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The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies

GRIMES et al v. HAAR et al

ATTENTION: It is possible that this information may no longer be current and therefore may be inaccurate. The index contains both open and closed cases and is not a complete list of cases in which an ACE Insurance Group company is involved. This information is provided to give interested persons an idea of the issues disputed in the indexed cases. For a full understanding of a case, one should read the rest of the court file, including the response. For the most up-to-date and complete information on a case, visit www.pacer.gov or contact the clerk of the relevant court.

Case Number: 
3:13-cv-00617 Search Pacer
ACE Group party(s): 
Opposing Party: 
Shanitra Grimes
Court Type: 
Federal
US District Court: 
Middle District of Louisiana
Date Filed: 
Sep 18 2013

"I. This civil action was originally filed and is now pending in the 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton, Louisiana, said action being styled as set forth herein above and bearing cause number 620768 on the docket of said court.

II. The plaintiffs in the state court action are residents of Louisiana. The defendant, Katherine Haar, is a resident of Germany. The defendant EAN Holdings, LLC (“EAN”) is a foreign limited liability company with its principal place of business in Missouri. The defendant ACE American Insurance Company (“ACE”) is a foreign insurance company with its principal place of business in Pennsylvania. Thus, there is complete diversity of citizenship.

III. The subject automobile accident from which this litigation arises occurred in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana on May 19, 2012. The plaintiffs filed suit in the 19th Judicial District Court, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana on or about April 17, 2013, and a Citation was issued on April 30, 2013. The Citation is stamped to indicate that ACE American Insurance Company was served through the Secretary of State of Louisiana on May 3, 2013. According to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, EAN Holdings, LLC was served personal on May 2, 2013. The Petition included service instructions on Katherine Haar, a citizen of Germany, (through the Secretary of State) who appears to have been served on May 3, 2013.

IV. An Exception of Insufficiency of Service of Process was filed on August 26, 2013 on behalf of Ms. Haar on the basis that the plaintiffs failed to serve her under the Convention on Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, 20 U.S.T. 361, commonly referred as the “Hague Convention,” which would require translation of pleadings into German, service in Germany and compliance with German law, not service through the Secretary of State in English. No hearing on said Exception has occurred yet.

V. The Petition was silent as to the amount in controversy as Louisiana state procedural rules prohibit the inclusion of an ad damnum clause. La.C.C.P. art 893(A)(1).

VI. Co-defendants EAN Holdings, LLC (“EAN”) and ACE American Insurance Company (“ACE”) propounded discovery including Requests for Admission (Exhibit 1 in globo) on August 22, 2013, and the plaintiffs responded on September 3, 2013, received on September 6, 2013, by undersigned counsel. When asked to admit that the amount in controversy does not exceed $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, the plaintiffs denied said Request for Admission. A copy of this response is attached as Exhibit 2.1 On this basis, the defendants respectfully submit that they have received a “paper” as contemplated by 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(3) which states, “If the case stated by the initial pleading is not removable, a notice of removal may be filed within 30 days after receipt by the defendant, through service or otherwise, of a copy of an amended pleading, motion, order or other paper from which it may first be ascertained that the case is one which is or has become removable.” 28 U.S.C. § 1446(b)(3). (Emphasis added.) The defendants herein respectfully submit that the parties to this litigation are completely diverse from the plaintiff and that the denial of the Request for Admission No. 2 establishes the necessary amount for the creation of federal diversity jurisdiction as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Thus, this Petition for Removal is presented pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b) because the case has become removable.

VII. The defendant Katherine Haar is a resident of Germany who must be served through the Hague Convention. The service instructions set forth on the Petition for Damages requested that service upon Ms. Haar occur through the Secretary of State, a manner which is inconsistent with and disapproved by the Hague Convention. When service is perfected upon Ms. Haar, she will be represented through undersigned counsel; however, Katherine Haar files no appearance herein in order to avoid any argument that she has waived service of process through the Hague Convention, which will require translation of all pleadings into German, and service in Germany under German law. Equity requires that Ms. Haar not be required to appear until such time as the plaintiffs take the necessary steps to serve her properly but that her failure to formally join this petition not preclude EAN or ACE from removal.

VIII. EAN and ACE respectfully submit that this Petition for Removal is timely on the basis that it occurs within one year of the original filing of the plaintiffs’ claims in state court and that the defendants have filed to remove within 30 days of discovery of facts sufficient to establish the existence of federal diversity jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1446.

IX. Until such time as Ms. Haar is properly served, appearing herein for any purpose could waive her objection to the manner in which the plaintiff attempted to serve her. Thus, EAN and ACE submit that all defendants properly before the Court join in this Petition.

X. Based on the foregoing, it is established that this suit is a civil action of which this court has original jurisdiction under the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §1332 and is one which may be removed to this court by the petitioner pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §1441 in that it is a civil action between the citizens of different states and/or a foreign citizen and the amount in controversy exceeds the sum of $75,000 exclusive of interest and costs.

XI. Copies of all process, pleadings and orders known to these defendants are attached hereto as Exhibit 3 in globo, but for the pleadings already attached as Exhibit 1 and 2. As soon as a certified copy of the pleadings is provided by the state court, said copy will be filed of Record in the instant matter.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, Defendants pray that this action be removed from the 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, Louisiana to the United States"

The provided text is an excerpt from a document filed in this case. For a full understanding of the case, one should read the complete court file, including the response.

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