United States District Court, D. Maryland
MIGUEL D. TIDWELL, Plaintiff,
IMPAQ INTERNATIONAL, LLC, Defendant.
Richard D. Bennett United States District Judge
se plaintiff Miguel D. Tidwell filed this action against
defendant IMPAQ International, LLC (“Impaq”)
alleging unlawful discrimination based on plaintiff's
physical and mental impairments. (ECF No. 2.) Tidwell
originally filed his Complaint in the Circuit Court for
Howard County, Maryland, and Impaq removed the case to this
Court on the basis of federal question jurisdiction, 28
U.S.C. § 1331, asserting that Tidwell's claims arise
under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §
12101, et seq. (“ADA”).
pending is plaintiff's Motion to Remand
(“Plaintiff's Motion”) (ECF No.
The parties' submissions have been reviewed, and no
hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md.
2016). For the reasons stated below, Plaintiff's Motion
(ECF No. 12) is DENIED.
Miguel D. Tidwell worked for defendant from May 2006 until
October 31, 2014. (ECF No. 2 at 1, 3.) Plaintiff alleges that
in late 2013, he notified Impaq's Human Resources
department of his mental disability and glaucoma. (Id.
at 2.) Subsquently, plaintiff alleges, another employee of
defendant, Stephanie Naber, discriminated against him on
account of his disabilities. (Id. at 1.)
Specifically, plaintiff alleges that by designating an
ergonomic chair in the office for Mr. Tidwell's exclusive
use, Ms. Naber expressly labelled Mr. Tidwell as
“disabled” in violation of the Americans with
Disabilities Act. (Id. at 2-3.)
resigned from his position on October 31, 2014, and
subsequently filed a Complaint against Impaq with the Office
of Human Rights in Columbia, Maryland. (ECF No. 2 at 3.) The
Complaint was cross-filed with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), which ultimately
issued plaintiff a Right-to-Sue letter. (Id.)
Plaintiff subsequently filed suit in the Circuit Court for
Howard County, Maryland, and defendant removed the case to
defendant in a state civil action may remove the case to
federal court only if the federal court can exercise original
jurisdiction over at least one of the asserted claims. 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a)-(c). Once an action is removed to
federal court, the plaintiff may file a motion to remand the
case to state court if there is a contention that
jurisdiction is defective. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). The
party seeking removal, and not the party seeking remand,
bears the burden of establishing jurisdiction in the federal
court. Mulcahey v. Columbia Organic Chemicals
Co., Inc., 29 F.3d 148, 151 (4th Cir. 1994) (citing
Wilson v. Republic Iron & Steel Co., 257 U.S. 92
(1921)). Federal courts are obliged to carefully scrutinize
challenges to jurisdictional authority, and must “do
more than simply point jurisdictional traffic in the
direction of state courts.” 17th Street Associates,
LLP v. Markel Int'l Ins. Co. Ltd., 373 F.Supp.2d
584, 592 (E.D. Va. 2005). On a motion to remand, this Court
must “strictly construe the removal statute and resolve
all doubts in favor of remanding the case to state
court.” Richardson v. Phillip Morris, Inc.,
950 F.Supp. 700, 701-02 (D. Md. 1997) (citation omitted).
“If federal jurisdiction is doubtful, a remand is
necessary.” Mulcahy, 29 F.3d at 151; see
also Dixon v. Coburg Dairy, Inc., 369 F.3d 811, 815-16
(4th Cir. 2004).
argues that this Court properly exercises subject matter
jurisdiction over this case because Tidwell's claims
arise under the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.
Accordingly, defendant asserts, removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§1441 was proper and this Court exercises jurisdiction
under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. (ECF No. 24 at 1-2.) In its
Supplemental Notice of Removal, Impaq further asserts that
plaintiff's deposition transcript constitutes an
“other paper” under 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(3)
which provides additional support for the “facts
supporting federal jurisdiction.” (ECF No. 31 at 2-3.)
original Motion and in a belatedly filed Reply memorandum to
defendant's opposition to Plaintiff's Motion,
plaintiff expresses a preference for the Howard County forum
and asserts that defendant's removal was intended to
allow defendant to “run and hide out in Baltimore for
litigation.” (ECF No. 27 at 2.) Plaintiff raises no
legal or factual argument in support of his position.
evident from the face of the Complaint and from
plaintiff's own subsequent filings that plaintiff's
claims are brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act,
a federal statute over which this Court properly exercises
original jurisdiction. Indeed, plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgment asserts that plaintiff is entitled to
punitive damages based on defendants' “violating
the ADA Act of 1990 and the Americans with Disabilities Act
Amendments Act (“ADAAA”) of 2008.” (ECF No.
33 at 3.) In addition, there is no indication-or even
allegation-that the timing or content of defendant's
notice of removal was improper.
this Court properly exercises subject matter jurisdiction
over plaintiff's claims; defendant's removal was
proper; and ...