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Hydraulic Performance MacHines SRL v. Hercules MacHinery Corporation

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division

June 2, 2015

HYDRAULIC PERFORMANCE MACHINES SRL, Plaintiff,
v.
HERCULES MACHINERY CORPORATION, Defendant.

OPINION and ORDER

SUSAN COLLINS, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Hydraulic Performance Machines SRL filed a complaint against Defendant Hercules Machinery Corporation on June 1, 2015, alleging that this Court has diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (DE 1). The complaint recites that Plaintiff is an Italian limited liability company and that "[u]pon information and belief, " Defendant is an Indiana corporation with its principal place of business in Indiana. (DE 1 at ¶¶ 1, 2).

These jurisdictional allegations are inadequate. As the party seeking to invoke federal diversity jurisdiction, Plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating that the requirement of complete diversity has been met. Chase v. Shop'n Save Warehouse Foods, Inc., 110 F.3d 424, 427 (7th Cir. 1997).

With respect to Defendant, "[a]llegations of federal subject matter jurisdiction may not be made on the basis of information and belief, only personal knowledge." Yount v. Shashek, 472 F.Supp.2d 1055, 1057 n.1 (S.D. Ill. 2006) (citing Am.'s Best Inns, Inc. v. Best Inns of Abilene, L.P., 980 F.2d 1072, 1074 (7th Cir. 1992)); Ferolie Corp. v. Advantage Sales & Mktg., LLC, No. 04 C 5425, 2004 WL 2433114, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 28, 2004).

As to Plaintiff, for purposes of diversity jurisdiction, the citizenship of a limited liability company is the citizenship of each of its members. See Thomas v. Guardsmark, LLC, 487 F.3d 531, 534 (7th Cir. 2007). Therefore, Plaintiff "must allege facts detailing the citizenship of each of its members[.]" Bou-Matic, LLC v. R.J. Fullwood & Blanc, Ltd., No. 08-cv-441-bbc, 2008 WL 4691831, at *2 (W.D. Wis. Oct. 22, 2008) (directing plaintiff to allege the identity and citizenship of each of the members of a British limited liability company); see also Principle Solutions, LLC v. Feed.ing BV, No. 13-C-223, 2013 WL 2458630, at *2 (E.D. Wis. June 5, 2013) (addressing the citizenship of a Dutch limited liability company). Citizenship must be "traced through multiple levels" for those members who are a limited liability company or partnership, as anything less can result in a dismissal for want of jurisdiction.[1] Mut. Assignment & Indemnification Co. v. Lind-Waldock & Co., LLC, 364 F.3d 858, 861 (7th Cir. 2004).

"Although it may be unlikely that [a] foreign... limited liability company would have citizenship overlapping [D]efendant's, the possibility remains, and it would be a waste of limited judicial resources to proceed further in a case in which jurisdiction may not be present." Bou-Matic, LLC, 2008 WL 4691831, at *2. Therefore, Plaintiff is ORDERED to supplement the record on or before June 16, 2015, by filing an amended complaint that adequately alleges the citizenship of each party.

SO ORDERED.


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