When does the 30 day timer start for diversity jurisdiction in the instance of potential removal?

If a Defendant receives a served complaint in which they know right off the bat that all defending parties named therein are outside the state in which the Plaintiff is a citizen, when does the 30-day timer start so as to timely file a notice of removal to federal court from state court? More specifically, does the timer start only at the immediate time of Defendants’ knowledge that the minimum jurisdiction requirement of $75,000 is alleged by Plaintiff (such as through an initial disclosure)? For example, what if Plaintiff’s Complaint doesn’t specify numerical monetary damages, and is generally just claiming damages without listing specific numbers? Is it 30 days from the receipt of the complaint, or 30 days from the date of not only complaint, but also knowledge of jurisdictional limit?

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Also, when it comes to corporations and LLC’s, what constitutes an actual “principal place of business” for determining diversity jurisdiction? Would an LLC’s or Corporation’s regional headquarters (West, East, South, etc.) likely be viewed as a principal place of business, even if there are multiple regional headquarters?

A: Unfortunately, the answer to your question is, “It depends.” Usually the 30 days starts when the defendant is served. But there are a lot of moving parts here, and you will want to consult with a Mesa litigation attorney who is experienced in federal court. Federal courts do not “mess around” on these issues, and if you blow a deadline you should not expect to get another chance.

* This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the State of Arizona only. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. You should not rely on this advice alone, and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

Published By:

Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C.
1930 N. Arboleda, Suite 201
Mesa, Arizona 85213
Office: 480-655-7440
Fax: 480-655-7099

By , Arizona Litigation Lawyer.
Re-posted from AVVO Legal Questions & Answers.

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