United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
HALEHAY PLANTING CO., ET AL.
DAVID T. DODSON JR., ET AL.
A. DOUGHTY JUDGE.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. Hayes United States Magistrate Judge.
February 14, 2019, Defendant David T. Dodson Jr. removed this
matter to federal court on the basis of diversity
jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (Notice of Removal,
[doc. # 1]). On March 1, 2019, in response to court order,
Defendant filed an amended notice of removal in an attempt to
redress deficient jurisdictional allegations regarding the
citizenship of the parties. [doc. # 5]. In doing so,
Defendant identified the officers and agents listed on
filings with the Louisiana Secretary of State and Georgia
Secretary of State as members of Halehay Planting Company,
LLC, J & L Farm Partnership #1, Southeastern Commodities,
LLC, and Southeastern Organics, LLC. (Id..;
see Exs. A-E, [doc. # 6]).
review, the court found Defendant did not properly allege the
citizenship of the LLCs and partnership because filings on
Secretary of State sites ordinarily include only agents and
officers identified at the initial filing but do not reflect
subsequent changes in membership. [doc. # 11]. On March 5,
2019, the court granted Defendant leave to file a second
amended notice of removal within seven days to establish
diversity jurisdiction. (Id.) The deadline has since
lapsed, with no response from Defendant.
party may remove an action from state court to federal court
if the action is one over which the federal court possesses
subject matter jurisdiction.” Manguno v. Prudential
Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 276 F.3d 720, 723 (5th Cir.
2002) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a)). “The removing
party bears the burden of showing that federal jurisdiction
exists and that removal was proper.” Id.
Because federal courts are of limited jurisdiction, a suit is
presumed to lie outside its jurisdiction, unless the party
invoking federal jurisdiction establishes otherwise.
Howery v. Allstate Ins. Co., 243 F.3d 912, 916 (5th
Defendant asserts federal jurisdiction on the basis of
diversity jurisdiction, which requires complete diversity of
citizenship between the adverse parties and an amount in
controversy greater than $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
Defendant has not satisfied the complete diversity of
purposes of diversity, a citizenship of a limited liability
company or partnership is determined by the citizenship of
each of its members. Harvey v. Grey Wolf Drilling
Co., 542 F.3d 1077, 1079-80 (5th Cir. 2008). As noted
above, in alleging the citizenship of the LLCs and
partnership, Defendant relied on Secretary of State filings,
which identify only the officers and registered agents of
each entity. However, Secretary of State filings may not
contain a complete list of an entity's members. See
Team Mktg. Grp., Inc. v. Hyde, No. 17-CV-1389, 2018 WL
3203618, at *1 (W.D. La. Apr. 5, 2018).
court recognizes the onerous burden on the party invoking
diversity jurisdiction to establish the citizenship of an LLC
or partnership. Because “[s]tate laws generally do not
require disclosure of members of limited liability companies
or . . . partnerships, . . . public records . . . rarely
contain the type of ownership information that is required to
allege diversity jurisdiction.” Lewis v. Allied
Bronze LLC, No. 07 CIV. 1621 (BMC), 2007 WL 1299251, at
*2 (E.D.N.Y. May 2, 2007). Nonetheless, citizenship must be
“distinctly and affirmatively
alleged”; this rule is straightforward and
“demands strict adherence.” Getty Oil Corp.,
a Div. of Texaco v. Ins. Co. of N. Am., 841 F.2d 1254,
1259 (5th Cir. 1988).
record now stands, the undersigned finds that Defendant has
not established federal diversity jurisdiction, and remand of
this matter is appropriate. Accordingly, the instant
recommendation of remand is subject to Defendant's
opportunity to seek leave of court to amend the notice of
removal with a proposed notice that cures the deficient
jurisdictional allegations, within the deadline to file
objections to this report and recommendation. If Defendant
contends that there are no additional members of any LLC or
partnership, he should affirmatively attest to this
contention in the proposed notice.
interim, and in the absence of a curative amendment,
IT IS RECOMMENDED that the above captioned
case be remanded to the 6th Judicial District
Court, Madison Parish, Louisiana, from where it was removed.
28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C) and Rule
72(b), parties aggrieved by this Report and Recommendation
have fourteen (14) days from service of this
Report and Recommendation to file specific, written
objections with the Clerk of Court. A party may respond to
another party's objections within fourteen (14)
days after being served with a copy of any
objections or response to the District Judge at the time of
filing. A courtesy copy of any objection or response or
request for extension of time shall be furnished to the
District Judge at the time of filing. Timely objections will
be considered by the District Judge before the Judge makes a
PARTY'S FAILURE TO FILE WRITTEN OBJECTIONS TO THE
PROPOSED FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS CONTAINED
IN THIS REPORT WITHIN FOURTEEN (14) DAYS FROM THE DATE OF ITS
SERVICE SHALL BAR AN AGGRIEVED PARTY, EXCEPT ON GROUNDS OF
PLAIN ERROR, FROM ATTACKING ON APPEAL THE ...