Kokak LLC v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company
OPINION AND ORDER: The Plaintiff to FILE on or before 7/1/2019, a supplemental jurisdictional statement identifying the citizenship on April 27th, 2018, the date the Complaint was filed, as outlined in the Opinion and Order. Signed by Chief Judge Theresa L Springmann on 6/17/2019. (mrm)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
KOKAK, LLC d/b/a PROFESSIONAL
CAUSE NO.: 2:18-CV-177-TLS-APR
OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court sua sponte. The Court must continuously police its subject
matter jurisdiction. Hay v. Ind. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 312 F.3d 876, 879 (7th Cir. 2002).
The Complaint alleges that the Court’s original subject matter jurisdiction is based on
diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (Compl. ¶ 10, ECF No. 1.)1 Diversity jurisdiction
exists when the parties to an action on each side are citizens of different states, with no defendant
a citizen of the same state as any plaintiff, and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. See
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). As the party seeking to invoke this Court’s jurisdiction, the Plaintiff bears
the burden of demonstrating that the jurisdictional requirements have been met. Hertz Corp. v.
Friend, 559 U.S. 77, 96 (2010); Smart v. Local 702 Int’l Bhd. of Elec. Workers, 562 F.3d 798,
802–03 (7th Cir. 2009). A failure to meet that burden can result in a dismissal. See Mut. Assignment
& Indem. Co. v. Lind-Waldock & Co., LLC, 364 F.3d 858, 861 (7th Cir. 2004). In this case, the
The Complaint also alleges that the Court has jurisdiction under the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201.
(Compl. ¶ 9). However, the Declaratory Judgement Act does not provide an independent basis for subject matter
jurisdiction. Skelly Oil Co. v. Phillips Petroleum Co., 339 U.S. 667, 671-72 (1950).
Plaintiff has sufficiently alleged the citizenship of the Defendant and that the amount in
controversy exceeds $75,000.
However, the Complaint alleges that the Plaintiff, Kokak, LLC “is a for profit company
with a principal place of business in Indiana.” (Compl. ¶ 5.) This allegation of citizenship is
deficient because a limited liability company is analogous to a partnership and takes the citizenship
of its members. Belleville Catering Co. v. Champaign Mkt. Place, LLC, 350 F.3d 691, 692 (7th
Cir. 2003). If the members of the limited liability company are themselves limited liability
companies, the Plaintiff must also plead the citizenship of those members as of the date the
Complaint was filed. Thomas v. Guardsmark, LLC, 487 F.3d 531, 534 (7th Cir. 2007) (“[A]n
LLC’s jurisdictional statement must identify the citizenship of each of its members as of the date
the complaint or notice of removal was filed, and, if those members have members, the citizenship
of those members as well.”).
Accordingly, the Court ORDERS the Plaintiff to FILE, on or before, July 1, 2019, a
supplemental jurisdictional statement identifying the citizenship on April 27, 2018, the date the
Complaint was filed, each of the members of Kokak, LLC and, if any of the members themselves
have members, the citizenship of those members, and so on until the citizenship of all owners and
members of members have been identified.
SO ORDERED on June 17, 2019.
s/ Theresa L. Springmann
CHIEF JUDGE THERESA L. SPRINGMANN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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