United States District Court, D. Colorado
E. Blackburn Judge
ORDER OF REMAND
E. BLACKBURN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before me on the Plaintiff39;s Motion for
Remand [#12] filed April 9, 2018');">18. The defendant filed a
response [#18');">18], and the plaintiff filed a reply [#23]. I
grant the motion.
I have subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §
1332 (diversity of citizenship).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
28 U.S.C. § 14');">44');">41(a), an action filed in state court may
be removed to federal district court if the action is one
over which the district court would have had original
jurisdiction. Title 28 U.S.C. § 14');">44');">47 provides for
post-removal procedures, including procedures applicable to a
motion for remand to state court. When the basis of removal
allegedly is diversity of citizenship, the parties must be
completely diverse and the amount in controversy must exceed
$75');">5, 000, exclusive of interest, costs, and attorney39;s
fees. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The party invoking
diversity jurisdiction bears the burden of proving the
existence of compete diversity by the preponderance of the
evidence. See Middleton v . Stephenson, 74');">49 F.3d
1197, 1200 (10th Cir. 2014');">4). Complete diversity means each
plaintiff must be diverse from each defendant.
Newman-Green, Inc. v. Alfonzo - Larrain, 4');">490 U.S.
826, 829 & n. 1(1989).
issues concerning remand in this case implicate the
interpretation of the interrelated provisions of three
contracts between the parties. For the reasons discussed
below, I find and conclude that New Jersey law is applicable.
Under New Jersey law, the interpretation of the terms of a
contract is “decided by the court as a matter of law
unless the meaning is both unclear and dependent on
conflicting testimony.” Bosshard v. Hackensack
Univ. Med. Ctr., 34');">45');">5 N.J.Super. 78');">34');">45');">5 N.J.Super. 78, 92 (App.Div. 2001).
The contract must be interpreted as a whole and the
“terms of the contract must be given their ‘plain
and ordinary meaning.39;“ Nester v.
O39;Donnell, 301 N.J.Super. 198');">301 N.J.Super. 198, 210 (App.Div. 1997).
The court should interpret contract terms “to avoid
ambiguities, if the plain language of the contract
permits.” Stiefel v. Bayly, Martin and Fay of
Conn., Inc., 4');">42 N.J.Super. 64');">43');">24');">42 N.J.Super. 64');">43, 65');">51 (App.Div.1990).
2017, the plaintiff, BluSky Restoration Contractors, LLC,
contracted with Weyerhaeuser to perform remediation work on
917 homes in nine states. As part of this work, BluSky
entered into a series of agreements with the defendant,
Whitman-Greenhill, LLC (WG), for management and labor on some
of these homes. According to BluSky, WG provided construction
management services related to 376 homes in eight states. In
addition, WG provided labor on a subset of those homes.
suit, BluSky seeks to resolve a dispute about the amount of
payments due to WG from BluSky. BluSky filed its Complaint
[#4');">4] in the District Court for the Eighteenth Judicial
District of the State of Colorado, also known as the District
Court, Arapahoe County, Colorado. WG removed the case to this
court, asserting that this federal district court has
diversity jurisdiction over the case. BluSky does not dispute
that the prerequisites for diversity jurisdiction are
present. However, in its motion to remand [#12], BluSky
contends this case must be remanded to the state district
court because a forum selection clause in a contract between
the parties requires the parties to resolve this dispute in
the District Court, Arapahoe County, Colorado.
and WG entered into three separate but related contracts
concerning the work performed by WG for BluSky:
(1) Contract #1 - August 23, 2017 - This contract, the
Consulting Services Agreement [#12-3], contains a New Jersey
choice of law clause and a New Jersey forum selection clause;
(2) Contract #2 - August 25');">5, 2017 - This contract, the
Subcontract Agreement [#12-4');">4], contains a Colorado choice of
law clause and a ...