United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Bluefield
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. FABER SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the court is plaintiff's motion to remand. ECF No.
6. For the reasons that follow, plaintiff's motion is
instant dispute centers on whether plaintiff was unlawfully
terminated and subjected to workplace discrimination while
employed by defendant, PracticeLink, LTD. See
Complaint at ¶¶ 17-30. Brian Brown sued
PracticeLink on August 25, 2017 in the circuit court of
Mercer County, West Virginia. See Complaint.
Defendant removed the action on the basis of diversity
jurisdiction less than a month later. See ECF No. 1.
Plaintiff filed a motion to remand the case to state court on
October 16, 2017, contending that complete diversity does not
exist because PracticeLink's principal place of business
is West Virginia, not Missouri. ECF No. 6. Reviewing the
memoranda of plaintiff and defendant, see ECF Nos. 7
and 9, the court finds that complete diversity exists and
denies plaintiff's motion to remand.
to its internet website, PracticeLink is an online physician
recruitment agency connecting physicians and practitioners
“in more than five thousand hospital, medical groups,
and private practices nationwide.” See ECF No.
6-2. PracticeLink maintains three offices located in St.
Louis, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky; and Hinton,
West Virginia. See Affidavit of Kenneth Allman, ECF
internet website lists its address as Hinton, West Virginia.
See ECF No. 6-2. The West Virginia Secretary of
State Business and Licensing database indicates that
PracticeLink's local office address, mailing address,
notice of process address, and principal office address are
located in Hinton. See ECF No. 6-1. The database
also states that Kenneth Allman, PracticeLink's president
and secretary, resides in St. Louis, Missouri. Id.
Allman's affidavit also declares that he has
“always maintained [his] primary office in
PracticeLink's St. Louis, Missouri office.” ECF No.
9-1, ¶ 6.
alleges that the St. Louis address is merely Allman's
home address. See Plaintiff's Motion in Support
of Remand at p. 6 (ECF No. 7). In support, plaintiff includes
photographs of defendant's Hinton and St. Louis business
locations. It appears that the St. Louis address is a
residential building, while the Hinton address is a
commercial office that includes a “PracticeLink”
sign. Compare ECF No. 6-3, with ECF No.
PracticeLink's client files are maintained in Hinton, WV,
the business' corporate records are kept and maintained
in St. Louis. See Affidavit of Brian Brown, ECF No.
6-6, ¶ 3; Affidavit of Kenneth Allman, ECF No. 9-1,
¶ 10. The parties dispute how often Mr. Allman travels
to Hinton. Compare ECF No. 6-6, ¶ 4 (plaintiff:
“at least a weekly basis); with ECF No. 9-1,
¶ 12 (defendant: “every 6-8 weeks”).
the workplace of PracticeLink's corporate officers, the
plaintiff alleges that “the department heads worked
from Hinton” and attaches the Linkedin page of the
Director of Human Resources & People Development at
PracticeLink that states she works in Lewisburg,
West Virginia, see ECF 6-6 ¶ 3, ECF No. 6-5.
The defendant responds that Allman (president and secretary),
the chief financial officer, and chief information officer of
PracticeLink maintain their primary offices in Missouri. ECF
No. 9-1, ¶¶ 6-9.
the plaintiff includes an article from the Greenbrier
Valley Quarterly where Allman is quoted as follows:
“Moving the business to Hinton was out of necessity.
Being able to hire family members and other people in the
community allowed the business to continue to grow in a way
that wouldn't have been possible for me in St. Louis,
” Allman says. “It allowed me time, and a
low-cost overhead to learn from my mistakes.” Hinton
gave Allman and PracticeLink a home base in a place that felt
like home . . . . Now, Allman's employees span offices in
five states, with more than 60 based in Hinton between
PracticeLink and MountainPlex. And still, Hinton is home,
using technology to serve the needs of health ...