United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
September 22, 2014
AUTO-OWNERS INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
WILLIAM L. HARGRAVE, et al., Defendants.
JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, District Judge.
Plaintiff filed its Complaint in federal court alleging that this Court has diversity jurisdiction over this matter. [Filing No. 1 at 1.] The Court must independently determine whether proper diversity among the parties exists. Thomas v. Guardsmark, LLC , 487 F.3d 531, 533 (7th Cir. 2007). For the following reason, the Court cannot conclude whether diversity jurisdiction exists.
Plaintiff sets forth the citizenship of certain Defendants based "[u]pon information and belief." [Filing No. 1 at 2.] But jurisdictional allegations must be made on personal knowledge, not on information and belief, to invoke the subject matter jurisdiction of a federal court. See America's Best Inns, Inc. v. Best Inns of Abilene, L.P. , 980 F.2d 1072, 1074 (7th Cir. 1992) (only a statement about jurisdiction "made on personal knowledge has any value" and a statement made "to the best of my knowledge and belief' is insufficient" to engage diversity jurisdiction "because it says nothing about citizenship"); Page v. Wright , 116 F.2d 449, 451 (7th Cir. 1940) (an allegation of a party's citizenship for diversity purposes that is "made only upon information and belief" is unsupported).
Accordingly, the Court ORDERS Plaintiff to conduct whatever investigation is necessary and file an Amended Complaint that properly alleges diversity jurisdiction by October 6, 2014. Defendant should wait for the filing of the amended complaint before he files any responsive pleading.