United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO REMAND (DOC.
Timothy S. Black United States District Judge.
civil case is before the Court on Plaintiff's motion to
remand. (Doc. 6).
Total Quality Logistics, LLC (“TQL”), filed a
complaint in the Clermont County Court of Common Pleas
against former employees, John C. Tillman and Jeffrey R.
Motley, and their new employer, Reed Transport Services, Inc.
(“Reed Transport”), alleging violations of the
employees' non-compete, confidentiality, and
non-solicitation agreements with TQL. (Doc. 3 at ¶¶
11-25). The complaint also alleges that Reed Transport
encouraged the employees to breach their agreements
constituting tortious interference with a contract and
tortious interference with a business relationship.
(Id. at ¶¶ 63-75). Along with its
complaint, Plaintiff simultaneously filed a motion for
temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in
state court. (Doc. 4). Subsequently, the parties submitted an
agreed interim injunction that was entered by the Clermont
County Court on February 19, 2019. (Doc. 1-1 at 72-74). Under
the terms of the agreed injunction, Defendant Motley agreed
to no longer be employed by Reed Transport, and Reed
Transport agreed to turn over any of TQL's confidential
information. (Id. at ¶¶ 1-2). In addition,
TQL agreed to withdraw its request for a temporary
restraining order against Defendant Tillman. (Id. at
¶ 5). Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary
injunction remained pending as to all three Defendants.
March 7, 2019, prior to the state court ruling on
Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction, Reed
Transport removed the case to this Court with the consent of
Defendants Tillman and Motley, asserting diversity
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff
responded with a motion to remand on April 8, 2019. (Doc. 6).
Shortly thereafter, TQL and Reed Transport notified the Court
of their intention to file a stipulation of dismissal, which
they proceeded to file on July 8, 2019. (Doc. 8). The
stipulation voluntarily dismissed Defendant Reed Transport
only, and left Plaintiff's claims against the individual
Defendants Tillman and Motley pending in federal court.
juncture, the Court will address Plaintiff's motion to
remand as to the two remaining Defendants. Plaintiff seeks
remand on three bases: (1) the notice of removal was
untimely, (2) Defendants waived their right to remove, and
(3) the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the case
because the amount in controversy is less than $75, 000.
(Doc. 6). Plaintiff submitted the following stipulation along
with its motion to remand indicating that TQL is seeking
total damages of an amount less than or equal to $75, 000:
Plaintiff Total Quality Logistics, LLC, hereby stipulates
that the relief it seeks is limited to judgment of the
A. Issue preliminary and permanent injunctive relief
prohibiting Defendant from further violation of his Agreement
with TQL, plus attorney's fees as provided in the
Agreement, from any further misappropriation of TQL's
trade secret information, and from any further tortious
interference with TQL's business relations;
B. Award compensatory damages in favor of TQL in an amount to
be determined at trial in excess of $25, 000.00, but not more
than $75, 000.00, inclusive of any award of punitive damages,
attorney's fees, and injunctive relief;
C. Award punitive damages in favor of TQL in an amount of not
more than $75, 000.00, inclusive of any award of compensatory
damages, attorney's fees, and injunctive relief;
D. Award attorney's fees as provided in the Agreement or
as otherwise provided by law, in an amount of not more than
$75, 000.00, inclusive of any award of compensatory damages,
punitive damages, and injunctive relief;
E. Court costs, prejudgment interest, and post-judgment
F. Any other relief that this Court deems just and proper.
This stipulation is intended to be unequivocal and binding on
Plaintiff, and it is Plaintiff's intention that this
Stipulation be used by the Court to ...