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Joseph v. Broussard

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

May 20, 2019

BRYAN K. JOSEPH AND KARLA JOSEPH
v.
PAUL BROUSSARD, TRIMAC TRANSPORTATION, AND GREAT WEST CASUALTY

          NOTICE AND ORDER

          ERIN WILDER-DOOMES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         On May 9, 2019, Plaintiffs Bryan K. Joseph and Karla Joseph (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) filed their Complaint (“Complaint”)[1] against Paul Broussard (“Broussard”), Trimac Transportation (“Trimac”), and Great West Casualty (“Great West”) (collectively, “Defendants”)[2] in this Court. Plaintiffs allege that, on May 12, 2018, their vehicle was hit in Iberville Parish by a Freightliner insured by Great West and operated by Broussard with the permission of Trimac.[3] Plaintiffs assert that this Court has diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1332.[4] Proper information regarding the citizenship of all parties is necessary to establish the Court's diversity jurisdiction. In the Complaint, citizenship appears to have been adequately alleged as to Plaintiffs[5] and the amount in controversy appears to be met.[6] However, citizenship has not been adequately alleged as to Defendants.

         The Complaint makes the following allegations, in pertinent part, regarding the citizenship of the parties:

I.
JURISDICTION
This Honorable Court has jurisdiction of this cause by virtue of 28 U.S.C. 1332. Plaintiffs are residents and domiciliaries of the State of Texas. Defendants are residents and domiciliaries of the States of Illinois, Louisiana, and Iowa.
II.
DEFENDANTS

         Made defendant herein are the following:

A. PAUL BROUSSARD, who resides at 1021 Eunice Road, St. Martinville, Louisiana, 70582;
B. TRIMAC TRANSPORTATION, INC., an Illinois corporation with a registered location at 17550 Fritz Road, Lansing, IL, 60438, which is a branch of Trimac Transportation, Ltd., located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada;
C. GREAT WEST CASUALTY, an Iowa insurer authorized to do and in fact doing business within the State of Louisiana, upon whom suit may be had directly pursuant to La. R.S. 22:1269.

         For purposes of diversity, “A corporation is a citizen of its place of incorporation and its principal place of business.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c). See also, Getty Oil, Div. of Texaco v. Ins. Co. of North America (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.”).[7]Thus, to properly allege the citizenship of a corporation, a party must identify the place of incorporation and the corporation's principal place of business in accordance with the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c). In the Complaint, Plaintiff has only identified the places of incorporation of Trimac and Great West (i.e., Illinois and Iowa, respectively), and it is unclear if Trimac's “registered location” is its principal place of business. Accordingly, Plaintiffs must properly identify the citizenship of Defendants Trimac and Great West, i.e., principal place of business and place of incorporation.

         With respect to Defendant Broussard, Plaintiffs allege that he “resides” in Louisiana.[8]However, the Fifth Circuit has explained that, “For diversity purposes, citizenship means domicile; mere residence in the State is not sufficient.”[9] Furthermore, “[f]or adults, domicile is established by physical presence in a place in connection with a certain state of mind concerning one's intent to remain there.”[10] Thus, to properly allege the citizenship of an individual, a party ...


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