AUTO-OWNERS INSURANCE COMPANY v. B&B VENTURES, INC., d/b/a MILLER TAVERN et al
ORDER - The Court ORDERS Auto-Owners to file an Amended Complaint by April 8, 2012 that properly pleads a basis for this Court's jurisdiction. Defendants need not answer or otherwise respond to Auto-Owners' Complaint, [dkt. 1], but, instead, should answer or otherwise respond to the Amended Complaint as set forth in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure after they are either served or waive service. Signed by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson on 4/2/2013. (JKS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
AUTO-OWNERS INSURANCE CO.,
B&B VENTURES, INC., d/b/a Miller Tavern,
On April 1, 2013, Plaintiff Auto-Owners Insurance Company (“Auto-Owners”) filed a
Complaint against Defendants B&B Ventures, Inc., d/b/a Miller Tavern (“B&B”), and Brian
Burnette, alleging that this Court could exercise diversity jurisdiction over the action. [Dkt. 1.]
Auto-Owners phrases its allegation of its own citizenship in a curious fashion, alleging
that it is “a corporation and a citizen of Michigan with a principal place of business in Lansing,
Michigan . . . .” [Id. at 1 ¶ 1.] In contrast, it asserts B&B’s citizenship in more straightforward
language: “B&B is an Indiana corporation, a citizen of Indiana, with a principal place of business
in Howard County, Indiana.” [Id. at 1 ¶ 2.]
As Auto-Owners appears to recognize, a corporation is deemed a citizen of any state
where it is incorporated and a citizen of the state where it has its principal place of business. 28
USC § 1332(c)(1); see also Smoot v. Mazda Motors of Am., Inc., 469 F.3d 675, 676 (7th Cir.
2006) (a corporation has two places of citizenship: where it is incorporated and where it has its
principal place of business). While Auto-Owners’ allegation comes close to alleging its dual
corporate citizenship, close only counts in horseshoes.
The Court is not being hyper-technical: Counsel has a professional obligation to analyze
subject-matter jurisdiction, Heinen v. Northrop Grumman Corp., 671 F.3d 669 (7th Cir. 2012),
and a federal court always has a responsibility to ensure that it has jurisdiction, Hukic v. Aurora
Loan Servs., 588 F.3d 420, 427 (7th Cir. 2009). And it is best to clear up any jurisdictional issues sooner than later. See Ind. Gas Co. v. Home Ins. Co., 141 F.3d 314, 319 (7th Cir. 1998)
(dismissing case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction after three years of litigation, despite the
parties not raising the issue to the district court or on appeal); see also Hart v. Terminex Int'l, 336
F.3d 541, 544 (7th Cir. 2003) (dismissing case after eight years of litigation for lack of subject
For these reasons, the Court ORDERS Auto-Owners to file an Amended Complaint by
April 8, 2012 that properly pleads a basis for this Court’s jurisdiction. Defendants need not answer or otherwise respond to Auto-Owners’ Complaint, [dkt. 1], but, instead, should answer or
otherwise respond to the Amended Complaint as set forth in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
after they are either served or waive service.
Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
Distribution via ECF only:
Christopher D. Simpkins
BLEEKE DILLON CRANDALL PC
David L. Taylor
TAYLOR LAW FIRM, PC
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