DFO LLC v. Southwest Florida Restaurant Investments Inc et al
OPINION AND ORDER remanding this case to the Court of Common Pleas of Spartanburg County, SC. NOTE TO COUNSEL: You are responsible for supplementing the Spartanburg County Clerk's file with any and all documents filed in Federal Court. Signed by Honorable Henry M Herlong, Jr on 9/19/11. (sfla)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Southwest Florida Restaurant Investments, )
Inc., SWFRI of Cape Coral, Inc.,
SWFRI at Cape Coral, Ltd.,
SWFRI at Danport, Ltd.,
SWFRI @ Gladiolus, Ltd., Marcia York
and Ronald W. York,
C.A. No. 7:11-2253-HMH
OPINION & ORDER
On August 24, 2011, the Defendants removed this action to federal court on the basis of
diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332, and filed an answer. After review, the court ordered the
Plaintiff DFO, LLC (“DFO”) to inform the court of the citizenship of all of its members. The
citizenship of a limited liability company is the citizenship of its members. See Gen. Tech.
Applications, Inc. v. Exro Ltda, 388 F.3d 114, 120 (4th Cir. 2004). On September 2, 2011, DFO
responded to the court’s order indicating that its sole member is Denny’s Inc. and that Denny’s
Inc. is incorporated in Florida and has its principal place of business in South Carolina. (Pl.
Reply 1.) Thus, DFO is a citizen of Florida and South Carolina.
A case that has been removed “is not to be remanded if it was properly removable upon
the record as it stood at the time that the petition for removal was filed.” Brown v. E. States
Corp., 181 F.2d 26, 28-29 (4th Cir. 1950). However, the court is “obligated to construe removal
jurisdiction strictly because of the significant federalism concerns implicated. Therefore, if
federal jurisdiction is doubtful, a remand to state court is necessary.” Gen. Tech. Applications,
388 F.3d at 118 (internal quotation marks omitted); see also Hartley v. CSX Transp., Inc., 187
F.3d 422, 425 (4th Cir. 1999) (explaining that “courts should resolve all doubts about the
propriety of removal in favor of retained state court jurisdiction” (internal quotation marks
According to the Defendants’ answer, the Defendants are all citizens of Florida. (Ans.
¶¶ 6-8.) Complete diversity of jurisdiction is absent in this case. Caterpillar, Inc. v. Lewis, 519
U.S. 61, 68 (1996) (explaining that 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) “applies only to cases in which the
citizenship of each plaintiff is diverse from the citizenship of each defendant”). Based on the
foregoing and a review of the record in this matter, the requirements of diversity jurisdiction are
not satisfied and this matter must be remanded. See § 1332.
The court instructs the Clerk of Court to remand this case to the Court of Common Pleas
of Spartanburg County, South Carolina.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/Henry M. Herlong, Jr.
Senior United States District Judge
Greenville, South Carolina
September 19, 2011
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