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Porter v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

January 8, 2020

KECIA PORTER, Plaintiff,
v.
USAA CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER [1]

          SIDNEY I. SCHENKIER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff, Kecia Porter, filed a pro se complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, County Department Law Division, entitled Kecia Porter v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co. (doc. #1-1; Compl.). Defendant, USAA Casualty Insurance Co. ("USAA CIC"), removed the case to this Court on the basis of diversity of citizenship (doc. # 1; Removal). Plaintiff has moved to remand the case to State court (doc. # 24: Remand Motion; doc. # 43: Second Remand Motion), claiming a lack of diversity. For the reasons that follow, we deny plaintiff's motions to remand.

         I.

         Ms. Porter filed her Complaint on December 28, 2018, naming only USAA CIC as defendant on the caption of the Complaint; the caption stated that USAA CIC was the "Defendant" in the singular form; and the body of the Complaint referred variously to "Defendant USAA," "Defendant" or "USAA" (Compl). On April 12, 2019 plaintiff filed her Amended Complaint (doc. #1-1; Am. Compl.; doc. # 28-4: Cook County Docket Report at 4). The Amended Complaint consolidated with the Complaint and added the words "United Services Automobile Asso." to the caption, which identified the defendant as:

United Services Automobile Asso. USAA Casualty Insurance co. Defendant

(Am. Compl.). The Amended Complaint continued to address the opposing party as "Defendant" in the singular form (Id.).

         On May 10, 2019, the Department of Insurance of Illinois, USAA CIC's registered agent, received a copy of the Alias Summons, the Complaint and the Amended Complaint (Removal ¶ 4; doc. #1-1 Alias Summons, Compl., Am. Compl.). On May 16, 2019, USAA CIC's registered agent sent a copy of the Alias Summons, Complaint and the Amended Complaint to USAA CIC's offices (Removal, ¶ 5; doc. # 1-1 May 16, 2019 Letter).

         On June 11, 2019, USAA CIC filed its Notice of Removal with this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441(a) and 1446 on the basis of diversity of citizenship (Removal). On June 21, 2019, plaintiff filed her opposition to the Notice of Removal, claiming no diversity of citizenship on the basis that "USAA" is a reciprocal insurance exchange with subscribers or members in all 50 states (doc. # 9: Removal Opposition). USAA CIC filed its amended response to Ms. Porter's opposition to removal on June 25, 2019 stating that the Complaint was only filed against defendant USAA CIC, a Texas corporation, that "issued a policy that may be the basis of this suit" (doc. # 11: Response to Removal Opposition ¶¶ 10-12).

         On September 4, 2019 Ms. Porter filed a Motion to Remand (doc. # 24: Remand Motion) and memorandum in support (doc. # 26: PL's Remand Memo.). USAA CIC filed a response to the Remand Motion on September 12, 2019 (doc. # 28: Resp. Br.). Thereafter, Ms. Porter was granted leave to file a second amended complaint ("SAC") (doc. # 34:10/22/19 Order) which she filed on October 15, 2019 (doc. # 35: SAC). The caption of the SAC reads as follows:

Kecia Porter, Plaintiff v.
USAA Casualty Insurance Co.
(United Services Automobile Asso.) Defendant

         (SAC). Neither the motion for leave to amend nor the body of the SAC state that Ms. Porter was adding United Services Automobile Asso. as a defendant or suing it in place of USAA CIC. The SAC continues to address the opposing party as "Defendant" in the singular form (Id.). USAA CIC filed its answer and affirmative defenses to the SAC on November 8, 2019 (doc. # 37: Answer). Ms. Porter filed her ...


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