United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
SUSAN A. POPOV, Plaintiff,
PORTAGE WOLF LLC, et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
JAMES T. MOODY UNITED STATES DISTRICT
Susan Popov originally filed this lawsuit in Porter County
Superior Court in the State of Indiana on November 28, 2017.
(DE # 5.) Plaintiff brings claims against Portage Wolf LLC,
Portage Kahn LLC, Portage Greenfield LLC, Portage Doppelt
LLC, Portage Baer LLC, and Boston Commons Limited Company.
(DE # 5 at 1.) Plaintiff then filed an amended complaint
adding defendant Portage Daniels LLC. (DE # 6.) Plaintiff
alleges she slipped and fell on ice at a shopping center due
to the defendants' negligence. (Id. at 2-3.)
19, 2018, defendants removed the action to this court,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b) and 28 U.S.C. §
1446(b). (DE # 1.) According to defendants, this court has
subject matter jurisdiction over the matter based on
diversity jurisdiction, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
(Id. at 4.)
19, 2018, plaintiff moved to remand the case back to state
court, arguing that complete diversity does not exist. (DE #
15.) Defendants filed a response to the motion to remand that
same day. (DE # 16.) Plaintiff did not file a reply brief,
and the time to do so has passed. The motion is now ripe for
removal statute allows for the removal of “any civil
action brought in a State court of which the district courts
of the United States have original jurisdiction.” 28
U.S.C. § 1441. The party invoking federal jurisdiction
bears the burden of demonstrating its existence. Appert
v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Inc., 673 F.3d 609, 617
(7th Cir. 2012). Thus, when a party opposing federal
jurisdiction challenges the allegations of jurisdictional
facts, the party seeking the federal forum must prove those
facts by a preponderance of the evidence. Meridian Sec.
Ins. Co. v. Sadowski, 441 F.3d 536, 543 (7th Cir. 2006).
courts are to “interpret the removal statute narrowly,
” and any doubts regarding jurisdiction should be
resolved in favor of remand to state court. Doe v.
Allied-Signal, Inc., 985 F.2d 908, 911 (7th Cir. 1993).
“If at any time before final judgment it appears that
the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the
case shall be remanded.” 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
federal court may exercise diversity jurisdiction if the
parties are citizens of different states and the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000, exclusive of interest and
costs. 28 U.S.C. § 1332. It is undisputed that plaintiff
resides in Indiana. (DE # 6 at 1.) Plaintiff argues that all
of the defendants are also citizens of Indiana, destroying
diversity of citizenship.
plaintiff argues that defendants' “primary place of
business appears to be” in Indiana. (DE # 15 at 2.) She
also argues that the “nerve center” of
defendants' business is located in Indiana, making them
citizens of Indiana for jurisdictional purposes.
(Id.) The citizenship tests that plaintiff uses for
her argument (the “principal place of business”
and “nerve center” tests) apply to the
citizenship of corporations. See Wisconsin Knife
Works v. Nat'l Metal Crafters, 781 F.2d 1280, 1282
(7th Cir. 1986). “[C]ourts have held that all
corporations are to be treated alike for diversity purposes:
all are citizens both of the state of incorporation and the
state in which the corporation has its principal place of
business.” Wise v. Wachovia Sec., LLC, 450
F.3d 265, 267 (7th Cir. 2006).
the defendants in this case are not corporations. They are
limited liability companies. “The citizenship for
diversity purposes of a limited liability company . . . is
the citizenship of each of its members.” Wise,
450 F.3d at 267. Therefore, plaintiff's arguments are
defendants provide an affidavit which lists the citizenship
of each of their members. (DE # 1-5 at 31-34.) Accordingly,
Portage Wolf LLC is a citizen of Florida; Portage Kahan LLC
(referred to as “Kahn” in the complaint) is a
citizen of Illinois; Portage Greenfield LLC is a citizen of
Illinois; Portage Doppelt LLC is a citizen of Ohio; Portage
Baer LLC is a citizen of Illinois; Portage Daniels LLC is a
citizen of Florida; and Boston Commons Limited Company LLC is
a citizen of Florida and Washington. (See id.)
Therefore, complete diversity exists, and the court will not
remand the case.