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Baron v. Directv, LLC

United States District Court, D. Maryland

October 14, 2016

PAUL Y. BARON, JR., Plaintiff
v.
DIRECTV, LLC, Defendant

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          James K. Bredar United States District Judge.

         I. Background

         This case was filed originally by Plaintiff Paul Y. Baron, Jr., in the Circuit Court for Worcester County, Maryland. (Compl., ECF No. 2.) It alleges five counts: conversion; violation of the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act (“MCDCA”), codified at Md. Code Ann., Com. Law § 14-201 et seq. (LexisNexis 2005); violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act (“MCPA”), codified at Md. Code Ann., Com. Law § 13-301 et seq. (LexisNexis 2005); fraud; and restitution - unjust enrichment. (Id.) The suit was timely removed to this Court by Defendant DIRECTV, LLC. (ECF No. 1.) Pending before the Court is Baron's motion to remand. (ECF No. 11.) The motion has been briefed (ECF Nos. 14, 15), and no hearing is necessary, Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). The motion will be denied.

         II. Standard for Remand

         Because federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, a cause of action is presumed to lie outside of that limited jurisdiction, and the burden of establishing otherwise rests upon the party asserting jurisdiction. Barbour v. Int'l Union, 640 F.3d 599, 605 (4th Cir. 2011) (en banc), abrogated on other grounds by 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(2)(B). In particular, removal statutes are to be strictly construed, and doubts regarding the propriety of removal should be resolved in favor of remanding the case to state court. Id.

         III. Analysis

         Baron argues that the amount in controversy in this diversity jurisdiction case does not exceed $75, 000 and, hence, this Court does not have subject-matter jurisdiction. Based upon a careful reading of his complaint and the relevant authorities, the Court disagrees.

         The complaint's ad damnum clause reads as follows:

         WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays that the Court:

A. Award BARON judgment against DIRECTV upon Count One in the amount of $1, 571.72 actual damages and $50, 000.00 punitive damages;
B. Award BARON judgment against DIRECTV upon Count Two in the amount of $50, 000.00 actual damages and reasonable attorney's fees and costs;
C. Award BARON judgment against DIRECTV upon Count Three in the amount of $50, 000.00 actual damages and reasonable attorney's fees and costs;
D. Award BARON judgment against DIRECTV upon Count Four in the amount of $1, 571.72 actual damages and $50, ...

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