United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
GIA MELTON, individually and as mother and next friend G.R., a minor, Plaintiff,
ANGENETTE C. EARLS; PK MANAGEMENT, LLC; NSA III ASSOCIATES LLC a/k/a and/or d/b/a Gary NSA III; THE NEAL COPMANY INC. a/k/a and/or d/b/a Window World; NSA III LIMITED PARTNERSHIP; and ASSOCIATED MATERIALS, INC. Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN CHIEF 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). Despite invoking this Court's subject
matter jurisdiction based on diversity jurisdiction under 28
U.S.C. § 1332, the Plaintiff has not made any
citizenship allegations in any of her pleadings.
Plaintiff filed her original Complaint on February 28, 2017
[ECF No. 1] against Defendants City of Gary, City of Gary
Housing Authority, Angenette C. Earls, PK Management, LLC,
Gary NSA III, Maxwell's Glass, and Window World. The
Complaint alleges that “[t]his Court has diversity
jurisdiction over the claims raised in this Complaint under
28 U.S.C. Code § 1332 - Diversity of citizenship; amount
in controversy; costs.” Compl. ¶ 10, ECF No. 1.
The Complaint alleged that the Plaintiff
“resides” in Illinois. Id. at 1. The
Complaint did not allege the citizenship of the Plaintiff or
any of the Defendants.
Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on March 1, 2017 [ECF
No. 3] for the purpose of replacing the name of the minor
with the minor's initials throughout. No. citizenship
allegations were included.
April 20, 2017, the Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint
[ECF No. 28] (1) to properly name Gary NSA III as NSA III
Associates, LLC, (2) to properly name Window World as The
Neal Company, Inc., and (3) to add Defendant NSA III Limited
Partnership. The Plaintiff again alleged jurisdiction based
on diversity jurisdiction. Id. ¶ 10. No.
citizenship allegations were included.
5, 2017, the Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint to
add Defendant Associated Materials, Inc. [ECF No. 52]. On
June 7, 2017, the Plaintiff refiled the Second Amended
Complaint [ECF No. 54]. Both Second Amended Complaints again
alleged jurisdiction based on diversity jurisdiction.
Id. ¶ 12. No. citizenship allegations were
20, 2017, the Plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint to
add Defendant Residential Management Company, LLC [ECF No.
80]. The Plaintiff again alleged jurisdiction based on
diversity jurisdiction. Id. ¶ 13. No.
citizenship allegations were included.
January 7, 2019, the Plaintiff filed a Fourth Amended
Complaint, dropping Defendants City of Gary, City of Gary
Housing Authority, Maxwell's Glass, and Residential
Management Company, LLC [ECF No. 131]. The Plaintiff
continues to allege jurisdiction based on diversity
jurisdiction. Id. ¶ 9. No. citizenship
allegations were included.
jurisdiction exists when the parties to an action on each
side are citizens of different states, with no defendant a
citizen of the same state as any plaintiff, and the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000. See 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a)(1). Diversity jurisdiction must be established at the
time the Complaint is filed, but the Court can later be
divested of jurisdiction if an amended complaint adds a
non-diverse party. See Estate of Alvarez v. Donaldson
Co., Inc., 213 F.3d 993, 994-95 (7th Cir. 2000) (holding
that diversity jurisdiction established at the time the
complaint is filed can be divested by the subsequent addition
of nondiverse, indispensable parties in an amended
complaint); Costain Coal Holdings, Inc. v. Res. Inv.
Corp., 15 F.3d 733, 734-35 (7th Cir. 1994). As the party
seeking to invoke this Court's jurisdiction, the
Plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating that the
jurisdictional requirements have been met. Hertz Corp. v.
Friend, 559 U.S. 77, 96 (2010); Smart v. Local 702
Int'l Bhd. of Elec. Workers, 562 F.3d 798, 802-03
(7th Cir. 2009). A failure to meet that burden can result in
a dismissal. See Mut. Assignment & Indem. Co. v.
Lind-Waldock & Co., LLC, 364 F.3d 858, 861 (7th Cir.
2004). In this case, the Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged
that the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. However, the
Plaintiff has not made any allegations as to her own
citizenship or that of the Defendants.
Plaintiff and Defendant Angenette C. Earls are individuals.
Citizenship of a natural person is determined by domicile,
not by residence. Dakuras v. Edwards, 312 F.3d 256,
258 (7th Cir. 2002); see also Heinen v. Northrop Grumman
Corp., 671 F.3d 669, 670 (7th Cir. 2012)
(“[R]esidence may or may not demonstrate citizenship,
which depends on domicile-that is to say, the state in which
a person intends to live over the long run.”);
Guar. Nat'l Title Co., Inc. v. J.E.G. Assocs.,
101 F.3d 57, 58-59 (7th Cir. 1996) (explaining that
statements concerning a party's “residency”
are not proper allegations of citizenship as required by 28
U.S.C. § 1332).
The Neal Company, Inc. and Associates Materials, Inc. are
corporations. A corporation is a citizen of every state and
foreign state in which it has been incorporated and the state
or foreign state where it has its principal place of
business. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1); see
also Hertz Corp., 559 U.S. at 92-93 (holding that the
term “principal place of business” refers to the
corporation's “nerve center, ” that is, the
place where a corporation's officers direct, control, and
coordinate the corporation's activities).
PK Management, LLC, NSA III Associates, LLC, and Residential
Management Company, LLC are limited liability companies, and
Defendant NSA III Limited Partnership is a limited
partnership. Both a limited liability company and a
partnership take the citizenship of its members.
Belleville Catering Co. v. Champaign Mkt. Place,
LLC, 350 F.3d 691, 692 (7th Cir. 2003). If the members
of the limited liability company or partnership are
themselves limited liability companies or partnerships, the
Plaintiff must also plead the citizenship of those members as
of the date the Complaint was filed. See Thomas v.
Guardsmark, LLC, 487 F.3d 531, 534 (7th Cir. 2007).
unclear from the allegations of the pleadings whether
Defendant Maxwell's Glass a/k/a and/or d/b/a Next Level
Glass is a corporation, a limited liability company, a
partnership, or other some other business entity.
Nevertheless, the Plaintiff must identify the form of
business entity that Maxwell's Glass has taken and
properly allege its citizenship.
the Court ORDERS the Plaintiff to FILE, on or before,
September 20, 2019, a supplemental jurisdictional
statement identifying: (1) the citizenship on February 28,
2017, the date the Complaint was filed, of (a) the Plaintiff,
(b) Angenette C. Earls, (c) PK Management, LLC, (d) NSA III
Associates, LLC, (e) Maxwell's Glass, and (f) the Neal
Company, Inc.; (2) the citizenship on April 20, 2017, the
date of the First Amended Complaint, of NSA Limited
Partnership; (3) the citizenship on June 5, 2017, the date of
the Second Amended Complaint, of ...