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Ellis v. Goldberg

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division

March 6, 2017

ALAN ELLIS, Plaintiff,
v.
RONALD GOLDBERG, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER REGARDING DEFENDANT'S PRO SE MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION

          MARK W. BENNETT U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND ............................................................. 2

         A. Factual Background ..................................................................................... 2

         B. Procedural Background ............................................................................... 4

         II. LEGAL ANALYSIS ................................................................................................. 4

         A. Amount in Controversy Standards ............................................................... 4

         B. Analysis ......................................................................................................... 8

         III. CONCLUSION ........................................................................................................ 9

         Title 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) provides: “The district courts shall have original jurisdiction over all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between - (1) citizens of different States[.]” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). Therefore, to establish this court's subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, the defendant must demonstrate: (1) complete diversity, and (2) that the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. Defendant has filed a pro se pre-answer motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, contending that the amount in controversy is insufficient for diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Thus, the dispositive question I must answer here is whether the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional amount.

         I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Background

         Plaintiff Alan Ellis's Complaint and attached exhibits and the pending motion to dismiss and attached exhibits reveal the following factual background.

         Ellis is a resident of Novato, California. He is an attorney, specializing in federal criminal sentencing, with offices in San Francisco and New York. Defendant Ronald Goldberg is a resident of Arnolds Park, Iowa. Goldberg was a criminal defendant in a case in the United States ...


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