Allen v. Cape Girardeau Operations, LLC
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant shall file an amended Notice of Removal within fourteen days which shall allege facts establishing the citizenship of each of the defendant LLCs members. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that if defenda nt does not timely and fully comply with this order, this matter will be remanded to the state court from which it was removed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that all other proceedings in this case are STAYED pending further order of this Court. Amended/Supplemental Pleadings due by 5/7/2015. Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 4/23/2015. (JMC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
CAROL L. ALLEN,
CAPE GIRARDEAU OPERATIONS, LLC,
Case No. 1:15CV66 SNLJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on review of the file following assignment to the
undersigned. The Eight Circuit has admonished district courts to “be attentive to a
satisfaction of jurisdictional requirements in all cases.” Sanders v. Clemco Indus., 823
F.2d 214, 216 (8th Cir. 1987). “In every federal case the court must be satisfied that it
has jurisdiction before it turns to the merits of other legal arguments.” Carlson v.
Arrowhead Concrete Works, Inc., 445 F.3d 1046, 1050 (8th Cir. 2006). Statutes
conferring diversity jurisdiction are to be strictly construed, Sheehan v. Gustafson, 967
F.2d 1214, 1215 (8th Cir. 1992), as are removal statutes. Nichols v. Harbor Venture,
Inc., 284 F.3d 857, 861 (8th Cir. 2002).
Plaintiff initially filed suit in the Circuit court of Cape Girardeau County, State of
Missouri. The petition alleges state law claims for wrongful discharge and violation of
the Missouri Service Letter Statute. Defendant removed this action to this Court pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332 and 1441 alleging jurisdiction over the action because the lawsuit is
between citizens of different States and the matter in controversy exceeds the sum of
$75,000 exclusive of interest and costs.
In removal cases, the district court reviews the complaint or petition pending at the
time of removal to determine the existence of jurisdiction. St. Paul Mercury Indem. Co.
v. Red Cab Co., 303 U.S. 283 (1938). The district court may also look to the notice of
removal to determine its jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(2)(A)(ii); Ratermann v. Cellco
P’ship, 4:09CV126 DDN, 2009 WL 1139232, at *3 (E.D. Mo. Apr. 28, 2009). The
removing defendant, as the party invoking jurisdiction, bears the burden of proving that
all prerequisites to jurisdiction are satisfied. Central Iowa Power Co-op. v. Midwest
Indep. Transmission Sys. Operator, Inc., 561 F.3d 904, 912 (8th Cir. 2009). “[A]ll
doubts about federal jurisdiction must be resolved in favor of remand[.]” Id.
The Notice of Removal alleges that plaintiff is a citizen of Missouri and the
defendant is a limited liability company organized under the law of Tennessee with its
principal place of business in Cleveland, Tennessee. Additionally, defendant alleges that
its members direct, control, and coordinate its activities from Cleveland, Tennessee.
These allegations are insufficient for the Court to determine whether it has diversity
jurisdiction over this matter. The defendant LLC’s citizenship has been addressed like
that of a corporation, which is a citizen of its state of organization and its principal place
of business. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(a), (c)(1); Sanders, 823 F.2d at 215 n.1. However,
the Eighth Circuit has held that limited liability companies are citizens of every state of
which any member is a citizen. See GMAC Commercial Credit, LLC v. Dillard Dep’t
Stores, Inc., 357 F.3d 827, 829 (8th Cir. 2004). Thus, the Court must examine the
citizenship of each member of the limited liability company to determine whether
diversity jurisdiction exists. Id. The Notice of Removal contains no allegations
concerning the citizenship of the members of the defendant LLC.
The Court will grant defendant fourteen days to file an amended Notice of
Removal that alleges facts showing the existence of the requisite diversity of citizenship
of the parties. If defendant fails to timely and fully comply with this Order, the Court
will remand this matter to the state court from which it was removed for lack of subject
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant shall file an amended Notice of
Removal within fourteen days which shall allege facts establishing the citizenship of each
of the defendant LLC’s members.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that if defendant does not timely and fully comply
with this order, this matter will be remanded to the state court from which it was removed
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that all other proceedings in this case are STAYED
pending further order of this Court.
Dated this 23rd day of April, 2015.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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