United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
SUA SPONTE JURISDICTIONAL BRIEFING ORDER
H.L. PEREZ-MONTES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is a Complaint premising federal jurisdiction upon
diversity of citizenship (Doc. 1). "[S]ubject-matter
jurisdiction, because it involves a court's power to hear
a case, can never be forfeited or waived." Arbaugh
v. Y&H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 514 (2006) (citing
Ruhrgas AG v. Marathon Oil Co.. 526 U.S. 574, 583
(1999)). The Court has "an independent obligation to
determine whether subject-matter jurisdiction exists, even in
the absence of a challenge from any party." Id.
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) (citing
Harrison v. Prather. 404 F.2d 267, 272 (5th Cir.
1968)) (internal citation and quotation omitted).
"[W]hen 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) (internal
quotation omitted); (see also Mullins v. Testamerica,
Inc., 2008 WL 4888576 (5th Cir. 2008)(per curiam).
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 to be 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-Qx Systems, Inc. v. Mountain States/Rosen,
L.L.C., 757 F.3d 481, 483 (5th Cir. 2014). "[T]he
citizenship of a partnership is determined by reference to
the citizenship of each of its partners." See
Int'l Paper Co. v. Denkmann Associates, 116 F.3d
134, 135, 137 (5th Cir. 1997). The citizenship of a limited
liability company ("L.L.C."), 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.
Complaint alleges that the Plaintiff is a political
subdivision of the State of Mississippi (Doc. 1). It is well
settled that for the purposes of diversity of citizenship,
political subdivisions are citizens of their respective
states. Illinois v. City of Milwaukee, Wis., 406
U.S. 91, 97 (1972). Mississippi law recognizes that school
districts such as Natchez-Adams School District are political
subdivisions. MISS. CODE ANN. § 37-6-5. Therefore,
Plaintiff, a political subdivision of the State of
Mississippi, is a Mississippi citizen.
Complaint alleges that Defendant SRM Properties, LLC, is a
"limited liability company organized under the laws of
the State of Georgia and licensed to do business in the State
of Louisiana, with its registered office and principal
business establishment in Louisiana located in East Baton
Rouge" (Doc. 1).
Complaint further alleges that Defendant Swamp Cat Timber,
LLC, is a "limited liability company organized under the
laws of the State of Georgia and licensed to do business in
the State of Louisiana, with its registered office and
principal business establishment in Louisiana located in East
Baton Rouge" (Doc. 1).
the citizenship of a limited liability company is not
evaluated on the same basis as that of a corporation. See
Harvey, 542 F.3d at 1079-1081; See also La. Rev.
Stat. Ann. §12:1301. While the state of incorporation
and principal place of business are sufficient jurisdictional
facts to establish a corporation's citizenship, SRM
Properties, LLC and Swamp Cat Timber, LLC are unincorporated
LLCs. The Fifth Circuit has held that a limited liability
company is a citizen of every state in which any member of
the company is a citizen and "the citizenship of a LLC
is determined by the citizenship of all of its
members." See Harvey, 542 F.3d at 1080. The
Complaint contains no allegations regarding the citizenship
of the members of SRM Properties, LLC, or the members of
Swamp Cat Timber, LLC. Therefore, the citizenship of
Defendants is not clear from the pleadings, and the existence
of federal jurisdiction is in question.
The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to serve a copy of this order
upon Defendants IMMEDIATELY upon receipt of proof of service
or an appearance.
ORDERED that, not later than twenty-one (21) days from
service of this Order on Defendants, Plaintiff Natchez-Adams
School District SHALL FILE: (1) a Jurisdictional Memorandum
setting forth specific facts, including the identity of all
members and state of citizenship of each member of both SRM
Properties, LLC and Swamp Cat Timber, LLC, respectively, as
of the date of filing, that support a finding that the
parties are diverse in citizenship; and (2) a motion for
leave to amend the jurisdictional allegations of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1653 to adequately
allege diversity jurisdiction.
FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants will be allowed seven (7)
days from receipt of Plaintiffs memorandum ...