739 F.2d 4 (1st Cir. 1984), 84-1013, LFC Lessors, Inc. v. Pacific Sewer Maintenance Corp.
|Citation:||739 F.2d 4|
|Party Name:||LFC LESSORS, INC., Plaintiff, Appellant, v. PACIFIC SEWER MAINTENANCE CORP., Defendant, Appellee.|
|Case Date:||July 11, 1984|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit|
Argued May 11, 1984.
James-Menzies Shannon, Lynnfield, Mass., with whom Joseph Stephen Provanzano, and Hayt, Hayt & Landau, Lynnfield, Mass., were on brief, for plaintiff, appellant.
Myer J. Cohen, Boston, Mass., for defendant, appellee.
Before COFFIN and BOWNES, Circuit Judges, and PETTINE, [*] Senior District Judge.
PETTINE, Senior District Judge.
Plaintiff/appellant LFC Lessors, Inc. appeals from the district court's allowance of defendant/appellee Pacific Sewer Maintenance Corporation's motion to dismiss. The action arose out of a contract executed by the parties in 1980 for the lease of office equipment. LFC alleges that Pacific Sewer has defaulted under the contract by failing to pay the monthly rental charges on the equipment and by failing to return certain equipment to LFC.
Pacific Sewer's motion to dismiss was pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(3) and was based upon three grounds. Pacific Sewer alleged that
1. The amount in controversy involved in this action does not exceed the requisite amount of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000), exclusive of interest and costs;
2. Under the provisions of the contract between the parties, drafted by the plaintiff, this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction; and
3. Under the provisions of the contract between the parties, the venue of this action is not properly in this Court.
Appellee's Appendix at 2.
As stated above, the motion to dismiss was granted, but the district court made no findings of fact or conclusions of law; indeed, the court did not even file an opinion. Therefore, we come to this appeal without knowledge of the trial judge's reasoning.
We turn first to Pacific Sewer's argument that the district court was without jurisdiction to hear this diversity case because the amount in controversy was less than $10,000. See 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1332(a). Pacific
Sewer says that the action is founded on twenty-four months of disputed rental payments, said by Pacific Sewer to total $10,289.52. However, Pacific Sewer attached to its memorandum in support of its motion to dismiss copies of four checks to LFC for a total amount of $299.77 and a copy of its "payment record." These copies, says Pacific Sewer, reflect a reduction of the amount in dispute to $9989.75, about ten dollars less than the jurisdictional amount. LFC, on the other hand, alleges damages of $12,270.42. Pacific Sewer does not allege that LFC has claimed this amount in bad faith. See St. Paul Mercury Indemnity Co. v. Red Cab Co., 303 U.S. 283, 288, 58 S.Ct. 586, 590, 82...
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