United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
Timothy C. Batten, Sr., United States District Judge
case comes before the Court on Plaintiff Angel Massey's
motion  to remand to state court.
case arises from a state law breach of contract and
negligence action filed by Massey against State Farm and a
now-dismissed Defendant, Corndawgs, Inc. d/b/a Serv Pro of
Clayton County ("Corndawgs"). Massey originally
filed this case on March 27, 2017 against both Defendants in
the State Court of Clayton County, Georgia.
time this case was filed in state court, the parties were
non-diverse under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Both Massey and
Corndawgs were citizens of the State of Georgia. On July 28,
the state court granted Corndawgs's motion to dismiss
based on insufficient service of process, leaving only State
Farm and Massey in the case. State Farm timely removed the
case to this Court. As a result, upon removal the only
remaining parties were diverse: Massey from Georgia and State
Farm from Illinois.
opposes removal in a pleading the Court construes as a motion
 to remand. After considering the motion and State
Farm's response, the Court ordered supplemental briefing
regarding whether the "voluntary-involuntary rule"
bars removal in this case. The Court examines whether removal
was appropriate in light of the parties' briefing on the
original motion and supplemental briefing pursuant to the
A civil action originally filed in a state court may be
removed to a federal district court if the district court has
original jurisdiction over the case. Id. §
1441(a). The burden is on the removing party, here State
Farm, to establish federal subject-matter jurisdiction.
Friedman v. N.Y.Life Ins. Co., 410 F.3d 1350, 1353
(11th Cir. 2005). "If at any time before final judgment
it appears that the district court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded." 28 U.S.C.
§ 1447(c). "Federal courts are courts of limited
jurisdiction, and there is a presumption against the exercise
of federal jurisdiction, such that all uncertainties as to
removal jurisdiction are to be resolved in favor of
remand." Russell Corp. v. Am. Home Assurance
Corp., 264 F.3d 1040, 1050 (11th Cir. 2001).
Farm removed this case on the basis of diversity of
citizenship jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
Massey asserts that removal was not proper because the
presence of Corndawgs, a now-dismissed Defendant and Georgia
resident, defeats diversity jurisdiction. Because the Court
agrees with Massey, this case must be remanded.
Removal from State Court
has granted federal district courts original subject-matter
jurisdiction over two major categories of civil actions:
those that "aris[e] under the Constitution, laws, or
treaties of the United States"- or, federal-question
jurisdiction, id. § 1331-and those that involve
an amount in controversy in excess of $75, 000 and that are
"between citizens of different States, between U.S.
citizens and foreign citizens, or by foreign states against
U.S. citizens"-or, diversity jurisdiction, Exxon
Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Servs., Inc., 545 U.S. 546,
552 (2005) (citing id. § 1332).
as here, the purported jurisdictional basis for removal is
Section 1332(a)(1)-a civil action satisfying the
amount-in-controversy requirement and between "citizens
of different States"-there must be "complete
diversity of citizenship. That is, diversity jurisdiction
does not exist unless each defendant is a citizen of
a different State from each plaintiff."
Owen Equip. & Erection Co. v. Kroger, 437 U.S.
365, 373 (1978).
diversity jurisdiction exists is determined by examining the
citizenship of the parties at the time the complaint is filed
and at the time of removal. See Roecker v. United
States,379 F.2d 400, 407 (5th Cir. 1967); Ritts v.
Dealers All. Credit Corp.,989 F.Supp. 1475, 1476
(N.D.Ga. 1997); 15 James Wm. Moore, Moore's Federal
PRACTICE § lO2.2l[l] (3d. ed. 2017) ("If a case is
filed in state court and a defendant seeks removal to federal
court, diversity of citizenship generally must exist both at
the time the original action is filed and at the time the
removal petition is filed."); see also Aetna Cas.
& Sur. Co. v. Hillman,796 ...