United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
SAMUEL OWOJORI INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF JEREMIAH OLADIMEJI OWOJORI AND PRINCE OWOJORI DECEASED
GMH HOUSING, LLC, ET AL.
L. HAYES JUDGE
the court is a motion for leave to amend complaint
[doc. # 20] filed by plaintiff Samuel Owojori, individually,
and on behalf of Jeremiah O. Owojori and Ezekiel Owojori. The
motion is unopposed. Following sua sponte review,
however,  the undersigned finds that the court lacks
antecedent subject matter jurisdiction. Accordingly,
dismissal is required and the motion for leave to amend is
moot. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3).
1, 2016, Samuel Owojori, a “citizen” of Nigeria
and “resident” of Lagos, Nigeria, commenced the
instant wrongful death and survival action,
“individually and on behalf of” decedents,
Jeremiah O. Owojori and Prince Owojori. See
Compl., Caption. Plaintiff filed suit in federal court and
asserted federal subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §§ 1343, 1367, and 1332. Id. Named
defendants included GMH Housing L.L.C., a Louisiana
“corporation, ” with its principal place of
business in Louisiana, and XYZ Insurance Company.
28, 2016, Samuel Owojori amended the complaint: 1) to clarify
that he was bringing suit, individually, and on behalf of
Jeremiah O. Owojori and Ezekiel Owojori; 2) to join
as additional plaintiff, Princeton Vallo,  both individually
and on behalf of decedent, Prince Isaiah Holley; and 3) to
join defendant, Gary Howell, the sole member of GMH Housing,
L.L.C. (Amend. & Suppl. Compl. [doc. # 6]).
August 26, 2016, defendants, GMH Housing, L.L.C. and Gary
Howell filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction, Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1). [doc. # 11]. In support
of their motion, defendants argued that there was no federal
question jurisdiction, and that plaintiffs failed to
affirmatively allege diversity jurisdiction, and in
particular, the citizenship of Princeton Vallo.
response to defendants' motion to dismiss, plaintiffs
filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss Princeton Vallo's
claims, both individually and on behalf of Prince Isaiah
Holley. [doc. # 13]. The court granted plaintiffs'
motion, and denied defendants' motion to dismiss as moot.
(Sept. 16, 2016, Judgment [doc. # 14]). On November 30, 2016,
the Clerk of Court dismissed the fictitious defendant, XYZ
Insurance Company for failure effect service. [doc. # 17].
January 10, 2017, plaintiff filed the instant motion for
leave of court to amend his complaint to join defendants'
liability carrier, “Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's
London Subscribing to Policy Number LIBGL0201”
(“Lloyd's of London”). [doc. # 20]. Despite
their refusal to consent to the motion, defendants did not
file an opposition, and the time to do so has lapsed. (Notice
of Motion Setting [doc. # 21]). Accordingly, the motion is
February 10, 2017, however, the court sua sponte
reviewed the matter to assure the sufficiency of
plaintiff's jurisdictional allegations. (Feb. 10, 2017,
Order [doc. # 22]). In so doing, the court discerned no basis
for the exercise of subject matter jurisdiction via 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331 and/or 1343. Id. Therefore, the
only plausible grounds for the exercise of federal subject
matter jurisdiction rested in diversity, 28 U.S.C. §
1332, which requires, inter alia, complete diversity
of citizenship between the parties. Id.;
Patterson v. Patterson, 808 F.2d 357 (5th Cir.1986)
(there being no federal claim, there is jurisdiction only if
the diversity of citizenship requirements of 28 U.S.C. §
1332 are met).
the court noted that plaintiff's allegations of
citizenship were deficient in several respects. Id.
Specifically, the court directed plaintiff to amend his
complaint to allege the domicile/citizenship of defendant,
Gary Howell, as well as plaintiff's own domicile, or
alternatively, if he intended to proceed as the legal
representative of the estate of the decedent(s), then the
domicile of the decedents. Id. In addition,
plaintiff's proposed amended complaint failed to properly
allege the citizenship for Lloyd's of London because it
did not identify the underwriters or Names of Lloyd's of
London, or their citizenship. Id.
court accorded plaintiff 30 days to redress the foregoing
jurisdictional deficiencies via amendment. Id. The
court cautioned plaintiff that if he failed to so comply, or
if subject matter jurisdiction was found to be lacking, then
he risked dismissal. Id. The foregoing delay has
lapsed, without any response from plaintiff.
courts are obliged to examine the basis for the exercise of
federal subject matter jurisdiction. Smith v. Texas
Children's Hospital, 172 F.3d 923, 925
(5th Cir. 1999). A lack of subject matter
jurisdiction may be raised at any time. Giles v. Nylcare
Health Plans, Inc., 172 F.3d 332, 336 (5th
Cir. 1999). Furthermore, a court must raise the issue sua
sponte if it discovers that it lacks subject matter
axiomatic that federal courts are courts of limited
jurisdiction. Howery v. Allstate Ins. Co., 243 F.3d
912, 916 (5th Cir. 2001). The burden of
establishing federal jurisdiction rests on the party invoking
the federal forum. Id. When jurisdiction depends on
citizenship, “citizenship must be
‘distinctly and affirmatively
alleged.'” Getty Oil, Div. Of Texaco v. Ins.
Co. of North America, 841 F.2d 1254, 1259 (5th Cir.
1988) (citation omitted) (emphasis in citing source); see
also, Illinois Cent. Gulf R. Co. v. Pargas,
Inc., 706 F.2d 633, 636 & n.2 (5th Cir.1983) (the
basis upon which jurisdiction depends must be ...