United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
JEFFREY E. ALLEN and ELIZABETH A ALLEN, Plaintiffs
HOLIDAY KAMPER COMPANY OF COLUMBIA, LLC d/b/a Camping World RV Sales; WINNEBAGO INDUSTRIES, INC.; and BANK OF AMERICA, NA, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS'
MOTION TO REMAND
GEIGER LEWIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Jeffery E. Allen and Elizabeth A. Allen (collectively, the
Allens) brought this suit in the Court of Common Pleas for
Horry County against Defendants Holiday Kamper Company of
Columbia, LLC, d/b/a Camping World RV Sales (Camping World),
Winnebago Industries, Inc. (Winnebago), and Bank of America,
NA (Bank of America) (collectively, Defendants). The Allens
claim breaches of warranties under state law and the federal
Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (Warranty Act), breaches of the
South Carolina Manufacturers, Distributors, and Dealers Act,
Lemon Law liability, rescission, and revocation of
acceptance. Defendants subsequently removed the case to this
before the Court is the Allen's motion to remand. Having
carefully considered the motion, the response, the record,
and the applicable law, the Court will deny the motion.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Allens purchased the subject recreational vehicle (RV or
camper) from Camping World. The RV was manufactured by
Winnebago. They paid $125, 000 for the RV, plus $4, 075 in
additional charges, for a total of $129, 075.00. The Allens
financed $90, 075 of this amount. The loan was assigned to
Bank of America.
to the Allens, “[s]hortly after purchasing the camper,
[they] experienced numerous unrelenting problems . . . .
[They] have had the camper in for repairs at the Camping
World Repair Shop on numerous occasions, totaling many
months.” Complaint ¶ 7-8.
the Allens filed suit in state court, Defendants removed the
case to this Court on the basis of the Allen's Warranty
Act claim. The Allens then filed their motion to remand, to
which Defendants filed a response. The Court, having been
briefed on the relevant issues, is now prepared to adjudicate
the motion on the merits.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
plaintiff is the master of the complaint and may avoid
federal jurisdiction by exclusively relying upon state law.
Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392
(1987). Nevertheless, “any civil action brought in a
State court of which the district courts of the United States
have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant .
. . to the district court of the United States for the
district and division embracing the place where such action
is pending.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a).
burden of establishing federal jurisdiction is placed upon
the party seeking removal.” Mulcahey v. Columbia
Organic Chems. Co., 29 F.3d 148, 151 (4th Cir. 1994).
The Court is “obliged to construe removal jurisdiction
strictly because of the ‘significant federalism
concerns' implicated.” Dixon v. Coburg Dairy,
Inc., 369 F.3d 811, 816 (4th Cir. 2004) (en banc)
(quoting Mulcahey, 29 F.3d at 151).
“Therefore, ‘[i]f federal jurisdiction is
doubtful, a remand [to state court] is necessary.'”
Id. (quoting Mulcahey, 29 F.3d at 151).
Moreover, any ambiguity is to be construed against the
removing party. Her Majesty The Queen In Right of the
Province of Ont. v. City of Detroit, 874 F.2d 332, 339
(6th Cir. 1989).
considering a motion to remand, the Court accepts as true all
relevant allegations contained in the complaint and construes
all factual ambiguities in favor of the plaintiff. Willy
v. Coastal Corp., 855 F.2d 1160, 1163-64 (5th Cir.
1988). The “well-pleaded complaint rule” requires
the exercise of federal jurisdiction based upon 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331 when a federal question is presented on the face
of the plaintiff's well-pleaded complaint. Harless v.
CSX Hotels, Inc., 389 F.3d 444, 450 (4th Cir. 2004)
(citing Aetna Health Inc. v. Davila, 542 U.S. 200,
Court “has jurisdiction over an entire action,
including state-law claims, whenever the federal-law claims
and state-law claims in the case ‘derive from a common
nucleus of operative fact' and are ‘such that [a
plaintiff] would ordinarily be expected to try them all in
one judicial proceeding.'” Carnegie-Mellon
Univ. v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 349 (1988) (quoting
United Mine Workers of Am. v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715,