Johnson v. Specialty Risk Services, LLC
ORDER: Based on the foregoing, on or before December 7, 2012, Plaintiff is DIRECTED to file an Amended Complaint as further set out; Plaintiff is granted leave to file a motion on or before December 7, 2012, to conduct limited jurisdictional discovery on the issue of § 1332 citizenship. Signed by Chief Judge William Keith Watkins on 11/29/2012. (jg, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR
THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
SPECIALTY RISK SERVICES, LLC,
CASE NO. 2:12-CV-663-WKW
Although there is no challenge to subject matter jurisdiction, “jurisdiction
cannot be created by consent.” Mallory & Evans Contractors & Eng’rs, LLC v.
Tuskegee Univ, 663 F.3d 1304, 1304 (11th Cir. 2011). Courts are obligated to raise
concerns about subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte. See id. at 1305.
The Complaint predicates subject matter jurisdiction on the basis of diversity
jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332. It alleges that Plaintiff Dorrian Johnson is a
“resident of Florida” and that Defendant Special Risk Services, LLC, “is organized
under the laws of the state of Tennessee,” with its principal place of business also in
Tennessee. (Compl. ¶¶ 1–2.) These are insufficient allegations of subject matter
jurisdiction, notwithstanding Defendant’s admissions to paragraphs one and two of
the Complaint. (Compl. ¶¶ 1–2.)
“Citizenship, not residence, is the key fact that must be alleged in the complaint
to establish diversity for a natural person.” Taylor v. Appleton, 30 F.3d 1365, 1367
(11th Cir. 1994). Also, “a limited liability company, like a partnership, ‘is a citizen
of any state of which a member of the company is a citizen.’” Mallory, 663 F.3d
at 1305 (quoting Rolling Greens MHP, L.P. v. Comcast SCH Holdings, L.L.C., 374
F.3d 1020, 1022 (11th Cir. 2004)). To plead the citizenship of a limited liability
company, therefore, a plaintiff must “list the citizenships of all the members of the
limited liability company. . . .’” Id. (quoting Rolling Greens, 374 F.3d at 1022).
Based on the foregoing, on or before December 7, 2012, Plaintiff is
DIRECTED to file an Amended Complaint that cures the deficient jurisdictional
allegations pertaining to the citizenship of the parties. See 28 U.S.C. § 1653
(“Defective allegations of jurisdiction may be amended, upon terms, in the trial or
appellate courts.”). Alternatively, should Plaintiff face an insurmountable hurdle in
pleading Defendant’s citizenship, Plaintiff is granted leave to file a motion on or
before December 7, 2012, to conduct limited jurisdictional discovery on the issue of
§ 1332 citizenship.
DONE this 29th day of November, 2012.
/s/ W. Keith Watkins
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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