United States District Court, D. Idaho
GLENWOOD SNACKS, LLC, an Idaho Limited Liability Company, Plaintiff,
BLEND, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill U.S. District Court Judge
the Court is Plaintiff Glenwood Snacks, LLC's Motion to
Remand the pending litigation back to state court pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). Dkt. 7. For the reasons set forth
below, the Court will GRANT the Motion.
case began with a complaint filed by Glenwood Snacks in State
Court alleging breach of contract for Blend's failure to
pay for a shipment of a beef jerky manufactured by Glenwood
Snacks. Blend removed the case to Federal Court pursuant to
28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441, and 1446 under diversity
jurisdiction. Glenwood Snacks seeks damages in the amount of
$27, 624.55. Blend argues that the combined damages and
future attorney's fees exceeds the amount in controversy
requirement. Glenwood Snacks argues that it will not. Neither
party disputes that diversity exists. Thus, the sole issue
for the Court to decide is whether the amount in controversy
is sufficient to support the Court's exercise of
from state court is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1441 and 28
U.S.C. § 1332. Sections 1332(a) and 1441(b), when read
together, allows for removal based on diversity of
citizenship when (1) there is complete diversity between the
parties, and (2) the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000.
courts strictly construe the removal statute. See Gaus v.
Miles, 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992). In diversity
cases where the amount in controversy is in doubt, there is a
presumption against removal jurisdiction. Id. The
party seeking removal bears the burden of establishing that
removal is proper. Id. This burden is satisfied if
the defendant shows by a preponderance of the evidence that
the Plaintiff will “more likely than not” receive
at least $75, 000.01 in relief. See Sanchez v. Monumental
Life Ins. Co., 102 F.3d 398, 404 (9th Cir. 1996). The
“more likely than not” standard strikes an
appropriate balance between the plaintiff's right to
choose its forum and the defendant's right to remove.
determine whether the defendant has met its burden, the Court
may consider “facts presented in the removal petition
as well as any summary judgment-type evidence relevant to the
amount in controversy at the time of removal. See Cohn v.
Petsmart, Inc., 281 F.3d 837, 839 (9th Cir. 2002).
Conclusory allegations by the defendant, or speculative
arguments about the potential value of an award, however,
will not suffice to overcome the traditional presumption
against removal jurisdiction. See Singer v. State Farm
Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 116 F.3d 373, 375 (9th Cir. 1997);
Gaus, 980 F.2d at 567. “[T]he defendant bears
the burden of actually proving the facts to support ... the
jurisdictional amount.” Id.
which may be included in the amount in controversy includes
(1) compensatory damages, (2) punitive damages, (3) the value
of injunctive relief, and (4) attorney's fees. See
Cohn, 281 F.3d at 840. Future attorney's fees that
are recoverable by statute or contract must be included in
assessing whether the amount in controversy requirement is
established. Fritsch v. Swift Trans. Co. of Arizona,
LLC, 899 F.3d 785, 788-89 (9th Cir. 2018).
Court will accept, for purposes of this decision, the premise
that Glenwood Snacks is entitled to the full amount of
damages sought in its complaint: $27, 624.55. As such, the
question becomes whether Glenwood Snacks will also be
entitled to legal fees in the amount of $47, 375.46 or more.
The Court concludes that Blend has not met its burden of
showing by a preponderance of the evidence that it is
“more likely than not” that Glenwood Snacks will
incur and be awarded legal fees of at least $47, 375.46.
Plaintiff's Counsel's Hourly Rate Is
on the evidence of record and the Court's own experience,
Glenwood Snack's attorney's rate of $315 per hour is
reasonable. See Romish Holdings, LLC v. Inclusion,
Inc., No. 1:15-cv-00126-BLW, 2016 WL 3093371, *1 (D.
Idaho June 1, 2016) (holding $275/hour was reasonable in the
District of Idaho); In re Hopkins Northwest Fund
LLC, 567 B.R. 590, 595 (D. Idaho Feb. 16, 2017) (finding
$280/hour reasonable in District of Idaho); Colucci v.
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