Heuberger v. CRJ Management Services, Inc.
MEMORANDUM (Order to follow as separate docket entry) re 1 Complaint filed by Andrew Heuberger. Signed by Honorable A. Richard Caputo on 4/27/17. (jam)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
CRJ MANAGEMENT SERVICES INC.,
Presently before me is Plaintiffs' Complaint (Doc. 1), which fails to adequately plead
the existence of subject matter jurisdiction. As such, the case will be dismissed, unless
Plaintiffs file an amended complaint curing the jurisdictional defects within fourteen (14) days
from the date of entry of the Order.
Federal courts have an obligation to address issues of subject matter jurisdiction sua
sponte. See Meritcare Inc. v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., 166 F.3d 214, 217 (3d Cir. 1999).
28 U.S.C.A. § 1332(a)(1) gives district courts original jurisdiction to hear cases where the
matter in controversy exceeds the value of seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000) and is
between citizens of different states. In order for jurisdiction to exist, there must be complete
diversity, meaning that each defendant must be a citizen of a different state from each
plaintiff. Owen Equip. & Erection Co. v. Kroger, 437 U.S. 365, 373 (1978). "It is ... well
established that when jurisdiction depends upon diverse citizenship, the absence of sufficient
averments or of facts in the record showing such required diversity of citizenship is fatal and
cannot be overlooked by the court, even if the parties fail to call attention to the defect, or
consenllhat it may be waived." Thomas v. Bd. ofTrs., 195 U.S. 207, 211 (1904). See also
Carlsberg Res. Corp. v. Cambria Sav. & Loan Ass'n, 554 F.2d 1254, 1256 (3d Cir. 1977);
Fed R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3).
For purposes of diversity jurisdiction, a natural person is deemed to be a citizen of the
state where he or she is domiciled. Swiger v. Allegheny Energy, Inc., 540 F.3d 179 182 (3d
Cir. 2008) (citing Gilbert v. David, 235 U.S. 561, 569 (1915)). Domicile is established by
one's physical presence in a state, or residence, and intent to remain there indefinitely.
Washington v. Hovensa LLC, 652 F.3d 340, 344 (3d Cir.2011). A person may have only one
domicile, and thus may be a citizen of only one state for diversity jurisdiction purposes.
Williamson v. Osenton, 232 U.S. 619 (1914).
Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendant for violations of state law, alleging that
this Court has original jurisdiction over the matter under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, the diversity
statute. The Complaint states only that Plaintiff "is a resident" of Pennsylvania. (Doc. 1, at
2). It does not, however, state where Plaintiff is a citizen.' Residence is not the same as
domicile and does not establish citizenship for diversity purposes. See Krasnovv. Dinan, 465
F.2d 1298, 1300 (3d Cir. 1972) ("Where one lives is prima facie evidence of domicile, but
mere residency in a state is insufficient for purposes of diversity.") (internal citations omitted).
Therefore, because the Court's subject matter jurisdiction has not been properly
alleged, the instant suit will be dismissed, unless Plaintiff, within fourteen (14) days from the
date of the Order, files an amended complaint curing the jurisdictional defects.
An appropriate Order follows.
A. Richard Caputo
United States District Judge
Or, more precisely, where Plaintiff was a citizen at the time the suit was commenced.
See Grupo Dataflux v. Atlas Global Grp., 541 U.S. 567, 570-71 (2004).
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