Rynearson v. Motricity, Inc., 601 F.Supp.2d 1238 (2009)

This opinion on amount in controversy is short and boring. We just couldn’t make it funny, so here is a bland report on the case.

The plaintiff filed a putative class action suit alleging that the defendant “facilitated placing unauthorized charges for mobile content on customers’ bills.” The complaint did not plead a specific amount of damages and as such the burden was on the defendant, who was seeking removal, to prove the amount in controversy exceeds $5,000,000 by a preponderance of the evidence. 

The complaint included a generalized prayer of injunctive and declaratory relief to “protect the interests of Plaintiff and the Class.” The defendant interpreted this as meaning that it would have to develop an access code system, which would prevent unauthorized charges. 

The court held that based on the plain language of the complaint, this was not what the plaintiff was requesting. The court did not allow the defendant to “reinterpret the complaint in order to satisfy the amount of controversy requirement.” 

Therefore, the defendant did not satisfy CAFA’s removal requirements and the plaintiff was entitled to remand.