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v. Southern Insurance Co.

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

August 28, 2017

STACY O'NEAL, et al.,
v.
SOUTHERN INSURANCE COMPANY, et al.,

          JAMES JUDGE

          SUA SPONTE JURISDICTIONAL REVIEW BRIEFING ORDER

          JOSEPH H.L. PEREZ-MONTES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is a Complaint removed from a Louisiana state court by Defendant Wilshire Insurance Company (Doc. 1). The other Defendants consented to removal (Doc. 1-9). Defendant premises federal jurisdiction on diversity of citizenship.

         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. See id. at 506-07.

         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). In cases removed from state court, diversity of citizenship must exist both at the time of filing in state court and at the time of removal to federal court. Coury v. Prot, 85 F.3d 244, 249 (5th Cir. 1996).

         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 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-Ox Systems, Inc. v. Mountain States/Rosen, L.L.C., 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 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.

         Wilshire Insurance Company makes the following representations as to the citizenship of all parties (Doc. 1):

         Plaintiffs Stacy and Amanda O'Neal, and their minor children, are citizens of Louisiana.

         Defendant Optimum Agriculture, L.L.C. is a limited liability company that had one member, Agri Company, a corporation incorporated in Arkansas with its principal place of business in Arkansas. Therefore, Optimum Agriculture, L.L.C. is a resident of Arkansas.

         Defendant Optimum Louisiana, L.L.C. was dissolved on August 5, 2016. Before dissolution, its only member was Optimum Agriculture, L.L.C., which is citizen of Arkansas (as set forth above). Therefore, Optimum Louisiana, L.L.C. was a citizen of Arkansas.

         Defendant Optimum Agriculture FL, L.L.C. is a limited liability company whose only member is Gaston Marquevich, a citizen of Argentina who is not a permanent resident of the United States (Doc. 1-2).[1] Therefore, Optimum Agriculture FL, L.L.C. is a citizen of Argentina.

         Defendant Southwind Milling Co., L.L.C. is a limited liability company whose members are Gaston Marquevich and Alberto San Miguel, citizens of Argentina who are not permanent residents of the United States (Docs. 1-2, 1-3). Therefore, Southwind Milling Co., L.L.C. is a citizen of Argentina.

         Defendant Wilshire Insurance Company was incorporated in North Carolina and has its principal place of business in North Carolina. Therefore, it is a citizen of North Carolina.

         Defendant Southern Insurance Company was incorporated in Texas and has its principal place of business in Texas. ...


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