Huff v. Ethicon, Inc.

Filing 10

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER, re: jurisdictional defect. Amended complaint due 4/21/2016. Signed by Judge J. Phil Gilbert on 4/7/2016. (jdh)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS MATTHEW HUFF, Plaintiff, v. ETHICON, INC., Defendant. ) ) ) ) ) Case No.: 16-368 JPG/PMF ) ) ) ) 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 Complaint (Doc. 1) filed by plaintiff Matthew Huff:  Failure to allege the citizenship of an individual. A complaint asserting diversity jurisdiction must allege the citizenship of an individual defendant, not merely residence. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1); Meyerson v. Harrah’s East Chicago Casino, 299 F.3d 616, 617 (7th Cir. 2002); Held v. Held, 137 F.3d 998, 1000 (7th Cir. 1998). Allegations of “residence” are jurisdictionally insufficient. Steigleder v. McQuesten, 198 U.S. 141 (1905). Dismissal is appropriate where parties allege residence but not citizenship. Held, 137 F.3d at 1000. Complaint alleges residence but not citizenship of plaintiff Matthew Huff.  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). Complaint alleges state of incorporation of defendant, Ethicon, Inc. but not principal place of business. The Court hereby ORDERS that Matthew Huff shall have up to and including April 21, 2016 to amend the faulty pleading to correct the jurisdictional defects. See 28 U.S.C. § 1653. Failure to amend the faulty pleading may result in dismissal 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. Plaintiff Matthew Huff is directed to consult Local Rule 15.1 regarding amended pleadings and need not seek leave of Court to file such amended pleading. IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED: April 7, 2016 s/J. Phil Gilbert U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

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