Viking Buick GMC, Inc. v. General Motors LLC
ORDER re 1 Complaint filed by Viking Buick GMC, Inc. (Written Opinion). Signed by Judge Joan N. Ericksen on February 4, 2014. (CBC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Viking Buick GMC, Inc.,
Civil No. 14-309 (JNE/JJG)
General Motors, LLC,
Asserting violations of Minn. Stat. ch. 80E, Viking Buick GMC, Inc. (Viking),
brought this action against General Motors, LLC (GM), under the jurisdiction conferred
by 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) (2006 & Supp. V 2011). The Court has “an independent
obligation to determine whether subject-matter jurisdiction exists, even when no party
challenges it.” Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 559 U.S. 77, 94 (2010). Observing that Viking
failed to allege GM’s citizenship, the Court grants Viking an opportunity to file an
A district court has original jurisdiction over a civil action where the matter in
controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is
between citizens of different states. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). “When jurisdiction is based
on diversity of citizenship, the pleadings, to establish diversity, must set forth with
specificity the citizenship of the parties.” Barclay Square Props. v. Midwest Fed. Sav. &
Loan Ass’n of Minneapolis, 893 F.2d 968, 969 (8th Cir. 1990). As the party invoking
diversity jurisdiction, Viking bears the burden of alleging each party’s citizenship. See
Walker v. Norwest Corp., 108 F.3d 158, 161 (8th Cir. 1997).
In its Complaint, Viking alleged that it “is a corporation organized and existing
under the laws of Minnesota with its principal place of business in . . . Minnesota”; that
GM “is a limited liability company organized and existing under the laws of Delaware
with its principal place of business located in . . . Michigan”; and that “[a]ll of the
underlying LLC members are domiciled outside of the state of Minnesota.” Viking
alleged that it is a citizen of Minnesota. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1). It did not allege
For purposes of diversity jurisdiction, a limited liability company’s citizenship is
that of its members. OnePoint Solutions, LLC v. Borchert, 486 F.3d 342, 346 (8th Cir.
2007); GMAC Commercial Credit LLC v. Dillard Dep’t Stores, Inc., 357 F.3d 827, 829
(8th Cir. 2004). “When diversity jurisdiction is invoked in a case in which a limited
liability company is a party, the court needs to know the citizenship of each member of
the company.” Delay v. Rosenthal Collins Grp., LLC, 585 F.3d 1003, 1005 (6th Cir.
2009); see Rolling Greens MHP, L.P. v. Comcast SCH Holdings L.L.C., 374 F.3d 1020,
1022 (11th Cir. 2004) (per curiam) (“To sufficiently allege the citizenships of these
unincorporated business entities, a party must list the citizenships of all the members of
the limited liability company and all the partners of the limited partnership.”); cf. Barclay
Square Props., 893 F.2d at 969 (“Barclay Square Properties is a limited partnership, and
because its complaint did not allege the citizenship of each limited partner, the pleadings
were insufficient to establish diversity jurisdiction.”). “[B]ecause a member of a limited
liability company may itself have multiple members—and thus may itself have multiple
citizenships—the federal court needs to know the citizenship of each ‘sub-member’ as
well.” Delay, 585 F.3d at 1005. Viking did not allege the citizenship of each member of
GM. See D.B. Zwirn Special Opportunities Fund, L.P. v. Mehrotra, 661 F.3d 124, 12527 (1st Cir. 2011) (per curiam); Lindley Contours, LLC v. AABB Fitness Holdings, Inc.,
414 F. App’x 62, 64-65 (9th Cir. 2011).
Having failed to allege the citizenship of the members of GM, Viking has not
satisfied its burden of alleging diversity jurisdiction. Unless Viking files by February 12,
2014, an amended complaint that alleges with specificity the citizenship of each party at
the time of this action’s commencement, see Grupo Dataflux v. Atlas Global Grp., L.P.,
541 U.S. 567, 574-75 (2004), the Court will dismiss this action for lack of subject-matter
jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1653 (2006) (“Defective allegations of jurisdiction may be
amended, upon terms, in the trial or appellate courts.”); Dubach v. Weitzel, 135 F.3d 590,
593 (8th Cir. 1998).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: February 4, 2014
s/Joan N. Ericksen
JOAN N. ERICKSEN
United States District Judge
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