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Lutz v. Pato

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

September 23, 2014

RICHARD LUTZ, Plaintiff,
v.
RUI M. PATO, Defendant.

ORDER

JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, District Judge.

Defendant removed this case from state court to this Court, alleging that this Court has diversity jurisdiction over this matter. [Filing No. 1 at 1-2.] 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).

Plaintiff filed his Local Rule 81-1 statement, alleging, among other things, that "[t]his action involves a controversy between citizens of different states in that Plaintiff is a resident of the State of Indiana and Defendant is a resident of the State of New York." [Filing No. 6 at 1.] But "residence and citizenship are not synonyms and it is the latter that matters for purposes of diversity jurisdiction." Meyerson v. Harrah's East Chicago Casino, 299 F.3d 616, 617 (7th Cir. 2002).

The Court is not being hyper-technical: Counsel has a professional obligation to analyze subject-matter jurisdiction, Heinen v. Northrop Grumman Corp. , 671 F.3d 669 (7th Cir. 2012), and a federal court always has a responsibility to ensure that it has jurisdiction, Hukic v. Aurora Loan Servs. , 588 F.3d 420, 427 (7th Cir. 2009).

To ensure that the Court has diversity jurisdiction, the Court ORDERS Plaintiff to file an Amended Local Rule 81-1 Statement by September 30, 2014, that properly sets forth the parties' citizenship rather than their residency.


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