Stauffenberg v. Johnson & Johnson International et al
OPINION AND ORDER: Plaintiff is granted to and including 7/27/2017 to file an amended complaint that properly alleges federal subject matter jurisdiction on the basis of diversity of citizenship. Signed by Magistrate Judge Susan L Collins on 7/13/17. (nal)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
FORT WAYNE DIVISION
JOHNSON & JOHNSON
INTERNATIONAL, et al.,
CASE NO: 1:17-cv-00291-TLS-SLC
OPINION AND ORDER
Before the Court is a complaint filed by Plaintiff Erik Stauffenberg, alleging that this
Court has diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (DE 1). As the party seeking to
invoke federal diversity jurisdiction, Plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating that the
requirement of complete diversity has been met. Chase v. Shop’n Save Warehouse Foods, Inc.,
110 F.3d 424, 427 (7th Cir. 1997).
First, Plaintiff begins his complaint, in an unnumbered paragraph, with a statement that
he “alleges the following, upon information and belief . . . .” (DE 1 at 1). Because this statement
is in the very first sentence of the complaint, Plaintiff is essentially stating that his entire
complaint is alleged “upon information and belief.” This is a problem because “[a]llegations of
federal subject matter jurisdiction may not be made on the basis of information and belief, only
personal knowledge.” Yount v. Shashek, 472 F. Supp. 2d 1055, 1057 n.1 (S.D. Ill. 2006) (citing
Am.’s Best Inns, Inc. v. Best Inns of Abilene, L.P., 980 F.2d 1072, 1074 (7th Cir. 1992)); see
Ferolie Corp. v. Advantage Sales & Mktg., LLC, No. 04 C 5425, 2004 WL 2433114, at *1 (N.D.
Ill. Oct. 28, 2004); Hayes v. Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC, No. 02 C 9106, 2003 WL 187411, at
*2 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 21, 2003).
Additionally, Plaintiff’s complaint alleges that Plaintiff “is a resident of the City of
Norfolk, Virginia.” (DE 1 ¶ 11). Plaintiff’s residency is meaningless for purposes of diversity
jurisdiction, however; an individual’s citizenship is determined by his or her domicile. See
Winforge, Inc. v. Coachmen Indus., Inc., 691 F.3d 856, 867 (7th Cir. 2012); Heinen v. Northrop
Grumman Corp., 671 F.3d 669, 670 (7th Cir. 2012) (“But residence may or may not demonstrate
citizenship, which depends on domicile—that is to say, the state in which a person intends to live
over the long run.”); Guar. Nat’l Title Co., Inc. v. J.E.G. Assocs., 101 F.3d 57, 58-59 (7th Cir.
1996) (explaining that statements concerning a party’s “residency” are not proper allegations of
citizenship as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1332).
Accordingly, Plaintiff is granted to and including July 27, 2017, to file an amended
complaint that properly alleges federal subject matter jurisdiction on the basis of diversity of
Entered this 13th day of July 2017.
/s/ Susan Collins
United States Magistrate Judge
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