Carpenter-Turner v. Brentwood Operating Company, LLC et al
MEMORANDUM Order: This memorandum order is issued sua sponte to address a few potential jurisdictional problems involved in the case's removal to this federal court. This Court will defer the entry of an order setting an initial status hearing date until it receives input on the matters dealt with in this memorandum order. In the meantime it will await the further Brentwood filing called for here. Signed by the Honorable Milton I. Shadur on 1/24/2017:Mailed notice(clw, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
CHERYL CARPENTER-TURNER, as
independent Administrator of Estate of
ARLETHA BROOKS, Deceased,
BRENTWOOD OPERATING COMPANY,
LLC, et al.,
Case No. 17 C 295
This action has been brought by a Notice of Removal ("Notice") from the Circuit Court
of Cook County to this District Court by one of the three named defendants, Brentwood
Operating Company, LLC ("Brentwood"), which identifies one of the other two defendants
("Brentwood Sub-Acute Healthcare Center") as simply an assumed name currently being used by
Brentwood (Notice ¶ 6). This memorandum order is issued sua sponte to address a few potential
jurisdictional problems involved in the case's removal to this federal court.
For one thing, nothing is said in the Notice as to the other defendant, THI of Illinois at
Brentwood, LLC ("THI"), other than the Notice ¶¶ 4 and 5 assertions that provide the requisite
information as to THI's states of citizenship. In that respect, if THI has also been served with
process (as Brentwood Notice ¶ 3 states Brentwood has), THI's failure to have joined in or
consented to the Notice would be fatal to a current removal, though if THI had not been served at
the time of removal, Brentwood was free to act alone. This Court currently will take no action
on that score, instead deferring any action until February 6, 2017. 1
That then deals with the subject of diversity, part of the necessary inquiry as to the
existence of diversity-of-citizenship jurisdiction that is needed to support removal. But the
Notice also leaves unanswered (in the legal sense) a question as to the requisite jurisdictional
amount, an omission that is particular surprising in light of the carefully crafted assertions in the
Notice that deal appropriately with the intricacies of diversity where multiple LLCs are involved.
That omission stems from these unsupported ipse dixit statements contained in Notice ¶¶ 7 and
. . . [T]here is complete diversity of citizenship between the parties and the
amount in controversy is in excess of seventy-five thousand dollars
. . . [T]his Defendant believes, in good faith, that the amount in
controversy exceeds seventy- five thousand dollars ($75,000).
With the requirement of "plausibility" having been introduced into federal notice
pleading by what this Court's shorthand designation characterizes as "the Twombly-Iqbal canon,"
such boilerplate assertions are inadequate. True enough, the underlying Circuit Court Complaint
and a supporting affidavit by counsel for plaintiff ask for damages in excess of $50,000 (a
watershed under Illinois law for permitting broader discovery efforts by a plaintiff), and the
Complaint is also supported by a letter about the medical condition of the now-deceased Arletha
Brentwood's counsel must deliver a Judge's Copy of its supplement to the Notice
required by this memorandum order on or before that February 6 date, failing which this Court
would be constrained to remand the case to the state court from which it came (see 28 U.S.C.
Brooks, whose medical difficulties form the gravamen of this action. But "in excess of $50,000"
is not necessarily in excess of $75,000, and something more than the present wholly conclusory
statements quoted above is needed to support federal diversity jurisdiction, and hence to support
removal of the action.
Accordingly this Court will defer the entry of an order setting an initial status hearing
date until it receives input on the matters dealt with in this memorandum order. In the meantime
it will await the further Brentwood filing called for here.
Milton I. Shadur
Senior United States District Judge
Date: January 24, 2017
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