US PRESS LLC v. ELECTRONICS FOR IMAGING INC
ORDER giving Defendant until 11/14/2011 to file amended Notice of Removal. Ordered by Judge Hugh Lawson on 11/2/2011. (nbp)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
U.S. PRESS, LLC,
Civil Action No. 7:11-CV-148 (HL)
ELECTRONICS FOR IMAGING, INC.,
d/b/a EFI, a Delaware corporation,
This case was removed from the Superior Court of Lowndes County, Georgia, to
this Court on November 1, 2011. Consistent with the practices of this Court, the Notice
of Removal was subjected to an initial review. Following review of the Notice of
Removal, the Court directs Defendant to amend consistent with the following.
Plaintiff, U.S. Press, LLC, filed an action alleging breach of contract in the
Superior Court of Lowndes County, Georgia, on September 30, 2011. Plaintiff named
Electronics for Imaging, Inc. as a Defendant. Plaintiff alleges damages greater than
$75,000. Thereafter, Defendant filed the Notice of Removal at issue here, alleging
diversity jurisdiction. Specifically, Defendant alleges that Plaintiff, a limited liability
company, is a citizen of the State of Georgia and that Defendant is a Delaware
corporation with its principal place of business in California.
A civil action Abrought in a State court of which the district courts of the United
States have original jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant.@ 28 U.S.C.
' 1441(a). District courts have original jurisdiction of all civil actions in which the
amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 and is between citizens of different states. 28
U.S.C. ' 1332(a). For purposes of 28 U.S.C.A. ' 1332, a corporation is deemed to be a
citizen of any state in which it has been incorporated and the state where it has its one
principal place of business. 28 U.S.C. ' 1332(c)(1). Thus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.A.
' 1332, a corporation may be deemed to be a citizen of more than one state.
The citizenship of a limited liability company is not determined in the same
manner as a corporation, however. In the Eleventh Circuit, the citizenship of a limited
liability company, as an artificial, unincorporated entity, is determined for diversity
jurisdiction purposes by the citizenship of all the members composing the organization.
Rolling Greens MHP v. Comcast SCH Holdings L.L.C., 374 F.3d 1020, 1021-22 (11th
Cir. 2004). Thus, a limited liability company is a citizen of any state of which a member
of the company is a citizen. Id. at 1022. And, therefore, like a corporation, a limited
liability company could be deemed a citizen of more than one state.
Because federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, they Aalways have an
obligation to examine sua sponte their jurisdiction before reaching the merits of any
claim.@ Kelly v. Harris, 331 F.3d 817, 819 (11th Cir. 2003). Furthermore, a defendant
removing a case to federal court based on diversity of citizenship bears the burden of
establishing the citizenship of the parties. Rolling Greens MHP, 374 F.3d at 1022 (citing
Williams v. Best Buy Co., Inc. 269 F.3d 1316, 1318 (11th Cir. 2001)). To sufficiently
allege the citizenship of a limited liability company, a party must list the citizenship of all
the members of the limited liability company. Id.
In examining the jurisdictional allegations presented in the Notice of Removal,
the Court finds they are lacking. Specifically, Defendant has failed to identify the
citizenship of each of the members of U.S. Press, LLC. As a result, this Court is unable
to ascertain whether complete diversity of citizenship exists and, therefore, the Notice
of Removal fails to satisfy the prerequisites of subject matter jurisdiction. However, the
Court is of the opinion that Defendant should be allowed to amend to correct the
deficiencies noted. Accordingly, Defendant shall have until November 14, 2011 in
which to file an amended notice of removal that conforms to the findings of this Order.
Failure to plead the necessary jurisdictional prerequisites in a timely manner will result
in remand for lack of jurisdiction.
SO ORDERED, this the 2nd day of November, 2011.
s/ Hugh Lawson
HUGH LAWSON, SENIOR JUDGE
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