United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 
Russ Walker United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the court on plaintiff's motion to
remand. (Doc. 1). Assurant Specialty Property
(“Assurant”) filed a response to the motion (Doc.
9) and plaintiff replied (Doc. 10). Upon review of the motion
and the record, the court concludes that the motion is due to
is by now axiomatic that the inferior courts are courts of
limited jurisdiction. They are ‘empowered to hear only
those cases within the judicial power of the United States as
defined by Article III of the Constitution, ' and which
have been entrusted to them by a jurisdictional grant
authorized by Congress.” Griffith v. Wal-Mart
Stores East, L.P., 884 F.Supp.2d 1218, 1221 (N.D. Ala.
2012) (citing Univ. of S. Ala. v. Am. Tobacco Co.,
168 F.3d 405, 409 (11th Cir. 1999)). “[B]ecause removal
jurisdiction raises significant federalism concerns, federal
courts are directed to construe removal statutes
strictly.” Id. (citing Univ. of S.
Ala., 168 F.3d at 411).
removing party has the burden of establishing subject matter
jurisdiction. Id. “[B]ecause the jurisdiction
of federal courts is limited, the Eleventh Circuit Court of
Appeals favors remand of cases that have been removed where
federal jurisdiction is not absolutely clear.”
Id. (quoting Lowe's OK'd Used Cars, Inc.
v. Acceptance Ins. Co., 995 F.Supp. 1388, 1389 (M.D.
Ala. 1998)). “In fact, removal statutes are to be
strictly construed, with all doubts resolved in favor of
remand.” Id. (quoting Lowe's, 995
F.Supp. at 1389).
procedure is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1446, which
“contemplates two ways that a case may be removed based
on diversity jurisdiction.” Moore v. Wal-Mart
Stores East, L.P., No. 2:15-CV-163, 2015 WL 5813164, *4
(M.D. Ala. Oct. 5, 2015) (report and recommendation adopted).
“The first way (formerly referred to as ‘first
paragraph removals') involves civil cases where the
jurisdictional grounds for removal are apparent on the face
of the initial pleadings.” Id. (quoting
Griffith, 884 F.Supp.2d at 1223). See also
28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(1) (2012). “The second way
(formerly referred to as second paragraph removals')
contemplates removal where the jurisdictional grounds later
become apparent through the defendant's receipt of
‘an amended pleading, motion, order, or other paper
from which it may first be ascertained that the case is one
which is or has become removable.'” Id.
(quoting Griffith, 884 F.Supp.2d at 1223). See also 28 U.S.C.
removal statute “distinguishes between motions to
remand made within the first thirty days following removal,
and challenges to subject matter jurisdiction brought after
that time.” Lowery v. Ala. Power Co., 483 F.3d 1184,
1213 n. 64 (11th Cir. 2007) (citing 28 U.S.C. §1447(c)
“A motion to remand the case on the basis of any defect
other than lack of subject matter jurisdiction must be made
within 30 days after the filing of the notice of removal
under section 1446(a).” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
“If at any time before final judgment it appears that
the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the
case shall be remanded.” Lowery, 483 F.3d at 1213 n.
64. “Plaintiffs have only thirty days from the notice
of removal to file a motion to remand challenging any
procedural defects in the removal.” Id.
“There is only a thirty-day window … for a
plaintiff to challenge the propriety of the removal itself,
whether that challenge be on the basis of a procedural defect
or a lack of subject matter jurisdiction.” Id.
plaintiff filed the motion to remand within thirty days of
the notice of removal, his challenge in this case is to the
propriety of the removal itself. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1447(c); Lowery, 483 F.3d at 1213 n. 64.
first filed this action in state court on June 20, 2016.
(Doc. 5-1 at 1). That complaint was never served upon either
Assurant or Standard Guarantee Assurance Company
(“Standard”). (Doc. 5-2 at 16). Plaintiff filed
an identical complaint on September 16, 2016. (Doc. 5-2 at
27). In the second complaint, plaintiff named defendant as
“Assurant Specialty Property AKA Standard Guaranty
Insurance Company.” (Doc. 5-2 at 27). Standard was
served with the September 16 complaint on September 20, 2016.
(Doc. 5-2 at 38). However, it was Assurant that filed the
notice of removal on October 20, 2016. (Doc. 5). In order to
establish the requisite amount in controversy, Assurant
attached a declarations page from the insurance policy at
issue in this case which indicates that the policy coverage
limit is $372, 000. (Doc. 5-3). The heading of the
declarations page indicates that the policy was issued by
Standard. (Doc. 5-3). In the notice of removal, Assurant
avers that “no other defendants [than Assurant] have
been named. Accordingly, there are no other defendants to
consent to this removal.” (Doc. 5 at 2 (citation
omitted)). Assurant asserts that it has met the requirements
for diversity jurisdiction and, therefore, removal is proper.
(Doc. 5 at 3). In its answer, Assurant also states that it is
the owner of Standard, and that Assurant is a Delaware
corporation with its principal place of business in New York.
(Doc. 8 at 1). Standard has not appeared in this action.
filed his motion to remand on October 24, 2016. (Doc. 1). In
the motion, he objects to the removal itself and the
jurisdiction of this court, and requests that the matter be
remanded to the state court in which it was filed. (Doc. 1 at
1). Attached to the motion to remand are two “business
entity records” from the Alabama Secretary of
State's website; one for Assurant (Doc. 1 at 5), and one
for Standard (Doc. 1 at 6). According to these records,
Assurant, Inc., is incorporated in Delaware and has its
principle place of business in New York, New York (Doc. 1 at
5), and Standard Guaranty Insurance Company is incorporated
in Delaware with its principle place of business is in
Atlanta, Georgia (Doc. 1 at 6). The two businesses are listed
as having different entity identification numbers, different
formation dates, and different certificate of formation
dates. (Id. at 5-6.)
does not contest the validity of these records. On the
contrary, it cites these records in its response to the
motion to remand in order to demonstrate that the parties are
completely diverse. (Doc. 9 at 3). Assurant refers to the
records as “the business entity records from the
Alabama Secretary of State for both entities.” (Doc. 9
at 3). Assurant's response focuses on asserting that this
court has ...