Michelle Dermer-Chavez v. Jun Group Productions, LLC et al
MINUTE (IN CHAMBERS) ORDER REMANDING ACTION TO LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT by Judge John F. Walter: This action is REMANDED to Los Angeles Superior Court for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (Made JS-6 Case Terminated.) (jp)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
CIVIL MINUTES -- GENERAL
CV 17-1275-JFW (MRWx)
Michelle Dermer-Chavez -v- Jun Group Productions, LLC, et al.
Date: March 1, 2017
HONORABLE JOHN F. WALTER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR PLAINTIFFS:
PROCEEDINGS (IN CHAMBERS):
ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR DEFENDANTS:
ORDER REMANDING ACTION TO LOS ANGELES
On January 3, 2017, Plaintiff Michelle Dermer-Chavez (“Plaintiff”) filed a Complaint against
Defendant Jun Group Productions, LLC (“Defendant”) in Los Angeles Superior Court. On February
16, 2017, Defendant filed a Notice of Removal, alleging that this Court has jurisdiction pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having subject matter jurisdiction only over
matters authorized by the Constitution and Congress. See Bender v. Williamsport Area School
District, 475 U.S. 534, 541 (1986). “Because of the Congressional purpose to restrict the
jurisdiction of the federal courts on removal, the statute is strictly construed, and federal jurisdiction
must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the right of removal in the first instance.” Duncan v.
Stuetzle, 76 F.3d 1480, 1485 (9th Cir. 1996) (citations and quotations omitted). There is a strong
presumption that the Court is without jurisdiction unless the contrary affirmatively appears. See
Fifty Associates v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, 446 F.2d 1187, 1190 (9th Cir.
1990). As the party invoking federal jurisdiction, Defendant bears the burden of demonstrating that
removal is proper. See, e.g., Gaus v. Miles, 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992); Emrich v. Touche
Ross & Co., 846 F.2d 1190, 1195 (9th Cir. 1988).
Diversity jurisdiction founded under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) requires that (1) all plaintiffs be of
different citizenship than all defendants, and (2) the amount in controversy exceed $75,000. See
28 U.S.C. § 1332. For the purposes of diversity jurisdiction, a limited liability company is a citizen
of every state of which its members are citizens. See, e.g., Johnson v. Columbia Properties
Anchorage, LP, 437 F.3d 894, 899 (9th Cir. 2006) (“[L]ike a partnership, an LLC is a citizen of every
state of which its owners/members are citizens.”). “Absent unusual circumstances, a party seeking
to invoke diversity jurisdiction should be able to allege affirmatively the actual citizenship of the
relevant parties.” Kanter v. Warner-Lambert Co., 265 F.3d 853, 857 (9th Cir. 2001). To sufficiently
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allege the citizenship of unincorporated business entities, “a party must list citizenships of all the
members of the limited liability company.” Rolling Greens MHP, L.P. v. Comcast SCH Holdings
L.L.C., 374 F.3d 1020, 1022 (11th Cir. 2004).
In the Notice of Removal, Defendant, which is a limited liability company, lists all of its
members. However, one of its members, JGP Holdings, LLC (“JGP”), is itself a limited liability
company. Defendant fails to list the members of JGP, and, instead, simply alleges in conclusory
fashion that JGP “is a citizen of the state of Delaware.” Notice of Removal, ¶ 13. A defendant is
presumed to know the facts surrounding its own citizenship. See, e.g., Dugdale v. Nationwide Mut.
Fire Ins. Co., 2006 WL 335628, at *5 (E.D. Va. Feb. 14, 2006) (“[A]lthough . . . a defendant need
not investigate a plaintiff's citizenship, certainly a defendant is responsible for knowing its own
citizenship, and could not ignore such only to later claim that subsequent documents revealed to
the defendant its own citizenship.”); Day v. Zimmer, Inc., 636 F. Supp. 451, 453 (N.D.N.Y. 1986)
(holidng that, even if a plaintiff misidentifies a defendant's address, “obviously defendant is in the
best position to know its residence for diversity purposes”). As a result, Defendant's conclusory
allegations concerning its own citizenship are insufficient to demonstrate that complete diversity
Accordingly, this action is REMANDED to Los Angeles Superior Court for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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