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Employers Mutual Casualty Co. v. Five Star Industrial, LLC

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

December 18, 2018

EMPLOYERS MUTUAL CASUALTY COMPANY
v.
FIVE STAR INDUSTRIAL, LLC, ET AL.

          NOTICE AND ORDER

          ERIN WILDER-DOOMES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         On November 15, 2018, Plaintiff, Employers Mutual Casualty Company (“EMC”) filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201 (the “Complaint”) against the following defendants: (1) Five S Industrial, LLC; (2) Five Star Industrial, LLC; (3) J. Lawton Company, LLC; and (4) William B. Lawton Family Limited Partnership.[1] On November 30, 2018, Employers Mutual Casualty Company was ordered to file a Motion to Substitute its Complaint with a comprehensive complaint that adequately alleges the citizenship of: (1) Five S Industrial, LLC; (2) Five Star Industrial, LLC; (3) J. Lawton Company, LLC; and (4) William B. Lawton Family Limited Partnership.[2]

         On December 12, 2018, EMC filed a Motion to Substitute Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgment for, and in place of, Original Complaint for Declaratory Judgment (the “Motion to Substitute”).[3] Per the proposed substitute complaint (R. Doc. 13-1), EMC adequately alleges the citizenship of the members of Five S Industrial, LLC and Five Star Industrial, LLC.[4]However with respect to J. Lawton Company, LLC, EMC’s proposed citizenship allegation only sets out the “managers” of the limited liability company.[5] Likewise, with respect to the William B. Lawton Family Limited Partnership, EMC’s proposed citizenship allegation only sets out the “managers” of WTD, LLC, an entity alleged to be an “officer, director, member, general partner, or manager” of the William B. Lawton Family Limited Partnership.[6] Moreover, with respect to the William B. Lawton Family Limited Partnership, EMC indicates that two of the members of the partnership may be trusts.[7] However, EMC does not allege the citizenship of either trust.

         As explained in the November 30, 2018 Notice and Order, to properly allege the citizenship of a limited liability company or other type unincorporated association, a party must identify each of the members of the association and the citizenship of each member in accordance with the requirements of § 1332(a) and (c).[8] The same requirement applies to any member of a limited liability company or other type of unincorporated association which is also a limited liability company or unincorporated association.[9] The identity of “managers” is not necessarily synonymous with the identity of the members of J. Lawton Company, LLC and WTD, LLC. Additionally, to the extent any trust is a member of one of the William B. Lawton Family Limited Partnership, EMC must adequately allege the citizenship of the trust.[10]

         Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Motion to Substitute Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgment for, and in the place of, Original Complaint for Declaratory Judgment[11] is DENIED.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT that Employers Mutual Casualty Company shall file, within fourteen (14) days of this Notice and Order, a Motion to Substitute its Complaint for Declaratory Judgment Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201 with a comprehensive Complaint that adequately alleges the citizenship of: (1) Five S Industrial, LLC; (2) Five Star Industrial, LLC; (3) J. Lawton Company, LLC; and (4) William B. Lawton Family Limited Partnership by setting out the citizenship of each entity’s members. No. further leave of court is required to file the Motion to Substitute.

---------

Notes:

[1] R. Doc. 1.

[2] R. Doc. 8.

[3] R. Doc. 13.

[4] See, R. Doc. 13-1, ¶¶ 2-3.

[5] R. Doc. 13-1, ¶ 4.

[6] R. Doc. 13-1, ¶ 5(a), n. 4


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