Who Needs Proof? Not The Notice of Removal.
In a previous blog, we explained that the Supreme Court was considering whether a defendant merely has to allege jurisdictional facts or provide evidence regarding the amount in controversy when removing a case. On December 15, 2014, the Supreme Court answered the question. In Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, No. 13-719, 2014 WL 7010692 (U.S. Dec. 15, 2014), the Court held that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1446(a), a defendant's notice of removal need include only a plausible allegation that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional threshold. The notice need not contain evidentiary submissions. The Court further explained that the amount-in-controversy allegation of a plaintiff invoking federal-court jurisdiction is accepted if made in good faith, and the amount-in-controversy allegation of a defendant seeking federal-court adjudication should be accepted when not contested by the plaintiff or questioned by the court. If the plaintiff does contest the allegation, the parties will be entitled to submit proof and the court will decide. In the Notice though, plausible allegations are sufficient.
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