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Federal court jurisdiction issues--plaintiff's filing stricken
November 2022

Full docket text for document 9:
MINUTE entry before the Honorable Steven C. Seeger: Plaintiff Progressive Express Insurance Co. recently filed an amended complaint. It asks the Court for a declaratory judgment under 28 U.S.C. § 2201, declaring that it doesn't owe the Defendants any money for insurance claims stemming from a car crash on I-90. See Am. Cplt., at ¶ 1 (Dckt. No. [8]). Plaintiff acknowledges that it sold an auto-insurance policy to Defendant Harry's Truck Service, but claims that this policy doesn't apply to the crash for a variety of reasons. Id. at ¶ ¶ 38, 42, 46, 52. Plaintiff says that this Court has both federal-question and diversity jurisdiction. Id. at ¶ 2. This Court will put to one side (for the moment) the question of federal question jurisdiction, which seems dubious (at first blush, anyway) under Grable & Sons Metal Products, Inc. v. Darue Engineering & Manufacturing, 545 U.S. 308 (2005). If that's right, diversity jurisdiction is the only remaining jurisdictional hook, and diversity jurisdiction requires complete diversity. Plaintiff alleges that it is a citizen of Ohio. See Am. Cplt., at ¶ 8 (Dckt. No. [8]). But the citizenship of the Defendants is hazy. The list of Defendants includes an LLC, an LP, a company, a corporation, and a bunch of natural persons. For jurisdictional purposes, they stand on different footings. A corporation is a citizen where it is incorporated and where it has its principal place of business. Not so for an LLC and an LP. A limited liability company is a citizen wherever its members are citizens. It makes no difference where a limited liability company is registered, or where it has its principal place of business. For an LLC, the citizenship of its members is all that matters. See Belleville Catering Co. v. Champaign Mkt. Place, LLC, 350 F.3d 691, 692 (7th Cir. 2003); Martin v. Living Essentials, LLC, 653 Fed. Appx. 482, 485 (7th Cir. 2016) ("[T]he home 'base' of a limited liability company, or LLC, is irrelevant, given that an LLC has the citizenship of each of its members."); Thomas v. Guardmark, LLC, 487 F.3d 531, 534 (7th Cir. 2007) ("For diversity jurisdictional purposes, the citizenship of an LLC is the citizenship of each of its members."); Cosgrove v. Bartolotta, 150 F.3d 729, 731 (7th Cir. 1998) ("[T]he citizenship of an LLC for purposes of the diversity jurisdiction is the citizenship of its members."); Fellowes, Inc. v. Changzhou Xinrui Fellowes Office Equip. Co., 759 F.3d 787, 787-88 (7th Cir. 2014). A limited partnership has the citizenship of its partners, too. For individuals, what matters is where a person is domiciled (i.e., residence plus intent to remain), not where a person is living. See RTP LLC v. ORIX Real Estate Capital, Inc., 827 F.3d 689, 692 (7th Cir. 2016) ("Citizenship depends not on residence but on domicile, which means the place where a person intends to live in the long run. It is possible to reside in one state while planning to return to a long-term residence in another state."). The amended complaint does not include adequate jurisdictional allegations, by a long shot. For example, the complaint brings a claim against an LLC, adding that its principal place of business is Florida, but its principal place of business makes no difference. Id. at ¶ 4. Plaintiff also sues a limited partnership and says that its principal place of business is Pennsylvania, even though it does not matter. Id. at ¶ 6. And it lists the residency, but not the citizenship, of the individual Defendants. Id. at ¶ ¶ 711, 1317. In sum, the jurisdictional allegations of the amended complaint are inadequate, so the amended complaint (Dckt. No. [8]) is hereby stricken. The Court grants Plaintiff leave to file a second amended complaint with proper jurisdictional allegations by November 21, 2022. Mailed notice. (jjr, )

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Federal court jurisdiction issues--plaintiff's filing stricken - by Donesia - 11-18-2022, 02:29 PM

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