 of 37.) Finally, Plaintiff alleges that Damon Motor Coach has its principal place of business in Indiana. (Id. ¶ 4, at 7 of 37.)

In her motion for remand, Plaintiff acknowledges that Defendants Damon Motion Coach and Meyer's RV Centers, LLC have diverse citizenship from Plaintiff. (See Doc. 10, Pl.'s Mot. for Remand ΒΆΒΆ 7, 9.) However, Plaintiff asserts that Defendant ...


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