United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is a Motion to Remand filed by Plaintiff
Bonnie Clark (Doc. 13). For the reasons set forth below, the
Court grants the motion.
& Procedural Background
case was initially filed by Plaintiff Bonnie Clark
(“Clark”) in Franklin County state court on
August 21, 2018 (Doc. 1-2). Almost one year later, on August
16, 2019, Defendant DG Retail LLC, a corporation d/b/a Dollar
General (“DG Retail”) removed the case to this
Court, asserting that removal is proper because the Court has
subject matter jurisdiction over the case pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §§ 1332 and 1441 (Doc. 1). The Notice of
Removal alleges that Clark is a citizen of the state of
Illinois, and DG Retail is a citizen of the state of
Tennessee (Id.). DG Retail also alleges that the
amount in controversy is satisfied, but indicates that this
was not established until DG Retail received Clark's
demand letter dated August 6, 2019, in which she demanded
$135, 000.00 to settle the case (Doc. 1, p. 3).
August 26, 2019, Clark moved to remand the case on the basis
that DG Retail's Notice of Removal is untimely pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1446. (Doc. 13). Clark specifically
argues that DG Retail was required to remove the case on or
before September 24, 2018 (Id.). On September 20,
2019, DG Retail filed a memorandum in opposition to
Clark's motion to remand (Doc. 14).
is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1441, which provides, in
pertinent part, that “any civil action brought in a
State court of which the district courts of the United States
have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant
or the defendants, to the district court of the United States
for the district and division embracing the place where such
action is pending.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a); see
also Pooter v. Janus Inv. Fund, 483 F.Supp.2d 692,
694-95 (S.D. Ill. 2007). 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 defendant bears the burden of establishing
removal jurisdiction and compliance with all procedural
requirements. Fields v. Jay Henges Enterprises,
Inc., Civil No. 06-323-GPM, 2006 WL 1875457, at *2 (S.D.
Ill. June 30, 2006).
action is removed, a plaintiff may challenge removal by
moving to remand the case back to state court. Remand to the
state court is appropriate for (1) lack of district court
subject matter jurisdiction or (2) a defect in the removal
process. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c); McAdams v. Shindong
Indus. Co. Ltd., No. 18-cv-2199-JPG-RJD, 2019 WL
1924265, at *3 (S.D. Ill. Apr. 30, 2019). A defendant seeking
removal must strictly comply with all statutory requirements,
and where there is doubt as to whether the requirements have
been satisfied, the case should be remanded. Fields,
2006 WL 1875457, at *2.
asks the Court to remand this case on the basis that the
Notice of Removal was untimely. DG Retail responds by arguing
that, because it was unable to determine whether the amount
in controversy was satisfied until it received the settlement
demand on August 6, 2019, the thirty-day requirement for
removal began on that date.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1446, a notice of removal of a civil
action must be filed within thirty days after the
defendant's receipt, through service or otherwise, of a
copy of the initial pleading. 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b).
Section (b)(3) further provides:
[I]f the case stated by the initial pleading is not
removable, a notice of removal may be filed within 30 days
after receipt by the defendant, through service or otherwise,
of a copy of an amended pleading, motion, order or other
paper from which it may first be ascertained that the case is
one which is or has become removable.
28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(3). The time limits in Section 1446
are mandatory, and the failure to comply with those limits
bars removal. Northern Ill. Gas Co. v. Airco Indus.
Gases, a Div. of Airco, Inc., 676 F.2d 270 (7th Cir.
1982). A federal court cannot extend the time limit for
filing a notice of removal, and the thirty-day time limit
will be strictly construed against the defendant.
Roberson v. Orkin Exterminating Co., Inc., 770
F.Supp. 1324, 1328-29 (N.D. Ind. 1991) (citing Lewis v.
Louisville & Nashville R.R. Co., 758 F.2d 219 (7th
Retail claims that, because Clark only claimed an amount
“in excess of $50, 000.00” in her Complaint, the
jurisdictional amount for removal was not met, and
Clark's case was not ...