United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF TIARA POPE'S
MOTION TO REMAND CASE (ECF #3)
D. BORMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiff Tiara Pope's Motion for Remand.
(ECF #3.) Plaintiff takes the position that remand is proper
because Defendant Everest National Insurance Company
(“Everest”) did not file its Notice of Removal
(ECF #1) within 30 days of service of process, as required by
28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(1). (Pl.'s Mot., ECF #3, PgID
156.) Defendant contends that its Notice was timely because
it removed the case within 30 days of learning that removal
was proper via a medical bill that Plaintiff produced in
response to Everest's request for production of
documents, relying on the exception to 28 U.S.C. §
1446(b)(1) stated in 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(3). (Def.'s
Resp., ECF #5, z 165.)
around September 26, 2018, Plaintiff Tiara Pope filed a
Complaint in the Washtenaw County Circuit Court seeking
benefits under the Michigan No-Fault Act, Mich. Comp. Laws
§ 500.3101, et seq. (Def.'s Resp., Ex. A,
Compl., ECF #5-2, PgID 173, 175.) Plaintiff stated that she
was involved in a motor vehicle accident on April 23, 2018.
(Id. at ¶9, PgID 176.) Plaintiff claimed that
she is entitled to payment under the terms of an auto
insurance policy issued by Everest for “medical
treatment and devices, attendant care, wage loss, replacement
services, and/or other allowable expenses” resulting
from the accident. (Id.) It is not disputed that
Plaintiff is a citizen of Michigan and Everest is a citizen
of New Jersey. (See Pl.'s Mot. for Remand, ECF
#3.) The Complaint alleged an amount in controversy exceeding
the sum of $25, 000.00, excluding interest, costs, and
attorney fees. (Id. at ¶5, PgID 175.) Everest
argues that it was unclear at that point if the matter was
removable, as the amount in controversy required for federal
jurisdiction based on diversity of citizenship is an amount
exceeding $75, 000.00. (Def.'s Resp., ECF #5, PgID 164.)
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
Response to Everest's First Request for Admissions,
served by mail on March 6, 2019, did not clarify the issue.
(Def.'s Resp., ECF #5-3, Ex. B, PgID 183-84.)
“Request to Admit 1” stated “Please admit
that your damages do not exceed $75, 000.00.”
(Id.) Plaintiff responded, “Neither admit nor
deny at this time. Discovery and treatment are
ongoing.” (Id.) On March 6, 2019, Plaintiff
also mailed her Response to Everest's First Request for
Production of Documents. Plaintiff therein produced a medical
bill from Beaumont Hospital (“Beaumont”) stating
that she owed a balance of $188, 656.65 for treatment as of
the day of the motor vehicle accident, April 23, 2018.
(Def.'s Resp., ECF #5-4, Ex. C, PgID 186.)
March 27, 2019, Defendant filed the Notice of Removal based
on the amount of the Beaumont bill. (ECF #1.) On April 12,
2019, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Remand (ECF #3),
and Everest responded on April 26, 2019 (ECF #5). Plaintiff
did not file a reply. Pursuant to Local Rule 7.2(f)(2), the
Court concludes that a hearing is not required and will make
a determination on the motion papers.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a), “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...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. § 1332(a) provides
that “[t]he district courts shall have original
jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in
controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive
of interests and costs, and is between (1) citizens of
U.S.C. § 1446(b)(1) states that “[t]he notice of
removal of a civil action ... shall be filed within 30 days
after the receipt by the defendant...of a copy of the initial
pleading setting forth the claim for relief upon which such
action...is based.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(3) raises
an exception to this rule: “if 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...of...other paper from which it may first be
ascertained that the case is one which is or has become
Sixth Circuit] places a burden on a defendant seeking to
remove an action to federal court to show by a preponderance
of the evidence that the amount in controversy requirement
has been met.” Hayes v. Equitable Energy Res.
Co., 266 F.3d 560, 572 (6th Cir. 2001) (citing
Gafford v. Gen. Elec. Co., 997 F.2d 150, 158 (6th
Cir. 1993), abrogated on other grounds by Hertz Corp. v.
Friend, 559 U.S. 77 (2010)). Further, “[t]he
amount in controversy should be considered ‘from the
perspective of the plaintiff, with a focus on the economic
value of the rights he seeks to protect.” McGhee v.
Citimortgage, Inc., 834 F.Supp.2d 708, 711 (E.D. Mich.
2011) (quoting Smith v. Nationwide Prop. & Cas. Ins.
Co., 505 F.3d 401, 407 (6th Cir. 2007)). When a
complaint does not plead a specific amount in controversy in
excess of the jurisdictional amount required under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332, “the removing defendant must (1) allege in
the notice of removal that the amount in controversy exceeds
the required jurisdictional amount, and (2) set forth the
facts or other reasons that the removing defendant possesses
that support that allegation.” E.D. Mich. LR 81.1(b).
contends that Section 1446(b)(3)'s exception to the
30-day time limit applies to salvage the at-issue Notice of
Removal. Removal beyond the initial 30 days following service
of process is allowed by Section 1446(b)(3), which states:
Except as provided in subsection (c), if the case stated by
the initial pleading is not removable, a notice of removal
may be filed within thirty 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