United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division
September 23, 2014
Beijing Automotive Industry Import and Export Corporation, Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant,
Indian Industries, Inc. d/b/a Escalade Sports, Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff.
Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Judge United States District Court Southern District of Indiana
Following three jurisdictional orders in this case, the Court accepted the parties’ Joint Ju-risdictional Statement as sufficient to confer jurisdiction on the Court at that time. [Filing No. 27.] The parties’ Joint Jurisdictional Statement was, at least in part, predicated on the Affidavit of Jimmy Wang. [Filing No. 24-1.] Approximately nine months later, Plaintiff filed a Second Affidavit of Jimmy Wang that amended his original affidavit. [Filing No. 52.] The Court, in a fourth jurisdictional order, required the parties to explain whether the changes in the affidavit affected the Court’s jurisdiction. [Filing No. 53.] The parties submitted a Second Joint Jurisdictional Statement, but they only stated that they agree that the Second Affidavit of Jimmy Wang does not “affect whether the Court has jurisdiction”; they did not further explain why this is so. [Filing No. 54 at 2.]
The Court has an independent duty to ensure that it possesses jurisdiction over the actions assigned to it. Thomas v. Guardsmark, LLC, 487 F.3d 531, 533 (7th Cir. 2007). The Seventh Circuit has recently provided significant guidance in resolving similar issues as the one presented here. See InStep Software LLC v. Instep (Beijing) Software Co., Ltd., __ Fed.Appx. __, 2014 WL 4637171 (7th Cir. 2014) (citing Fellowes, Inc. v. Changzhou Xinrui Fellowes Office Equipment Co., 759 F.3d 787 (7th Cir. 2014); BouMatic, LLC v. Idento Operations, BV, 759 F.3d 790 (7th Cir. 2014)). For this Court to ensure that it has jurisdiction, the parties are ORDERED to file another Joint Jurisdictional Statement setting forth the following:
(a) what kind of business form [Plaintiff] has; (b) what attributes such a form possesses under Chinese law (for example, does it have alienable shares, and what role does the government of China play in determining the venture’s duration and ownership?); and (c) whether a business organization of this kind should be treated as a corporation for the purpose of § 1332, given the analysis in Fellowes and Bou-Matic.
Id. at *1.
The parties’ joint jurisdictional statement must be filed by October 6, 2014, and if they cannot agree, the parties must file individual statements by the same date.