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Aultman v. Aultman

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

April 26, 2017

STACEY AULTMAN, et al.
v.
HEATHER AULTMAN, et al.

          JAMES, JUDGE

          SUA SPONTE JURISDICTIONAL REVIEW ORDER

          Joseph H.L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge

         Before the Court is a Complaint removed from a Louisiana state court by Defendants Amanda Schafer, Vijay Maggio, and Biotronics National, LLC. Defendants premise federal jurisdiction on diversity of citizenship.

         At the time of removal, the Plaintiffs were Stacey Aultman and Heather Aultman, and Defendants were Vijay Maggio, Amanda Schaefer, and Biotronics National, LLC.[1] After removal, O'Reilly Auto Parts and Ace American Insurance Corp. intervened (Docs. 28, 32).

         The diversity statute - 28 U.S.C. § 1332 - is satisfied upon a showing of: (1) diversity of citizenship between the parties; and (2) an amount in controversy in excess of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs. “Complete diversity requires that all persons on one side of the controversy be citizens of different states than all persons on the other side.” Harvey v. Grey Wolf Drilling Co., 542 F.3d 1077, 1079 (5th Cir. 2008) (internal citation and quotation omitted). Further, “when jurisdiction depends on citizenship, citizenship must be distinctly and affirmatively alleged.” Getty Oil Corp., a Div. of Texaco, Inc. v. Ins. Co. of N. Am., 841 F.2d 1254, 1259 (5th Cir. 1988).

         The Court has “an independent obligation to determine whether subject-matter jurisdiction exists, even in the absence of a challenge from any party.” Arbaugh v. Y&H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 514 (2006). This duty persists throughout all phases of the litigation, “even after trial and the entry of final judgment.” Id. at 506-07.

         The citizenship of an individual is his or her domicile, meaning the place where an individual resides and intends to remain. See Acridge v. Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Soc., 334 F.3d 444, 448 (5th Cir. 2003). A corporation shall be deemed a citizen of every State and foreign state by which it has been incorporated and of the State or foreign state where it has its principal place of business. See Tewari De-Ox Sys., Inc. v. Mountain States/Rosen, Ltd. Liab. Corp., 757 F.3d 481, 483 (5th Cir. 2014). The citizenship of a general partnership depends on that of all partners. See Int'l Paper Co. v. Denkmann Associates, 116 F.3d 134, 135, 137 (5th Cir. 1997). The citizenship of an LLC, a limited partnership, or other unincorporated association or entity is determined by the citizenship of all its members. See Harvey, 542 F.3d at 1079-80.

         Plaintiffs Stacey Aultman and Heather Aultman are Louisiana residents.

         Defendants allege that Defendant Biotronic National, LLC is a limited liability company whose sole member is Calder Development Associates, Inc., which is alleged to be a “citizen of the State of Michigan.” Defendants have not alleged the state of incorporation or principal place of business of Calder Development Associates, Inc.

         Defendants allege that Vijay Maggio is a citizen of New Jersey, and Amanda Schaefer is a citizen of Florida.

         The nature of the business organization and its citizenship or the citizenship of the members/owners of Intervenor Plaintiff “O'Reilly Auto Parts” are not alleged in the pleadings.[2]

         The nature of the business organization and citizenship of Intervenor Plaintiff ACE American Insurance Company (“ACE”) are not alleged in the pleadings. ACE contends it is wholly owned by INA Financial Corporation (Doc. 34), but the place of incorporation and principal place of business of INA is also not alleged in the pleadings.

         Therefore, diversity is not shown on the face of the pleadings.

         The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to serve a copy of this order upon any and all Defendants IMMEDIATELY upon receipt ...


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