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People v. SDS West Corp.

July 30, 2009

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SDS WEST CORPORATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Richard Mills United States District Judge

OPINION

RICHARD MILLS, U.S. District Judge

Defendants removed this case to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction.

Plaintiff moves for remand, arguing that diversity jurisdiction is lacking because the State of Illinois is the real party in interest.

This Court's recent ruling in Illinois v. LiveDeal, Inc., 2009 WL 383434 (C.D. Ill. Feb. 12, 2009) controls.

Motion to remand is allowed.

Costs and fees awarded to the State.

I.

Invoking Illinois' Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act ("ICFDBPA"), 815 ILCS 505/1 et seq., the Attorney General for the State of Illinois brought this action against two California companies and several of their officers and directors (collectively, "Defendants"). The suit was initially filed in the Illinois Circuit Court of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Sangamon County, but was removed to federal court on diversity grounds.

The Complaint alleges that the Defendants offered and performed debt settlement and mediation services for Illinois consumers. Defendants allegedly violated the ICFDBPA by, inter alia, making false or misleading statements and failing to clearly and conspicuously provide certain information. The Attorney General seeks an injunction and civil penalties, as well as restitution and rescission for injured Illinois consumers.

II.

"A defendant has the right to remove a case from state to federal court when the federal court could exercise jurisdiction in the first instance."

Oshana v. Coca-Cola Co., 472 F.3d 506, 510 (7th Cir. 2006) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1441)). The removal statute is narrowly construed, Wirtz Corp. v. United Distillers & Vintners N. Am., Inc., 224 F.3d 708, 715-16 (7th Cir. 2000), and the burden of establishing that removal is proper rests with the proponent of federal jurisdiction, Tylka v. Gerber Prods. Co., 211 F.3d 445, 448 (7th Cir. 2000). "Any doubt regarding jurisdiction should be resolved in favor of the states." Doe v. Allied-Signal, Inc., 985 F.2d 908, 911 (7th Cir. 1993) (citing Jones v. Gen. Tire & Rubber Co., 541 F.2d 660, 664 (7th Cir. 1976)).

Defendants allege that diversity jurisdiction provides a source of original jurisdiction. Diversity jurisdiction over civil actions requires both complete diversity and a controversy exceeding $75,000. 28 U.S.C. ...


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