United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
L. Hornsby U.S. Magistrate Judge.
McCoy (“Plaintiff”) filed two civil suits in
state court for damages he sustained in a motor vehicle
accident. The two cases were later consolidated in the state
court. Plaintiff named as defendants Michelle Steene
(“Steene”), the driver of the other vehicle;
Merieux Nutrisciences Corporation (Merieux”),
Steene's employer; EAN Holdings, LLC d/b/a Enterprise
Rent-A-Car (“EAN”), the owner of the car Steene
was driving; Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company
(“Sentry”), Merieux's insurer; and
Progressive Paloverde (“Progressive”),
Plaintiff's insurer. Steene, Merieux, and EAN removed the
case to this court, which puts the burden on the removing
parties to show complete diversity of citizenship of the
parties and an amount in controversy over $75, 000.
notice of removal alleges that Plaintiff is a resident of
Louisiana and Steene is a resident of Minnesota. It is
domicile rather than mere residency that decides citizenship
for diversity purposes, and “[i]t is well established
that an allegation of residency does not satisfy the
requirement of an allegation of citizenship.” Great
Plains Trust Co. v. Morgan Stanley, 313 F.3d 305, 310 n.
2 (5th Cir. 2002), quoting Strain v. Harrelson Rubber
Co., 742 F.2d 888 (5th Cir. 1984). A person may reside
in multiple states simultaneously, but “[a]n individual
who resides in more than one State is regarded, for purposes
of federal subject-matter (diversity) jurisdiction, as a
citizen of but one State.” Wachovia Bank v.
Schmidt, 126 S.Ct. 941, 951 (2006). That is the state in
which the person is domiciled. Id.; Acridge v.
Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Soc., 334 F.3d 444,
451 (5th Cir. 2003). The removing defendants will need to
file an amended notice of removal that specifically alleges
the state of domicile of these two parties.
notice of removal alleges that Merieux is a “foreign
corporation doing business in the State of Minnesota, with
its principal place of business in Wilmington,
Delaware.” A corporation is deemed to be a citizen of
(1) the state in which it was incorporated and (2) the state
where it has its principal place of business. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(c)(1). To establish diversity jurisdiction, a
complaint or notice of removal must set forth “with
specificity” a corporate party's state of
incorporation and its principal place of business.
“Where the plaintiff [or removing party] fails to state
the place of incorporation or the principal place of business
of a corporate party, the pleadings are inadequate to
establish diversity.” Joiner v. Diamond M Drilling
Co., 677 F.2d 1035, 1039 (5th Cir. 1982). The F ifth C i
r c u it requires strict adherence to these straightforward
rules. Howery v. Allstate Ins. Co., 243 F.3d 912,
919 (5th Cir. 2001). Accordingly, the removing defendants
should include in their amended notice of removal the state
in which Merieux was incorporated.
notice of removal states that EAN Holdings, LLC, has a single
member, Enterprise Holdings, Inc., which “is domiciled
and his its principal place of business in Missouri.”
The notice does not specifically allege the state in which
Enterprise Holdings, Inc. is incorporated; however, the
Corporate Disclosure Statement filed by EAN states that
Enterprise is a Missouri corporation. Doc. 4. For the sake of
clarity of the record, this allegation should be included in
the amended notice of removal.
notice of removal states that Sentry is a “foreign
insurer formed under the laws of Wisconsin with its principal
place of business in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.” The
notice also states that Progressive is a “foreign
insurer formed under the laws of Ohio with its principal
place of business in Cleveland, Ohio.” However, the
notice does not specifically allege the type of entity of
either of these defendants. If they are corporations, then
the allegations regarding their citizenship are sufficient,
but the amended notice of removal must state that they are
corporations. However, if they are LLC's or some other
type of unincorporated entity, then their citizenship must be
alleged in accordance with the rules set forth in cases such
as Settlement Funding, L.L.C. v. Rapid Settlements,
Ltd., 851 F.3d 530, 536 (5th Cir. 2017).
such detailed information may seem like an imposition, but
the court has an obligation to examine the basis of its
subject-matter jurisdiction even if no party contests it. The
parties also have an interest in determining early on whether
the court has jurisdiction, so as to avoid wasting time and
resources in an improper court. The Fifth Circuit also
examines such issues on its own, and parties that have won
before the district court have seen cases dismissed or
remanded when they did not ensure that their district court
pleadings included specific information about the citizenship
of each party. See, e.g., Howery v.
Allstate Ins. Co., 243 ...