United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion to
Remand. Dkt. # 5. For the reasons stated below, the Court
GRANTS the motion.
March 12, 2015, Plaintiffs served their Complaint on
Defendant in California, and on April 9, 2015, Plaintiffs
filed their Complaint in King County Superior Court. Dkt. #
admitted in his Answer and his Amended Answer to
Plaintiffs' Complaint that he was “a resident of
King County, Washington with a primary residence in Kent,
Washington.” Id. at Exs. 10, 11. During a
September 8, 2015 deposition in this matter, Defendant stated
he was domiciled in Washington, but resided in California.
Id. at Ex. 22. However, on April 18, 2016, Defendant
submitted a declaration stating his intention to change his
residence; “it is my intention upon my return of this
trip to Lebanon to reside again in Trabucco Canyon,
California.” Id. at Ex. 12. Until this point
in time, Plaintiffs assert they did not know Defendant
intended to remain in California and not Washington. Dkt. # 5
2016, Plaintiffs feared that Defendant would evade a judgment
for damages by attempting to relocate out of the country and
sell his Washington property. Dkt. # 6-6. As such, Plaintiffs
filed and served a Motion for a Prejudgment Writ of
Attachment on Defendant's property. Id.
Plaintiffs' Prejudgment Writ of Attachment included an
amount in controversy of $2, 500, 000.00. Id.
August 8, 2016, during a hearing on the Motion for a
Prejudgment Writ of Attachment, the Honorable Veronica Galvan
found that Defendant no longer resided in Washington. Dkt. #
6-13 at 191. Specifically, she found that “[t]he
defendant does not reside in Washington. This is no longer
his usual place of abode for the last four years, according
to his own statement . . . [h]e has an intent to be a
resident of California.” Id. Relying on Judge
Galvan's ruling that Defendant did not intend to stay in
Washington, Defendant filed a Notice of Removal to this Court
on September 7, 2016. Dkt. # 1.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.” Heacock
v. Rolling Frito-Lay Sales, LP, No. C16-0829-JCC, 2016
WL 4009849, at *1 (W.D. Wash. July 27, 2016); see 28
U.S.C. §§ 1331-1332. District courts have
“original jurisdiction” for causes of action that
exceed an amount in controversy of $75, 000.00 and where
there is complete diversity between the parties. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(a)(1). An individual is a citizen of the state in
which he is domiciled, not his state of residence. Kanter
v. Warner-Lambert Co., 265 F.3d 853, 857 (9th Cir.
2001). A “corporation is a citizen of any state where
it is incorporated and of the state where it has its
principal place of business.” Heacock, 2016 WL
4009849, at *1 (quoting Indus. Tectonics, Inc. v. Aero
Alloy, 912 F.2d 1090, 1092 (9th Cir. 1990)).
28 U.S.C. § 1441, a defendant may remove a case from
state court to federal court if the case becomes removable on
the basis of diversity, even though the case lacked diversity
of citizenship at the time it was filed. See 28
U.S.C. § 1441. However, a defendant may not remove a
case based on diversity jurisdiction more than one year after
the action has commenced, “unless the district court
finds that the plaintiff has acted in bad faith in order to
prevent a defendant from removing the action.” 28
U.S.C. § 1446(c).
statutes are construed restrictively, and the removing
defendant bears the burden of establishing that removal is
proper. Gaus v. Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566-67
(9th Cir. 1992). Any doubts as to the right of removal are
resolved in favor of remanding the case to state court.
Id.; see also Zazueta v. Nationstar Mortgage
LLC, No. 3:16-CV-05893-RJB, 2017 WL 74682, at *1 (W.D.
Wash. Jan. 9, 2017).