United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
pending in this matter is a motion by plaintiff Angela Jones
to remand the case to the Court of Common Pleas of
Philadelphia County. Upon consideration of the parties'
briefs, I will deny the motion.
April 21, 2017, plaintiff Angela Jones filed a praecipe to
issue writ of summons and demanded a jury trial in the Court
of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County against defendants
Skyview Management, LLC, Vraj Brig PA, LLC and Wyndham Hotel
Group. Am. Notice of Removal, ECF No. 4, ¶ 1. Plaintiffs
praecipe and a writ of summons were served on defendant
Wyndham Hotel Group on April 27, 2017. Id. ¶ 2.
Defendants filed a notice of removal, under 28 U.S.C. §
1446(b)(3), on May 23, 2017. Id. ¶ 3. As
removal was premised on diversity jurisdiction, I ordered
counsel for defendants to file an amended notice of removal
to more specifically aver the residences and citizenship of
the members of Skyview Management, LLC and Vrag Brig, LLC.
Order, ECF No. 2. Defendants filed that amended notice of
removal on June 13, 2017. Am. Notice of Removal, ECF No. 4.
to the amended notice, plaintiff is a citizen of the State of
Illinois. Id. ¶ 9. Defendant Skyview
Management, LLC is a limited liability company and sole
member entity with its registered address and principal place
of business located at 735 Highway 35 North, Asbury Park, New
Jersey. At all relevant times, the sole member of Skyview
Management, LLC was Ravi Sheth, located at 143 Valesi Drive,
Morganville, New Jersey. Id. ¶ 5. Defendant
Vraj Brig PA, LLC is a limited liability company and sole
member entity with its registered address and principal place
of business located at 2015 Penrose Avenue, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. At all relevant times, the sole member of Vraj
Brig PA, LLC was Ravi Sheth, located at 143 Valesi Drive,
Morganville, New Jersey. Id. ¶ 6. Defendant
Wyndham Hotel Group is a corporation incorporated in the
State of Delaware with its principal place of business
located at 22 Sylvan Way, Parsippany, New Jersey.
Id. ¶ 7.
allege, on information and belief, that the incident giving
rise to plaintiffs claims occurred on premises operated by
defendant Skyview Management. Id. ¶ 8.
Plaintiffs praecipe to issue writ of summons seeks damages in
excess of $50, 000, Id. ¶ 11 & Ex. A, and
defendants surmise that the amount in controversy in this
matter is in excess of $75, 000. Id. ¶ 13. To
date, a formal complaint has not been filed or served by
plaintiff, preventing defendants from ascertaining the
specific injuries and damages allegedly sustained in the slip
and fall incident that occurred on December 26, 2015.
Id. ¶ 12.
21, 2017, plaintiff filed a motion to remand this matter to
state court based on the "forum defendant"
rule. PL's Mot. to Remand, ECF No. 5.
Defendant responded on June 26, 2017. Defs.' Resp.
Opp'n Mot. to Remand, ECF No. 7.
28 U.S.C. § 1441(a), a defendant may remove a civil
action filed in a state court if the federal court would have
had original jurisdiction over the action. 28 U.S.C. §
1441(a). A defendant seeking removal of an action must file a
petition for removal with the district court within thirty
days of plaintiff s service of the complaint upon defendant.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b). "The defendants
bear the burden of establishing removal jurisdiction and
compliance with all pertinent procedural requirements."
Winnick v. Pratt. No. 03-1612, 2003 WL 21204467, at
*1 (E.D.Pa. May 20, 2003), citing Bover v. Snap-On Tools
Corp.. 913 F.2d 108, 111 (3d Cir.1990); see also
Palmer v. Univ. of Med, and Dentistry of N.J.. 605
F.Supp.2d 624, 627 (D.N.J. 2009) ("A party opposing
remand must show that removal was proper.").
action is removed, a plaintiff may challenge removal by
moving to remand the case back to state court. Cook v.
Soft Sheen Carson. Inc.. No. 08-1542, 2008 WL 4606305,
at *1 (D.N.J. Oct. 15, 2008), citing 28 U.S.C.
§ 1447(c). Remand to the state court is appropriate for
"(1) lack of district court subject matter jurisdiction
or (2) a defect in the removal procedure." PAS v.
Travelers Ins. Co., 7 F.3d 349, 352 (3d Cir. 1993).
Remand is mandatory and can occur at any time during the
litigation if the court determines that it lacks federal
subject matter jurisdiction. Kimmel v. DeGasperi.
No. 00-143, 2000 WL 420639, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 7, 2000),
citing 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). A motion to remand
the case on the basis of any defect in the removal procedure,
however, must be submitted within thirty days after filing of
the notice of removal under section 1446(a). 28 U.S.C. §
1447(c); N. Penn Water Auth. v. Bae Svs. Aerospace Elec.
Inc.. No. 04-5030, 2005 WL 1279091, at *5 (E.D. Pa. May
25, 2005). Upon a motion to remand, "[i]t is always the
removing party's burden to prove the propriety of
removal, and any doubts about the existence of federal
jurisdiction must be resolved in favor of remand."
Lumbermans Mut. Cas. Co. v. Fishman. No. 99-929,
1999 WL 744016, at *1 (E.D. Pa. Sep. 22, 1999), citing
Batoff v. State Farm Ins. Co., 977 F.2d 848, 851 (3d
Cir. 1992); see also Bover. 913 F.2d at 111 (holding
that the removal statutes "are to be strictly construed
against removal and all doubts should be resolved in favor of
remand"), quoting Steel Valley Auth. v. Union Switch
& Signal Div, 809 F.2d 1006, 1010 (3d Cir. 1987).
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)
[D]istrict courts ... have original jurisdiction of all civil
actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or
value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is
between-(1) citizens of different States; (2) citizens of a
State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state; (3)
citizens of different States and in which citizens of a
foreign state are additional parties; and (4) a foreign
state, defined in § 1603(a) of this title, as plaintiffs
and citizens of a State or of different States.
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). The United States Supreme Court has
read this Rule to require complete diversity between all
plaintiffs and all defendants. Lincoln Prop. Co. v.
Roche. 546 U.S. 81, 89 (2005). In other words, each
plaintiff must be able to sue each defendant. Singh v.
Daimler-Benz AG. 9 F.3d 303, 305 (3d Cir. 1993),
citing Strawbridge v. Curtiss. 7 U.S. (3 Cranch)
267, 2 L.Ed. 435 (1806); see also Yellen v. Telledne
Cont'l Motors. Inc.. 832 F.Supp.2d 490, 501 (E.D.