Republic Bank of Chicago v Gehrisch Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. et al
ORDERED: This action is DISMISSED without prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff may file an amended complaint on or before June 17, 2021. Failure to do so will result in the Court closing this case. Signed by Judge Sheri Polster Chappell on 6/3/2021. (AEH)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
FORT MYERS DIVISION
REPUBLIC BANK OF CHICAGO,
Case No: 2:21-cv-415-SPC-NPM
GEHRISCH INSURANCE &
FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.,
GEHRISCH INSURANCE &
FINANCIAL SERVICES INC
and MITCHELL ARDEN
Before the Court is a sua sponte review of Complaint. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff
Republic Bank of Chicago brings several state-law claims. Yet Republic failed
to establish diversity jurisdiction, so the Complaint is dismissed.
Federal courts have limited jurisdiction. And they are “obligated to
inquire into subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte when it may be lacking.”
Univ. of S. Ala. v. Am. Tobacco Co., 168 F.3d 405, 410 (11th Cir. 1999). Statelaw claims can be filed in federal court under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 if the amount
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in controversy exceeds $75,000 and the parties are citizens of different states.
Morrison v. Allstate Indem. Co., 228 F.3d 1255, 1261 (11th Cir. 2000). For
purposes of diversity, corporations are “citizens of any State by which it has
been incorporated and of the State where it has its principal place of business.”
28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1). “The phrase “principal place of business” refers to the
place where the corporation’s high-level officers direct, control, and coordinate
the corporation’s activities.” Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 559 U.S. 77, 80 (2010).
Here, Republic’s entity status is unclear.
Without an indication of
Republic’s form, it is impossible to gauge citizenship. The Complaint just says,
“Republic Bank, is a FDIC insured bank headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois.”
(Doc. 1 at 1).
If Republic is a corporation, this is insufficient.
corporation’s state of incorporation and principal place of business are relevant
for diversity purposes. Hertz, 559 U.S. at 77-78. Although Republic Bank
stated it is headquartered in Illinois, it has not pled its state of incorporation
or principal place of business. So the Court is left guessing where Republic is
Defendant Mitchell Gehrisch’s citizenship is also unsettled. The
Complaint alleges he “is an individual residing in Sarasota County, Florida.”
(Doc. 1 at 2). That’s not enough. “For purposes of diversity, citizenship means
domicile; mere residence in the State is not sufficient.” Travaglio v. Am. Exp.
Co., 735 F.3d 1266, 1268 (11th Cir. 2013) (citation omitted). “And domicile
requires both residence in a state and an intention to remain there
indefinitely.” Id. at 1269 (cleaned up). The Complaint, therefore, fails to
correctly define Gehrisch’s citizenship. Without identifying his domicile, the
Court cannot conclude the parties are completely diverse.
As it stands, Republic failed its burden to plead subject-matter
jurisdiction. So the Court dismisses with leave to amend. 28 U.S.C. § 1653.
Accordingly, it is now
This action is DISMISSED without prejudice for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff may file an amended complaint on or before June
17, 2021. Failure to do so will result in the Court closing this case.
DONE and ORDERED in Fort Myers, Florida on June 3, 2021.
Copies: All Parties of Record
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