United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
DOUGHTY MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
PATRICK J. HANNA UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
pending is defendant Gemini Insurance Company's motion to
transfer venue. (Rec. Doc. 10). Before ruling on that motion,
this Court raised the issue of subject-matter jurisdiction
sua sponte and required the parties to address that
issue because, absent subject-matter jurisdiction, a federal
district court can take no action whatsoever. Having found that
the court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, this Court will
recommend that the motion to transfer venue be denied as moot
and this action be dismissed.
lawsuit, EnVen Ventures, LLC, sued Gemini Insurance Company
for breach of contract and declaratory judgment, alleging
that Gemini issued commercial general liability and
commercial umbrella liability insurance policies to EnVen
that afford coverage for claims asserted in another lawsuit,
styled Wilson J. Batiste v. Pharma-Safe Industrial
Services, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 6:16-cv-00813,
which is also pending in this court. EnVen alleged that the
court has subject-matter jurisdiction in the instant lawsuit
under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 because EnVen and Gemini are
diverse in citizenship and the amount in controversy exceeds
$75, 000; EnVen alternatively alleged that the court has
subject-matter jurisdiction under the Outer Continental Shelf
Lands Act (“OCSLA”), 43 U.S.C. § 1331,
district courts are courts of limited jurisdiction,
possessing only the power authorized by the Constitution and
by statute. A suit is presumed to lie outside a
federal court's jurisdiction until the party invoking
federal-court jurisdiction establishes
otherwise. Therefore, a federal court has an
independent duty, at any level of the proceedings, to
determine whether it properly has subject- matter
jurisdiction over a case. In fact, federal courts have a
continuing obligation to examine the basis for their
jurisdiction, and the issue may be raised by the court
sua sponte at any time.
party invoking a federal court's jurisdiction has the
burden of establishing the court's subject-matter
jurisdiction. Because EnVen filed its suit against
Gemini and alleged in its complaint that the court has
subject-matter jurisdiction under either the diversity
statute or under the OCSLA, EnVen must bear the burden of
establishing subject-matter jurisdiction.
are two criteria for diversity jurisdiction: the first is an
amount in controversy exceeding $75, 000, and the second is
complete diversity of citizenship among the parties.
compliant, EnVen expressly alleged that the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000. (Rec. Doc. 1 at 2). A simple
allegation by Plaintiff that the amount exceeds $75, 000 is
sufficient to establish the amount in controversy if made in
good faith. Nothing in the record suggests that
EnVen's allegation concerning the amount in controversy
was not made in good faith. Accordingly, this Court finds
that the amount-in-controversy requirement is satisfied.
EnVen did not establish, in its complaint or in its
subsequent briefing, that the parties are diverse in
citizenship. EnVen is a limited liability company, while
Gemini is a corporation. A corporation's citizenship is
determined by its state of incorporation and the state of its
principal place of business,  while a limited liability company
is a citizen of every state in which any member of the
company is a citizen.Because the citizenship of a limited
liability company is determined by the citizenship of all of
its members,  the diversity analysis for a limited
liability company requires a determination of the citizenship
of every member of the company. “A party seeking to
establish diversity jurisdiction must specifically allege the
citizenship of every member of every LLC or partnership
involved in a litigation.” If any one of the members
is not diverse, the limited liability company is not diverse.
briefing submitted by the parties established that Gemini is
a corporation organized under Delaware law with its principal
place of business in either Connecticut or Arizona. (Rec.
Doc. 1 at 2; Rec. Doc. 10-4 at 1). Accordingly, the plaintiff
established that Gemini is a citizen of Delaware and either
Connecticut or Arizona.
represented in its response to this Court's briefing
order that “[b]ased on a thorough investigation of
EnVen's members and their residences, EnVen has
determined that it is not diverse in citizenship with
Gemini.” (Rec. Doc. 23 at 11, n. 5). In its
supplemental briefing, EnVen stated that its sole member is a
Delaware citizen. (Rec. Doc. 30 at 2). How EnVen arrived at
that conclusion is unclear. While EnVen stated that it is
owned 100% by EnVen Energy Ventures Holdings, LLC
(“Holdings”), and alleged that Holdings is a
Delaware Limited liability company, EnVen did not identify
the members of that company or state the members'
citizenship. Absent that ...