United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Galveston Division
C. HANKS JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Remand. Dkt. 19. After
considering the motion, the parties' pleading, and
relevant authority, the Court finds that removal was proper
and will therefore deny Plaintiff's Motion to Remand.
case stems from a workplace injury sustained by the
Plaintiff, James George (“George”) in August
2016. George filed his original petition in the
412th Judicial District Court of Brazoria County,
Texas. Dkt. 1-3. Defendants timely removed the case on
December 21, 2016. Dkt. 1. Defendants based removal on the
Court's diversity jurisdiction. According to Defendants,
there is complete diversity between George and all
Defendants. George filed the instant Motion to Remand. Dkt.
19. Defendants Evergreen Tank Solutions, Inc.
(“Evergreen”) (Dkt. 28), Brenner Tank Services,
LLC, and Walker Group Holdings, LLC (Dkt. 29) and SI Group,
Inc. (Dkt. 30) each filed separate responses, to which George
filed a Reply. Dkt. 31. Plaintiff's Motion to Remand
argued that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
because: 1) Evergreen is a non-diverse party, having its
principal place of business in Texas; 2) Defendants fail to
meet their heavy burden to show that Evergreen was
fraudulently joined; and 3) it is unclear whether all
Defendants consented to removal.
of these issues have resolved. It is undisputed that
Evergreen is incorporated in Delaware. Evergreen stipulates
that the fraudulent joinder claim does not apply. Dkt. 28.
Further, all Defendants have now confirmed that they consent
to removal. Dkts. 28-30. The only remaining issue therefore
is whether Evergreen's principal place of business is in
Texas-as George claims-or in Arizona-as Evergreen claims.
a defendant may remove to federal court any state court civil
action over which the federal court would have
“original jurisdiction.” 28 U.S.C. §
1441(a); see Gasch v. Hartford Acc. & Indem.
Co., 491 F.3d 278, 281 (5th Cir.2007). Federal courts
have “original jurisdiction” over civil actions
where the parties are diverse and the matter in controversy
exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive of interests
and costs. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). When determining
citizenship for diversity, a corporation is “deemed to
be a citizen of every State and foreign state by which it has
been incorporated and of the State or foreign state where it
has its principal place of business ….” 28
U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1). “Courts have recognized that
a subsidiary corporation which is incorporated as a separate
entity from its parent corporation is considered to have its
own principal place of business.” Coghlan v. Blue
Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Civil Action No. H-12-2703,
2013 WL 150711 (S.D. Tex. Jan. 14, 2013) (citations omitted)
(internal quotation marks omitted). The United States Supreme
Court defines the principal place of business
(“PPB”) as “the place where a
corporation's officers direct, control, and coordinate
the corporation's activities [known as its] ‘nerve
center.'” Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 559 U.S.
77, 92-93 (2010).
decision whether to remove is based on the facts as they
existed at the time of removal. Allen v. R & H Oil
& Gas Co., 63 F.3d 1326, 1335 (5th Cir. 1995).
“[D]oubts regarding whether removal jurisdiction is
proper should be resolved against federal
jurisdiction.” Acuna v. Brown & Root Inc.,
200 F.3d 335, 339 (5th Cir.2000). The removing party
therefore bears the burden of showing by a preponderance of
the evidence that removal is proper. Manguno v.
Prudential Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 276 F.3d 720, 723
(5th Cir.2002). Once this burden has been met, “removal
is proper, provided plaintiff has not shown that it is
legally certain that his recovery will not exceed the amount
stated in the state complaint.” De Aguilar v.
Boeing Co., 47 F.3d 1404, 1412 (5th Cir. 1995).
dispositive issue before the Court is whether Evergreen was a
subsidiary incorporated as a separate entity from Mobile Mini
on the date of removal, December 21, 2016. George's
Motion to Remand alleges that Evergreen's president is
based in Texas. It further alleges that Evergreen is a
subsidiary and separate entity to Mobile Mini, Inc.
(“Mobile Mini”), which acquired Evergreen in
2014. The Motion argues that because Evergreen is an
independently operated subsidiary to Mobil Mini, it retains
its own citizenship for diversity purposes. George attaches,
inter alia, the following evidence to support his
• a 2015 Texas Franchise Tax Public Information Report
listing Evergreen's PPB as Houston, Texas and its
president as a Houston resident (Dkt. 1-12);
• Evergreen's website listing its Corporate Office
as having a Houston, Texas address;
• a 2014 Mobile Mini press release announcing its
purchase of “Houston, TX-based Evergreen Tank
Solutions, ” which would continue to be run by its
president (Dkt. 19-4);
• a 2014 Mobile Mini press release stating that
Evergreen “will continue to operate as a separate
subsidiary under the ETS name” (Dkt. 19-5);
• an online profile of Evergreen stating that it is
headquartered in Texas (Dkt. 19-8).
Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Remand argues that
George improperly relied upon outdated information showing
that Evergreen was a subsidiary of Mobile Mini. ...