Jones v. Muzungu et al
ORDER within the next seven days from the date of this order, United is granted leave of court to file an amended notice of removal that establishes diversity jurisdiction re 1 Notice of Removal. If United fails to so comply, or if subject matter jurisdiction is found to be lacking, then the matter will be remanded to state court. Signed by Magistrate Judge Kayla D McClusky on 1/7/2022. (crt,Reeves, T)
Case 3:21-cv-03691-TAD-KDM Document 12 Filed 01/07/22 Page 1 of 3 PageID #: 31
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
CIV. ACTION NO. 3:21-03691
JUDGE TERRY A. DOUGHTY
NTAMBI MUZUNGU, ET AL.
MAG. JUDGE KAYLA D. MCCLUSKY
On October 19, 2021, Defendant, United Financial Casualty Company (“United”),
removed this matter to federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
(Notice of Removal). Federal courts, however, are courts of limited jurisdiction. Howery v.
Allstate Ins. Co., 243 F.3d 912, 916 (5th Cir. 2001). The burden of establishing federal
jurisdiction rests with the party invoking the federal forum. Id. Further, when jurisdiction
depends on diversity of citizenship, “citizenship must be ‘distinctly and affirmatively alleged.’”
Getty Oil, Div. Of Texaco v. Ins. Co. of North America, 841 F.2d 1254, 1259 (5th Cir. 1988)
(citation omitted) (emphasis in citing source). This rule requires “strict adherence.” Id.
Having reviewed the record, the court notes the following deficient or ambiguous
allegation(s) of jurisdiction:
The notice of removal alleged that Defendant, Ntambi Trucking Company, L.L.C.
(“Ntambi”), is “an Idaho limited liability company, authorized to do business in the State of
Louisiana, domiciled in the State of Idaho.” (Notice of Removal, 4(C)). For purposes of
diversity, however, the citizenship of a limited liability company (“LLC”) is determined by the
citizenship of all of its members. Harvey v. Grey Wolf Drilling Co., 542 F.3d 1077, 1080 (5th
Case 3:21-cv-03691-TAD-KDM Document 12 Filed 01/07/22 Page 2 of 3 PageID #: 32
Cir. 2008). 1 Moreover, for each member of an LLC that is itself an LLC or partnership, its
members and their citizenship must be identified and traced up the chain of ownership until one
reaches only individuals and/or corporations. Lewis v. Allied Bronze, LLC, 2007 WL 1299251
(E.D. N.Y. May 2, 2007); see also Mullins v. TestAmerica, Inc., 564 F.3d 386, 397 (5th Cir.
2009) (suggesting that to discern the citizenship of an LLC, the court must trace citizenship
“down the various organizational layers”); Feaster v. Grey Wolf Drilling Co., 2007 WL
3146363, *1 (W.D. La. Oct. 25, 2007) (“citizenship must be traced through however many layers
of members or partners there may be”).
Here, the notice of removal does not allege the member(s) and citizenship of Ntambi.
Accordingly, within the next seven days from the date of this order, United is granted
leave of court to file an amended notice of removal that establishes diversity jurisdiction. See 28
U.S.C. § 1653. If United fails to so comply, or if subject matter jurisdiction is found to be
lacking, then the matter will be remanded to state court. 2
Under Louisiana law, a limited liability company is an unincorporated association. LA. R.S. §
12:1301A(10). If the law of the state where Ntambi was organized differs in any material
respect, then United may discuss these nuances in its amended notice of removal. See
Lest the parties suspect that the court is engaged in a hyper-technical exercise that exalts form
over substance, the undersigned observes that the Fifth Circuit takes these matters seriously.
See, e.g., Settlement Funding, L.L.C. v. Rapid Settlements, Limited, 851 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 2017)
(party asserting jurisdiction failed to establish complete diversity, thereby requiring vacatur of
the district court’s judgment, with instructions to remand the matter to state court after four years
of litigation); Mullins v. Testamerica, Inc., 300 Fed. App’x. 259 (5th Cir. 2008) (remanding to
district court to address deficient jurisdictional allegations; Smitherman v. Bayview Loan
Servicing, L.L.C., 2017 WL 113919 (5th Cir. Jan. 11, 2017) (remanding to district court because
notice of removal did not identify members of LLC or their citizenship); Howery v. Allstate Ins.
Co., 243 F.3d 912 (5th Cir. 2001) (dismissing case because record did not contain allegations
establishing complete diversity).
Case 3:21-cv-03691-TAD-KDM Document 12 Filed 01/07/22 Page 3 of 3 PageID #: 33
In Chambers, at Monroe, Louisiana, on this 7th day of January, 2022.
KAYLA DYE MCCLUSKY
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?