Legal Memorandum: Proof of the Amount in Controversy Cases

Issue: What are the cases relating to proof of the amount in controversy in a federal diversity action?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Proof of the amount in controversy; Federal diversity action
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 246 F. Supp. 311; 859 F. Supp. 1002; 104 F. Supp. 762; 185 F.2d 499; 499 F. Supp. 1283; 920 F. Supp. 259; 134 F.3d 1250; 101 F.3d 93; 368 F. Supp. 553; 937 F.2d 82; 547 F.2d 898; 450 F.2d 444; 350 F.2d 924; 856 F. Supp. 207; 798 F.2d 1075
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 05/01/2000

I.       Burden of Proof

Person removing or otherwise invoking federal court jurisdiction has burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.

St. Paul Reinsurance Co. v. Greenberg, 134 F.3d 1250 (5th Cir. 1998).

State v. Western Sur. Co., 51 F.3d 170 (8th Cir. 1995).

Gober v. Allstate Ins. Co., 855 F. Supp. 158 (S.D. Miss. 1994).

II.        Time at Which Amount Is Determined

The amount in controversy is determined at the time the complaint is filed.

Watson v. Blankinship, 20 F.3d 383 (10th Cir. 1994).

L & L Oil Co. v. Hugh Mac Towing Corp., 859 F. Supp. 1002 (E.D. La. 1994).

Carlough v. Amchem Prods., Inc., 834 F. Supp. 1437 (E.D. Pa. 1993).

III.       Present Value

Sarnoff v. American Home Prod. Corp., 798 F.2d 1075 (7th Cir. 1986), on remand, 666 F. Supp. 137 (N.D. Ill. 1987) (when future benefit is claimed, valuation of claim for purposes of jurisdiction requires discounting future benefit to its present value).

Burton v. Terrell, 368 F. Supp. 553 (W.D. Va. 1973) (amount in controversy is determined exclusive of interest and costs).

IV.       Face Value

Guardian Life Ins. Co. v. Muniz, 101 F.3d 93 (11th Cir. 1996) (face value of insurance policy determines amount in controversy, as that is the only fixed and definite […]

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