United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Judge
August 2, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against
Defendants, alleging that this Court could exercise diversity
jurisdiction over this matter. [Filing No. 1.] The
Court reviewed the Complaint and issued a jurisdictional
order, identifying various deficiencies in the factual
allegations underlying Plaintiff’s conclusion that this
Court can exercise diversity jurisdiction. [Filing No.
7.] Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint in response to
the Court’s order to do so. [Filing No. 8.]
Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint fails to remedy various
deficiencies that the Court previously pointed out and,
additionally, creates a new issue that must be addressed.
Citizenship of Unincorporated Associations
the Defendants are unincorporated associations-Defendant
Carmel Physical Surgery Center, LLC, and Defendant Carmel
Ambulatory Surgery Center, LLC. The Court’s previous
jurisdictional order noted that
[t]he citizenship of an unincorporated association is
“the citizenship of all the limited partners, as well
as of the general partner.” Hart v. Terminex
Int’l, 336 F.3d 541, 542 (7th Cir. 2003).
“[T]he citizenship of unincorporated associations must
be traced through however many layers of partners or members
there may be.” Id. at 543. Asserting that all
partners are citizens of “X” or that no partners
are citizens of “X” is insufficient. See
Peters v. Astrazeneca LP, 224 Fed.Appx. 503, 505 (7th
Cir. 2007) (noting the insufficiency of a limited partnership
asserting that none of its partners were citizens destroying
diversity “rather than furnishing the citizenship of
all of its partners so that [the court] could determine its
[Filing No. 7.]
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff pleads the citizenship of
certain members of these Defendants “upon information
and belief.” [Filing No. 8 at 2.] This is
insufficient because juris-dictional allegations must be
based on personal knowledge. 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).
Plaintiff fails to set forth the names and citizenship of the
members of Defendant Carmel Physician Surgery Center, LLC,
instead stating that “[u]pon information and belief,
none of the members of CPSC are residents of Wisconsin or New
York or have a principal place of business in Wisconsin or
New York.” [Filing No. 8 at 2.] This is
insufficient because “[c]onclusional allegations are
insufficient. A court needs to know details . . . .”
State St. Bank & Trust Co. v. Morderosian, 234
F.3d 1274 (7th Cir. 2000). Jurisdictional statements that do
not affirmatively state the citizenship of the parties are
disfavored because they can obscure jurisdic-tional problems.
See Guaranty Nat’l Title Co. v. J.E.G.
Assocs., 101 F.3d 57, 59 (7th Cir. 1996).
Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff must take care to plead
its jurisdictional allegations on personal knowledge, not
upon information and belief, and to set forth the name and
citizenship of each member of the Defendants that are
the Defendants are individuals-Drs. Michael Payne and Weldon
Egan. The Court previously pointed out that the citizenship,
not the residency, of an individual party is key to pleading
diversity citizenship. [See Filing No. 7.]
Residency and citizenship are not the same, and it is
citizenship that matters for purposes of diversity.
Meyerson v. Harrah’s East Chicago Casino, 299
F.3d 616, 617 (7th Cir. 2002). An allegation of residency is
inadequate. McMahon v. Bunn-O-Matic Corp., 150 F.3d
651, 653 (7th Cir. 1998).
the Court’s guidance, Plaintiff’s Amended
Complaint still pleads the residency, not the citizenship of
Drs. Payne and Egan. [Filing No. 8 at 2-3.] This is
insufficient and must be corrected in Plaintiff’s
Second Amended Complaint if Plaintiff continues to allege
that diversity jurisdiction exists.
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, 670 (7th Cir. 2012), and a federal court always has
a responsibility to ensure that it has ...