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Midsouth SB III, LLC v. Mall of Louisiana, LLC

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

July 24, 2019

MIDSOUTH SB III, LLC
v.
MALL OF LOUISIANA, LLC, ET AL.

          NOTICE AND ORDER

          ERIN WILDER-DOOMES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         On July 23, 2019, plaintiff, Midsouth SB III, LLC (“Plaintiff”) filed a Complaint (the “Complaint”) against Mall of Louisiana, LLC (“Mall of Louisiana”); General Growth Properties, Inc. (“General Growth”); and Brookfield Properties Retail Inc. (“Brookfield”).[1] Plaintiff contends that this Court has federal subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

         Although Plaintiff adequately alleges that General Growth is “a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Delaware with its principal place of business located in Illinois, ”[2] and that Brookfield is “a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Delaware with its principal place of business located in Illinois, ”[3] the Complaint does not include sufficient allegations of Plaintiff's or Mall of Louisiana's citizenship.[4]

         The Fifth Circuit has “stated repeatedly that when jurisdiction depends on citizenship, citizenship must be ‘distinctly and affirmatively alleged.'”[5] To properly allege the citizenship of a limited liability company, a party must identify each of the members of the limited liability company and the citizenship of each member in accordance with the requirements of § 1332(a) and (c).[6] The same requirement applies to any member of a limited liability company which is also a limited liability company.[7] This Court has previously found that an allegation that the sole member of a limited liability company was itself comprised of ten members each domiciled in Texas insufficient to establish complete diversity.[8] While such allegation was phrased in the affirmative (i.e., it did not phrase the members' citizenship as “not Louisiana”), the allegation was insufficient because it did not “distinctly list the ten members” of the limited liability company and set forth each member's citizenship.[9]

         Here, Plaintiff alleges that it is a limited liability company whose “members are Mississippi residents”[10] and that Mall of Louisiana is a limited liability company whose “members are Illinois residents.”[11] Such allegations are insufficient in the first instance because Plaintiff does not distinctly list each member of the respective limited liability company. Moreover, to the extent each distinct member of Plaintiff or Mall of Louisiana is an individual, “[f]or diversity purposes, citizenship means domicile, mere residence in the State is not sufficient.”[12]

         As subject matter jurisdiction is based on diversity of citizenship, the Court sua sponte raises the issue of whether it may exercise diversity jurisdiction in this matter.[13] Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that on or before August 1, 2019, Midsouth SB III, LLC shall file a comprehensive Amended Complaint that adequately alleges the citizenship of Plaintiff and Mall of Louisiana, LLC.

         The case will be allowed to proceed if jurisdiction is adequately established.

---------

Notes:

[1] R. Doc. 1.

[2] R. Doc. 1, ¶ 5.

[3] R. Doc. 1, ¶ 6.

[4] Plaintiff also alleges that the “amount in controversy in this action exceeds the sum of $75, 000.00, exclusive of interest and costs.” R. Doc. 1, ¶ 1.

[5] Getty Oil Corp., a Div. of Texaco, Inc. v. Insurance Co. of North America, 841 F.2d 1254, 1259 (5th Cir. 1988) (citing McGovern v. American Airlines, Inc., 511 F.2d 653, 654 (5th Cir. 1975); Illinois Cent. Gulf R. Co. v. Pargas, Inc., 706 F.2d 633, 636 & n. 2 (5th Cir. 1983) (the basis upon which jurisdiction depends must be alleged affirmatively and distinctly and cannot be established argumentatively or by mere inference)). See also, Mullins ...


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