United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division, Lafayette
OPINION AND ORDER
P. KOLAR MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court sua sponte. The Court
must continuously police its subject matter jurisdiction.
Hay v. Ind. State Bd. of Tax Comm'rs, 312 F.3d
876, 879 (7th Cir. 2002). The Court must dismiss this action
if the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(h)(3). Currently, the Court is unable to determine if it
has subject matter jurisdiction over this litigation.
The GSI Group, LLC (“GSI Group”) invoked this
Court's subject matter jurisdiction via diversity
jurisdiction by filing a Notice of Removal to federal court.
As the party seeking federal jurisdiction, GSI Group has the
burden of establishing that subject matter jurisdiction
exists. Smart v. Local 702 Int'l Bhd. of Elec.
Workers, 562 F.3d 798, 802-03 (7th Cir. 2009).
Court to have diversity jurisdiction, Plaintiff Hastings
Mutual Insurance Company and Defendants, GSI Group and
Illinois Grain and Seed, Inc., must be citizens of different
states, and the amount in controversy must be more than $75,
000. GSI Group has alleged a sufficient amount in
controversy. GSI Group has also sufficiently alleged the
citizenship of both defendants. However, the allegations are
insufficient as to the citizenship of Plaintiff.
Notice of Removal alleges that Plaintiff is “a mutual
property and casualty insurance company domiciled in the
State of Michigan, with a principal place of business in the
State of Michigan. Hastings Mutual is now, was at the
commencement of this action, and has been at all relevant
times a citizen of the State of Michigan.” (Notice of
Removal ¶2, ECF No. 1). This allegation is insufficient
for the purpose of determining citizenship.
Group's allegations about Plaintiff's citizenship are
unclear as to whether it is “incorporated, ” and
thus, a corporation, or whether it is “organized”
as a limited liability company. This distinction is important
because for purposes of establishing diversity jurisdiction,
a limited liability company's citizenship is different
than that of a corporation. Corporations “are deemed to
be citizens of the state in which they are incorporated and
the state in which they have their principal place of
business.” N. Trust Co. v. Bunge Corp., 899
F.2d 591, 594 (7th Cir. 1990) (citing 28 U.S.C. §
1332(c)(1)). The Seventh Circuit has further “held that
‘when one corporation sues another and the only basis
of federal jurisdiction is diversity, the [party asserting
federal jurisdiction] must allege both the state of
incorporation and the state of principal place of business
for each corporation.'” Wojan v. Gen. Motors
Corp., 851 F.2d 969, 974-75 (7th Cir. 1988) (citing
Casio, Inc. v. S.M. & R. Co., Inc., 755 F.2d
528, 529-30 (7th Cir. 1985)); see also Karazanos v.
Madison Two Assocs., 147 F.3d 624, 628 (7th Cir. 1998)
(“in cases with corporate parties, it is necessary to
allege both the state of incorporation and the state of the
principal place of business, even if they are one and the
same.” (internal citation omitted)). If Plaintiff is a
corporation it is thus not enough to allege the state of its
principal place of business and the state of its
domicile, rather than its state of incorporation.
a limited liability company's citizenship “for
purposes of . . . diversity jurisdiction is the citizenship
of its members.” Cosgrove v. Bartolotta, 150
F.3d 729, 731 (7th Cir. 1998). Therefore, if Plaintiff is
actually a limited liability company, the Court must be
advised of the identity of each of its members and advised of
each member's citizenship. Hicklin Eng'g, L.C. v.
Bartell, 439 F.3d 346, 347 (7th Cir. 2006); see
generally Guar. Nat'l Title Co. v. J.E.G. Assocs.,
101 F.3d 57, 59 (7th Cir. 1996) (explaining that the court
would “need to know the name and citizenship(s)”
of each partner for diversity jurisdiction purposes).
Moreover, citizenship must be “traced through multiple
levels” for those members who are a partnership or a
limited liability company, as anything less can result in a
remand for want of jurisdiction. Mut. Assignment &
Indem. Co. v. Lind-Waldock & Co., LLC, 364 F.3d 858,
861 (7th Cir. 2004).
the importance of determining the Court's jurisdiction to
hear this case, GSI Group must first allege whether Plaintiff
is “incorporated, ” and thus, a corporation, or
whether it is “organized” as a limited liability
company or another form of business entity. GSI Group must
then sufficiently allege Plaintiff's citizenship as
outlined above. Therefore, the Court ORDERS
GSI Group to FILE, on or before