Donley et al v. The Bank of New York Mellon et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER, re: jurisidctional defect. (Amended pleading due by 7/8/2014.) Signed by Judge J. Phil Gilbert on 6/24/2014. (jdh)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COUT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
JAMES E. DONLEY, Sr., et al.,
Bank of New York Mellon, et al.,
) Case No.: 14-655 JPG/SCW
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
In light of Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals admonitions, see Foster v. Hill, 497
F.3d 695, 696-97 (7th Cir. 2007), the Court has undertaken a rigorous initial review of
pleadings to ensure that jurisdiction has been properly pled. See Hertz Corp. v. Friend,
559 U.S. 77, 94 (2010) (noting courts’ “independent obligation to determine whether
subject-matter jurisdiction exists, even when no party challenges it”). The Court has noted
the following defects in the jurisdictional allegations of the Notice of Removal (Doc. 2)
filed by defendant Decision One Mortgage Company, LLC:
Failure to allege the citizenship of each member of an unincorporated association.
To determine if complete diversity exists, the Court must examine the citizenship of
each member of a limited liability company. See White Pearl Inversiones S.A.
(Uruguay) v. Cemusa, Inc., 647 F.3d 684, 686 (7th Cir. 2011); Belleville Catering Co.
v. Champaign Market Place, LLC, 350 F.3d 691, 692 (7th Cir. 2003). The relevant
pleading must affirmatively allege the specific states of citizenship of each member of
the limited liability company, and “the citizenship of unincorporated associations must
be traced through however many layers of partners or members there may be.”
Meyerson v. Harrah’s E. Chi. Casino, 299 F.3d 616, 617 (7th Cir. 2002). The Notice
of Removal states the principal place of business for Decision One Mortgage
Company, LLC and Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC but does not plead the citizenship
of each of the LLC’s members.
Failure to allege the citizenship of a corporation. A corporation is a citizen of both
the state of its principal place of business and the state of its incorporation. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(c)(1). The relevant pleading must affirmatively allege the specific states of
incorporation and principal place of business of a corporate party. Dismissal is
appropriate if a plaintiff fails to make such allegations. Indiana Hi-Rail Corp. v.
Decatur Junction Ry. Co., 37 F.3d 363, 366 n. 3 (7th Cir. 1994). The Notice of
Removal states that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. is a Delaware
Corporation but does not state its principal place of business.
The Court hereby ORDERS that defendant Decision One Mortgage Company,
LLC shall have up to and including July 8, 2014 to amend the faulty pleading to correct the
jurisdictional defect. See 28 U.S.C. § 1653. Failure to amend the faulty pleading may
result in remand of this case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Amendment of the
faulty pleading to reflect an adequate basis for subject matter jurisdiction will satisfy this
order. Defendant Decision One Mortgage Company, LLC is directed to consult Local Rule
15.1 regarding amended pleadings and need not seek leave of Court to file such amended
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: June 24, 2014
s/J. Phil Gilbert
J. PHIL GILBERT
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