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Ashlay Peoples v. Jamjomar XXIII, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

May 2, 2018

ASHLAY PEOPLES
v.
JAMJOMAR XXIII, LLC

         SECTION: “H” (2)

          ORDER AND REASONS

          JANE TRICHE MILAZZO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The Court now examines subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte. Defendant Jamjomar XXIII, LLC (“Jamjomar”) has failed to adequately allege diversity in its Notice of Removal. Accordingly, Defendant shall amend the Notice of Removal to correct this jurisdictional defect within 20 days of the entry of this Order or the case will be remanded for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Ashlay Peoples filed a Petition for Damages in state court on March 28, 2018 alleging that she slipped and fell at a McDonalds's store owned and operated by Defendant Jamjomar.[1] Defendant Jamjomar filed a Notice of Removal in this Court on May 1, 2018, invoking this Court's diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. At the time of the Notice of Removal, the remaining, joined defendants were Jamjomar and International Insurance Company of Hannover SE. With regard to citizenship, the Notice of Removal alleges that Plaintiff is a citizen of Louisiana, that Defendant International Insurance Company of Hannover SE is a foreign company with its principal place of business in Germany, and that Defendant Jamjomar is a “Michigan Limited Liability Company with its principal place of business in Detroit, Michigan.”[2]

         LAW AND ANALYSIS

         This Court is duty-bound to examine the basis of subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte.[3] Subject matter jurisdiction in this case is premised upon diversity of citizenship.[4] Cases arising under § 1332 require, inter alia, complete diversity of citizenship.[5] “The concept of complete diversity requires that all persons on one side of the controversy be citizens of different states than all persons on the other side.”[6] In this matter, the burden of proving complete diversity lies with Defendant Jamjomar.[7] To carry this burden, Defendant must “distinctly and affirmatively allege [ ] the citizenship of the parties.”[8]

         The manner in which a court determines the citizenship of juridical persons varies. A corporation is a citizen of every state in which it is incorporated as well as the state where its principal place of business is located.[9] Non-corporate entities, however, do not acquire state citizenship independent of the entity's owners.[10] Therefore, in order for a Court to determine the citizenship of an unincorporated association, such as a partnership, it must look to the citizenship of all the partners.[11] Similarly, the “citizenship of a LLC is determined by the citizenship of all of its members.”[12]Accordingly, Defendant “must list the citizenship of each member of each limited liability company to properly allege diversity of jurisdiction.”[13]

         Defendant Jamjomar has failed to adequately plead the citizenship of itself. Defendant alleges that Jamjomar is a limited liability company, but neither identifies its members nor alleges their citizenship. Accordingly, the Court is unable to properly determine the citizenship of Defendant.

         CONCLUSION

         Because Defendant's Notice of Removal fails to adequately allege jurisdiction, the Court ORDERS that Defendant amend its Notice of Removal within 20 days of the entry of this Order to properly allege jurisdiction or the case will be remanded for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

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Notes:

[1] See Doc. 1-2.


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