December 3, 2013
JOHN DANIELS, Plaintiff,
MENARD, INC., Defendant.
MILTON I. SHADUR, Senior District Judge.
Counsel for removing defendant Menard, Inc. ("Menard") have belatedly delivered to this Court's chambers copies of Menard's Notice of Removal ("Notice") and related documents that brought this action from its place of origin, the Circuit Court of Cook County, to this District Court. Although Notice ¶¶ 3 and 4 satisfactorily establish the requisite diversity of citizenship as between Menard and plaintiff John Daniels ("Daniels"), here are the bare allegations in Notice ¶¶5 and 6 that deal with the amount in controversy:
5. Count I of Plaintiff's Complaint prays for damages in a sum greater than Thirty-Thousand Dollars ($30, 000.00) plus costs (See Exhibit "A"). Count II of Plaintiff's Complaint prays for damages in a sum greater than Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30, 000.00), plus costs (See Exhibit "A").
6. Therefore, it appears to a reasonable probability that Plaintiff seeks damages exceeding $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs.
That last is of course a non sequitur-the claimed "Therefore" is not a "therefore" at all. This Court recognizes that Complaint ¶9 contains a set of boilerplate allegations that are endemic to personal injury complaints, but those do not of themselves betoken the required over-$75, 000 amount in controversy.
This is not to say that Menard needs to adduce actual evidentiary proof of the required amount, but at least a showing that supports a reasonable belief-surely something more than the Notice ¶6 ipse dixit-is called for. This Court will accordingly await any appropriate further input from Menard before going forward with the litigation as a federal matter.