United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division
RODRIGUEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
date, the Court considered Plaintiff Ronald Shaffer's
Motion to Remand (Docket no. 8) and Defendant Green Earth
Technologies, Inc.'s Motion to Transfer Venue (Docket no.
3). After careful consideration, the Court DENIES both
filed his initial petition on May 6, 2016 in the 166th
Judicial District Court of Bexar County, Texas. Docket no.
1-1 at 2. The subject of Plaintiff's lawsuit is an
Employment Agreement that allegedly governed Plaintiff's
employment relationship with and compensation from Defendant.
Docket no. 1-1 at 3-4. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant
failed to compensate him in accordance with the Agreement and
subsequent representations made by Defendant. Id. at
attached the Agreement to his initial state court petition as
an exhibit. Docket no. 1-1 at 10-11. For present purposes,
the most relevant portion of the agreement is a paragraph
This is the complete agreement and cannot be modified unless
reduced to writing and signed by you and the Company. In
the event of [sic] a dispute should arise between the Company
and you this Offer Letter will be interpreted under the laws
of the state of Connecticut in the county of Fairfield.
Id. at 11 (emphasis added).
obtained a default judgment against Defendant in state court
on September 20, 2016. Docket no. 1-2 at 42-43. On January
19, 2017, Plaintiff filed an abstract of judgment in Harris
County to enforce this default judgment. Docket no. 8-3. On
January 30, Plaintiff filed an application for turnover
relief in Bexar County. Docket no. 8-4.
February 8, 2017, Defendant sought relief from
Plaintiff's default judgment by filing a petition for
bill of review in a Bexar County state court. Docket no. 1-2
at 2-24. On April 11, 2017, the parties filed a joint motion
for entry of agreed judgment setting aside the default
judgment. Docket no. 1-4 at 2-6. On April 18, 2017, the state
court entered the parties' agreed judgment and set aside
the default judgment. Docket no. 1-5 at 2-5. The agreed
judgment stated in part:
[Plaintiff's] live pleading shall be Plaintiff's
Original Petition, Jury Demand, and Request for Disclosure
(“Original Petition”), filed in the Original
Proceeding, on May 6 2016 . . . [Defendant] shall have 30
days from the entry of this Agreed Judgment to file its
initial responsive pleading to [Plaintiff's] Original
Petition. [Plaintiff] shall retain his claims and rights to
the same extent as they existed at the time of the filing of
his Original Petition in the Original Proceeding; and
[Defendant] shall retain any and all rights, objections,
challenges, defenses, affirmative defenses, and counterclaims
related to the Original Petition and [Plaintiff's] claims
Id. at 3-4.
10, 2017, Defendant removed the case to this Court on the
basis of diversity jurisdiction. Docket no. 1. Defendant is a
Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in
New Jersey, Plaintiff is an individual Texas citizen, and
Plaintiff's original petition seeks in excess of $200,
000 in damages. Docket no. 1 at 3. Plaintiff does not
challenge these substantive requirements of subject matter
jurisdiction. See Docket no. 8.
are currently two pending motions-Defendant's motion to
transfer filed on May 18, 2017 (Docket no. 3) and
Plaintiff's Motion to Remand filed on May 22 (Docket no.
8). Even though the motion to transfer was filed first, the
Court will take up these motions ...