BRIGHTVIEW LANDSCAPES, LLC v. HOYING et al

Filing 10

ORDER ON JURISDICTION - Therefore, the Court ORDERS Brightview Landscapes to file a jurisdictional statement by March 5, 2021, addressing the issue identified in this order (SEE ORDER FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION). Signed by Judge James Patrick Hanlon on 2/18/2021. (DWH)

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Case 1:21-cv-00371-JPH-DLP Document 10 Filed 02/18/21 Page 1 of 3 PageID #: 89 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA INDIANAPOLIS DIVISION BRIGHTVIEW LANDSCAPES, LLC, ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Plaintiff, v. CRAIG HOYING, LANDCARE USA L.L.C., Defendants. No. 1:21-cv-00371-JPH-DLP ORDER ON JURISDICTION Plaintiff, Brightview Landscapes, LLC, has filed a complaint alleging federal-question jurisdiction over a Defend Trade Secrets Act claim, see 18 U.S.C. § 1836, and diversity jurisdiction over the entire matter. Dkt. 1 at 4. For the Court to have diversity jurisdiction, the amount in controversy must exceed $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and the litigation must be between citizens of different states. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). For diversity jurisdiction purposes, "the citizenship of an LLC is the citizenship of each of its members." Thomas v. Guardsmark, LLC, 487 F.3d 531, 534 (7th Cir. 2007). For LLCs, parties must "work back through the ownership structure until [reaching] either individual human beings or a formal corporation with a state of incorporation and a state of principal place of business." Baez-Sanchez v. Sessions, 862 F.3d 638, 641 (7th Cir. 2017); Thomas, 487 F.3d at 534. Here, the complaint identifies defendant Landcare USA L.L.C. as an LLC, but does not identify its members or the citizenship of those members. Dkt. 1 1 Case 1:21-cv-00371-JPH-DLP Document 10 Filed 02/18/21 Page 2 of 3 PageID #: 90 at 4. Counsel has an obligation to analyze subject-matter jurisdiction, Heinen v. Northrop Grumman Corp., 671 F.3d 669, 670 (7th Cir. 2012), and a federal court always has the responsibility to ensure that it has jurisdiction, Hukic v. Aurora Loan Servs., 588 F.3d 420, 427 (7th Cir. 2009). The Court's obligation includes knowing the details of the underlying jurisdictional allegations. See Evergreen Square of Cudahy v. Wis. Hous. and Econ. Dev. Auth., 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"). Therefore, the Court ORDERS Brightview Landscapes to file a jurisdictional statement by March 5, 2021, addressing the issue identified in this order. SO ORDERED. Date: 2/18/2021 Distribution: John A. Drake OGLETREE DEAKINS NASH SMOAK & STEWART, P.C. (Indianapolis) john.drake@ogletreedeakins.com 2 Case 1:21-cv-00371-JPH-DLP Document 10 Filed 02/18/21 Page 3 of 3 PageID #: 91 Todd J. Kaiser OGLETREE DEAKINS NASH SMOAK & STEWART, P.C. (Indianapolis) todd.kaiser@odnss.com Jeffrey Wayne Parker, Jr. OGLETREE DEAKINS NASH SMOAK & STEWART, P.C. (Indianapolis) jeffrey.parker@ogletree.com 3

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