In Romulus v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 14-1937 (1st Cir. Oct. 24, 2014), the district court remanded a putative class action to state court after finding the removal petition was untimely and that the removing party had not established the amount in controversy.  The First Circuit reversed and held, as other Circuits have, that the time to remove commences when the “pleadings or plaintiffs’ other papers” provide the defendant with a clear statement of the damages sought, from which the amount in controversy can be calculated.  A pleading or subsequent paper will trigger the deadline for removal if it includes a clear statement of the damages sought, or if it sets forth sufficient facts from which the amount in controversy can easily be ascertained by the defendant by simple calculation.  Defendant has no independent duty to investigate or supply facts outside of those provided by plaintiff.  In this wage and hour case, plaintiffs provided an estimate of the meal breaks for which they sought recovery, an important element of the damages calculation, in an email to counsel.  Defendants removed within 30 days of that email, which was deemed timely by the First Circuit because the email provided the information needed to estimate damages and demonstrated a reasonable probability that the amount in controversy exceeded $5 million.  On the merits of the removal question, the First Circuit found that $5 million was in controversy.  There need only be a reasonable probability that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million – the district court need not conduct a “mini-trial regarding the amount in controversy.”