United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO
REMAND AND GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO COMPEL
ARBITRATION AND DISMISS THE COMPLAINT
Bernard A. Friedman Senior United States District Judge.
matter is presently before the Court on plaintiff's
motion to remand the case to state court [docket entry 3] and
defendant's motion to compel arbitration and dismiss the
complaint [docket entry 2]. Defendant has responded to
plaintiff's motion to remand. Plaintiff has not responded
to defendant's motion to compel arbitration and dismiss
the complaint, and the time for her to do so has expired.
Pursuant to E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f)(2), the Court shall decide
the motions without a hearing. For the reasons stated below,
the Court shall deny plaintiff's motion to remand and
shall grant defendant's motion to compel arbitration and
dismiss the complaint.
5, 2019, plaintiff filed a one-page complaint in Oakland
County Circuit Court, the entirety of which states:
1. In December 2016, Defendant Olive Garden wrongfully
terminated Plaintiff Mays[.]
2. Defendant Olive Garden slanders Plaintiff Mays.
3. Plaintiff Mays loss [sic] wages due to being wrongfully
terminated by Defendant Olive Garden.
4. Plaintiff Mays was discriminated by Defendant Olive
5. Defendant Olive Garden used Plaintiff Mays [sic] likeness
for training meetings.
6. Defendant Olive Garden used Plaintiff Mays [sic] likeness
to destroy her character.
7. Defendant Olive Garden defames Plaintiff Mays.
relief, plaintiff seeks $20, 000, 000, plus interests and
costs. She also “seeks to negotiate an amount for the
use of likeness for the past and future training
meetings.” Compl. at 1.
29, 2019, defendant removed the case based on diversity
jurisdiction. Defendant indicates in the notice of removal
that “there is complete diversity of citizenship”
between the parties because plaintiff is a citizen of
Michigan and defendant “is a corporation organized
under the laws of the State of Florida and having its
principle [sic] place of business in Orlando, Florida.”
Notice of Removal ¶ 3(a). Defendant also indicates that
the amount in controversy, exclusive of interest and costs,
exceeds $75, 000. Id. ¶ 3(b). Attached to the
notice of removal is the Declaration of Melissa Ingalsbe, the
Director of Dispute Resolution and Human Resource Compliance
for defendant's parent company. Id. Ex. B.
Ingalsbe avers that defendant was incorporated under the laws
of Florida and has its principal place of business in
Florida. Id. Ex. B ¶¶ 5-6. She states that
company records show that plaintiff was employed by defendant
“at its Novi, Michigan Olive Garden Italian
Restaurant.” Id. Ex. B ¶ 8.
Motion to Remand
argues that the case should be remanded to Oakland County
Circuit Court because “[t]here is no question here that
the Court lacks diversity jurisdiction over this case.”
Pl.'s Mot. at 3. Plaintiff argues that complete diversity
between the parties does not exist because plaintiff is a
citizen of Michigan; defendant is a citizen of Michigan given
that it “operates as a business in Oakland County,
Michigan”; defendant's attorneys are citizens of
Michigan because that is where they are licensed to practice;
and Melissa Ingalsbe “is not relevant to this case in
any matter” despite defendant's “attempt to
distract the Court by wrongfully misrepresenting [her] as an
important defendant to this case.” Id. at 3-4.
Defendant opposes plaintiff's motion and argues that
removal was proper because the requirements of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(a) are met.
diversity statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1332, provides:
(a) The 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 ...