On December 15, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Company, LLC v. Owens. The question in this case was whether a defendant seeking removal to federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction was required to include in the notice of removal evidence supporting the minimum “amount in controversy” required for diversity jurisdiction, or whether it was enough simply to allege the requisite amount in the notice of removal.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Ginsburg, the Court held by a vote of 5-4 that a defendant’s notice of removal on the basis of diversity jurisdiction need not include evidentiary submissions demonstrating that the amount in controversy requirement is met; a plausible allegation that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional threshold is sufficient.
Justice Ginsburg’s opinion for the Court was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Breyer, Alito, and Sotomayor. Justice Scalia filed a dissenting opinion, which Justices Kennedy and Kagan joined, and which Justice Thomas joined except for the last sentence. Justice Thomas also filed a dissenting opinion. The judgment of the Tenth Circuit was vacated and the case remanded.
To discuss the case, we have Tyler Green, who is Associate Chief Counsel at the U.S. Chamber's Litigation Center.