United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
NOTICE AND ORDER
WILDER-DOOMES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
September 12, 2017, plaintiff, Petrin, LLC
(“Plaintiff” or “Petrin”) filed a
Petition (the “Petition”) in state court against
Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. (“D&B”) and an
unknown supplier. Per the Petition, Plaintiff asserts claims
of defamation and negligence against D&B. Plaintiff
alleges that it received an unsolicited email from D&B
indicating that Plaintiff's “Paydex” score,
which “purports to reflect the payment history of a
small business and its current re-payment capabilities,
” had declined overnight, and that despite
Plaintiff's insistence that the score had declined due to
the reporting of a false claim in the amount of $900, 000.00,
D&B refused to disclose the name of the supplier which
had made the allegedly false claim and failed to timely
investigate the claim. Plaintiff further alleges that it was
forced to submit a business credit report containing the
erroneous Paydex score to one of its major
clients. Plaintiff contends that the unknown
supplier (who reported the allegedly false claim) made false
and defamatory statements regarding Petrin to D&B, and
that D&B in turn published such false and defamatory
statements in Petrin's business credit
report. Plaintiff further alleges that D&B was
negligent in failing to take reasonable steps to verify the
accuracy of information placed on Petrin's business
credit report “especially when Petrin provided D&B
with overwhelming evidence of the inaccuracy of the False
Claim.” Plaintiff alleges that D&B's
actions have caused harm to its professional reputation and
business and seeks damages for D&B's defamation and
negligence, “including the $7, 500 that Petrin paid to
D&B” for additional credit services purchased
“in order to address the inaccurate information”
on the business credit report.
October 12, 2017, D&B removed this action pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1332. D&B alleges that it “is a
foreign corporation incorporated in the State of Delaware
with its principal place of business in the State of New
Jersey.” This is a sufficient allegation regarding
the citizenship of D&B. See, Getty Oil, Div.
of Texaco v. Ins. Co. of North America, 841 F.2d 1254,
1259 (5th Cir. 1988) (In diversity cases involving
corporations, “allegations of citizenship must set
forth the state of incorporation as well as the principal
place of business of each corporation.”). However, with
respect to Plaintiff, which is a limited liability company,
D&B alleges that Plaintiff “is a citizen of and
domiciled in the State of Louisiana” and explains
For individual parties, the courts have equated domicile with
citizenship. See, Mas v. Perry, 489 F.2d
1396 (5th Cir. 1974). “Domicile” is not
synonymous with “residence”; one can reside at
one place but be domiciled in another, and one can have more
than one residence, but only one domicile.
on these allegations, it appears that D&B seeks to
establish the citizenship of a limited liability company
based on the rules of citizenship relevant to
individuals. For purposes of diversity, the
citizenship of a limited liability company is determined by
considering the citizenship of all its members. Harvey v.
Grey Wolf Drilling Co., 542 F.3d 1077, 1080 (5th Cir.
2008). To properly allege the citizenship of a limited
liability company, a party must identify each of the members
of the limited liability company and the citizenship of each
member in accordance with the requirements of § 1332(a)
and (c). The same requirement applies to any member of a
limited liability company which is also a limited liability
company. See, Turner Bros. Crane and Rigging,
LLC v. Kingboard Chemical Holding Ltd., Civil Action No.
06-88, 2007 WL 2848154, at *4-5 (M.D. La. Sept. 24, 2007)
(“when partners or members are themselves entities or
associations, the citizenship must be traced through however
many layers of members or partners there may be, and failure
to do [sic] can result in dismissal for want of
jurisdiction.”) (quotation and citation omitted).
it is not apparent from the face of Plaintiff's Petition
that the claims are likely to exceed $75, 000.00. In the
Petition, Plaintiff does not allege the extent of damages
purportedly suffered, nor does it allege that D&B's
actions resulted in the loss of a specific amount of
business. Indeed, the only explicit amount of damages
referenced in the Petition is the $7, 500.00 allegedly spent
on additional credit services. D&B provides no additional
information regarding the amount in controversy in the Notice
of Removal. Based on the allegations set forth in
the Petition, as well as the information in the Notice of
Removal, the court sua sponte raises the issue of
whether it may exercise diversity jurisdiction in this
matter, specifically, whether the amount in controversy
requirement has been met.
IT IS ORDERED that Dun & Bradstreet,
Inc. (“D&B”) shall file a Motion to
Substitute the Notice of Removal (R. Doc. 1) with a
comprehensive Notice of Removal that properly alleges the
citizenship of Petrin, LLC. D&B shall have seven (7) days
from the date of this Notice and Order to file the Motion to
Substitute. No leave of court is necessary to file the Motion
IS FURTHER ORDERED that D&B shall file a
memorandum and supporting evidence concerning subject matter
jurisdiction, specifically whether the amount in controversy
requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1332 is met, within ten (10)
days of this Notice and Order.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall file either:
(1) a memorandum and supporting evidence concerning the
court's subject matter jurisdiction, specifically,
whether the amount in controversy requirement of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332 is met; or (2) a Motion to Remand, within ten
(10) days after the filing of the D&B's memorandum.
case will be allowed to proceed if jurisdiction is adequately
 R. Doc. 1-4.
 R. Doc. 1-4, ¶ 31.