Volk et al v. Wells Fargo Bank NA
OPINION AND ORDER: Defendant is ORDERED to supplement the record by 10/27/2016, by filing an amended notice of removal that adequately alleges the citizenship of each plaintiff. Signed by Magistrate Judge Michael G Gotsch, Sr on 10/13/16. (jld)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SOUTH BEND DIVISION
THOMAS J. VOLK, et al.,
WELLS FARGO BANK NA,
CAUSE NO. 3:16-CV-698-TLS-MGG
OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiffs Thomas J. Volk and Janet A. Volk filed their complaint against Defendant in
the LaPorte Circuit Court on September 12, 2016. In October 12, 2016, Defendant filed its
Notice of Removal to this Court, alleging that this Court has diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1332. Doc. No. 1 at 3, ¶ 5. In its Notice of Removal, Defendant alleges that “[u]pon
information and belief, each of the plaintiffs is a citizen of Indiana,” citing Plaintiffs’ assertion in
their amended complaint that “they reside in Michigan City, Indiana.” Id. at 2, ¶ 3. Defendant
further alleges that it “is chartered as a national banking association in the State of South Dakota
with its principal place of business in the State of California.” Id. at ¶ 4.
These jurisdictional allegations are inadequate with respect to both Plaintiffs. To begin,
“[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)); 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). Furthermore, residency of an individual is meaningless
for purposes of diversity jurisdiction because an individual’s citizenship is determined by his or
her domicile. Dakuras v. Edwards, 312 F.3d 256, 258 (7th Cir. 2002); see 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., 101 F.3d at 58–59 (explaining that statements
concerning a party’s “residency” are not proper allegations of citizenship as required by 28
U.S.C. § 1332).
As the party seeking to invoke federal diversity jurisdiction, Defendant 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). Therefore, Defendant is ORDERED
to supplement the record on or before October 27, 2016, by filing an amended notice of removal
that adequately alleges the citizenship of each Plaintiff.
Dated this 13th day of October, 2016.
S/Michael G. Gotsch, Sr.
Michael G. Gotsch, Sr.
United States Magistrate Judge
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