THE STATE OF INDIANA, ex rel. HARMEYER v. THE KROGER CO. et al
ORDER - Mr. Harmeyer does not directly request that the Court remand this matter in his Response to Defendants' Amended Notice of Removal, the Court will treat the Response, 20 , as a Motion to Remand, and will consider Defendants' Reply in Support of Notice of Removal, 25 , to be a response to the Motion to Remand. Mr. Harmeyer shall have until April 20, 2017 to file a reply brief in support of remand. SEE ORDER. Signed by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson on 4/13/2017.(JRB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
THE STATE OF INDIANA, EX REL. H ARMEYER,
THE KROGER CO., KROGER LIMITED PARTNERSHIP I, KRGP, INC., PAY LESS SUPER
MARKETS, INC., and RALPHS G ROCERY COMPANY,
On March 20, 2017, Relator Michael Harmeyer filed a Response to Defendants’ Amended
Notice of Removal pursuant to Local Rule 81-1. [Filing No. 20.] In his response, Mr. Harmeyer
argues that this Court cannot exercise diversity jurisdiction over this matter because the State of
Indiana is a real party in interest and “its presence destroys diversity jurisdiction.” [Filing No. 20
at 2-4.] Mr. Harmeyer states that he “has no objection to litigating this action in the Southern
District of Indiana, [but] it appears that this case must be remanded to the Superior Court of Marion
County, Indiana, as a matter of law.” [Filing No. 20 at 4.] On April 11, 2017, Defendants filed a
twenty page Reply in Support of Notice of Removal, in which they dispute Mr. Harmeyer’s arguments. [Filing No. 25.]
The parties may not stipulate to jurisdiction, and the Court must ensure that it can exercise
diversity jurisdiction over this matter before it can proceed. See Evergreen Square of Cudahy v.
Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, 776 F.3d 463, 465 (7th Cir. 2015) (“the
parties’ united front is irrelevant since the parties cannot confer subject-matter jurisdiction by
agreement…and federal courts are obligated to inquire into the existence of jurisdiction sua
sponte”). Accordingly, even though Mr. Harmeyer does not directly request that the Court remand
this matter in his Response to Defendants’ Amended Notice of Removal, the Court will treat the
Response, [Filing No. 20], as a Motion to Remand, and will consider Defendants’ Reply in Support
of Notice of Removal, [Filing No. 25], to be a response to the Motion to Remand. Mr. Harmeyer
shall have until April 20, 2017 to file a reply brief in support of remand.
Date: April 13, 2017
Distribution via ECF only to all counsel of record
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