MANCARI’S CHRYSLER/JEEP, INC. v. UNIVERSAL AUTO LEASING

Full title: MANCARI’S CHRYSLER/JEEP, INC., Plaintiff, v. UNIVERSAL AUTO LEASING, INC.…

Court: United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

Date published: Apr 21, 2005

Facts

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Bruno Mancari, Jr. (“B. Mancari”) worked for Plaintiff as a used car manager in 1994. According to Plaintiff, B. Mancari conspired with the other Defendants to defraud Plaintiff by purchasing used autos from Defendants at artificially inflated prices. Plaintiff filed the instant action in Illinois state court on September 2, 2004, and the action was removed to federal court on October 14, 2004. The plaintiff contends that the removal was improper because this court lacks diversity jurisdiction and lacks federal question jurisdiction.

Issue

Decision

The defendants argue that the court has federal question subject matter jurisdiction in the instant action, as the plaintiff seeks relief for violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1961, the “Definitions” section of the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). The plaintiff acknowledges seeking relief under RICO but argues it intended to plead alternative state law claims for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. The Supreme Court has stated that only state-court actions that could have been filed in federal court may be removed to federal court by the defendant. The court denies the plaintiff’s “Motion to Deny Jurisdiction” without prejudice, as the plaintiff acknowledges pursuing its RICO claims as an alternative basis for recovery.

Based on the foregoing analysis, we deny Plaintiff’s “Motion to Deny Jurisdiction” without prejudice. 

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