Michelle Dermer-Chavez v. Jun Group Productions, LLC et al

Filing 18

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)

Download PDF
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA JS-6 CIVIL MINUTES -- GENERAL Case No. CV 17-1275-JFW (MRWx) Title: Michelle Dermer-Chavez -v- Jun Group Productions, LLC, et al. Date: March 1, 2017 PRESENT: HONORABLE JOHN F. WALTER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE Shannon Reilly Courtroom Deputy None Present Court Reporter ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR PLAINTIFFS: None PROCEEDINGS (IN CHAMBERS): ATTORNEYS PRESENT FOR DEFENDANTS: None ORDER REMANDING ACTION TO LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT 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 Page 1 of 2 Initials of Deputy Clerk sr 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 exists. 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. Page 2 of 2 Initials of Deputy Clerk sr

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?