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Hubert v. Wal-Mart Louisiana

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

November 5, 2014

JESSICA HUBERT
v.
WAL-MART LOUISIANA

ORDER TO AMEND NOTICE OF REMOVAL

STEPHEN C. RIEDLINGER, Magistrate Judge.

Defendant Wal-Mart Louisiana, LLC removed this case asserting subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, diversity of citizenship. Defendant alleged in its Notice of Removal that the plaintiff is a Louisiana citizen ("domiciled in the Parish of Ascension, State of Louisiana").[1] As to the defendant's citizenship, in the Notice of Removal the defendant alleged as follows:

Wal-Mart Louisiana, LLC, is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Bentonville, Arkansas.[2]

When jurisdiction depends on citizenship, the citizenship of each party must be distinctly and affirmatively alleged in accordance with § 1332(a) and (c).[3]

Under § 1332(c)(1) a corporation is deemed to be a citizen of any state in which it is incorporated, and of the state in which it has its principal place of business. For purposes of diversity, the citizenship of a limited liability company is determined by considering the citizenship of all its members.[4] Thus, to properly allege the citizenship of a limited liability company, the party asserting jurisdiction must identify each of the entity's members and the citizenship of each member in accordance with the requirements of § 1332(a) and (c).[5]

Defendant's jurisdictional allegation as to its own citizenship is unclear and not sufficient to establish diversity jurisdiction. Use if the "LLC" designation typically indicates that the entity is organized as a limited liability company, but the Notice of Removal alleged that it is a corporation. If the defendant is a limited liability company, the state where it is organized and where it has its principal place of business does not determine its citizenship.

Defendant's deficient jurisdictional allegation is particularly troubling since court pointed out this deficiency to the same defendant in other cases in which the Notice of Removal was filed by another attorney in the same law firm.[6]

Therefore;

IT IS ORDERED that defendant Wal-Mart Louisiana, LLC shall have 14 days to file an Amended Notice of Removal which properly alleges the citizenship of defendant Wal-Mart Louisiana, LLC.

Failure to comply with this order may result in the case being remanded for lack of subject matter jurisdiction without further notice.


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