The Dry Dock L.L.C. v. The Godfrey Conveyor Company, Inc. et al

Filing 22

Order Requiring Proof of Diversity Citizenship. Proof of Diversity Citizenship due by 6/30/2009. Signed by Chief Judge Barbara B. Crabb on 7/22/09. (krj)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FO R THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN --------------------------------------------T H E DRY DOCK, L.L.C., P la i n t i f f , v. 0 9 - cv -3 9 6 - b b c T H E GODFREY CONVEYOR COMPANY, INC. d/b/a GODREY MARINE and LIPPERT COMPONENTS MANUFACTURING, INC. d/b/a ZIEMAN MANUFACTURING, D efendan ts. --------------------------------------------O n June 22, 2009, defendant The Godfrey Conveyor Company, Inc. d/b/a/ Godfrey M arine removed this case from state court, invoking this court's diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1332. Dkt. #1. Section 1332 requires complete diversity of citizenship, m eanin g that no plaintiff may be a citizen of the same state as any defendant. 28 U.S.C. 1332 (a)(1); McCready v. EBay, Inc., 453 F.3d 882, 891 (7th Cir. 2006); Strawbridge v. C urtiss, 7 U.S. 267 (1806). This court has an independent obligation to insure that subject m atter jurisdiction exists. Arbaugh v. Y & H Corporation, 546 U.S. 500, 501 (2006); see also Belleville Catering Co. v. Champaign Market Place, L.L.C., 350 F.3d 691, 693 (7th Cir. 2 0 0 3) (litigants must meticulously review limits of federal jurisdiction to prevent waste of 1 ORDER federal judicial resources); Tylka v. Gerber Products Company, 211 F.3d 445, 447-48 (7th Cir. 2000) (federal courts "always obliged to inquire sua sponte whenever a doubt arises as to the existence of federal jurisdiction"). As the party that removed this case to federal court, defendant Godfrey Conveyor Co m pany bears the burden of showing that federal jurisdiction exists. Chase v. Shop n' Save W arehouse Foods, Inc., 110 F.3d 424, 427 (7th Cir. 1997) (party seeking to invoke federal diversity jurisdiction bears burden of demonstrating that complete diversity and amount in co n tro versy requirements are met). In the notice of removal, defendant alleged that: 1) plaintiff The Dry Dock, LLC is a Wisconsin limited liability company with a principal place of business in Hudson, Wisconsin; 2) plaintiff's chief executive officer and member, Mick H ow lan d, is a resident of Wisconsin; 3) defendant Godfrey is an Indiana corporation with a principal place of business in Elkhart, Indiana; and 4) defendant Lippert Components M an ufactu rin g, Inc. is a Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in Goshen, Indian a. In establishing diversity jurisdiction, the citizenship of a business entity is determined by its organizational structure. For example, a corporation is deemed a citizen of the state in which it is incorporated and the state in which its principal place of business is located, 2 8 U.S.C. 1332(c)(1); Hoagland ex rel. Midwest Transit, Inc. v. Sandberg, Phoenix & von G o n ta r d , P.C., 385 F.3d 737, 741 (7th Cir. 2004). However, the citizenship of a limited 2 liability company is the citizenship of each of its members. Thomas v. Guardsmark, LLC, 4 8 7 F.3d 531, 534 (7th Cir. 2007) (citations omitted) ("an LLC's jurisdictional statement m ust identify the citizenship of each of its members as of the date the complaint or notice of removal was filed, and, if those members have members, the citizenship of those members a s well"). In this case, neither the complaint nor the notice of removal identifies whether M ick Howland is the only member of The Dry Dock, LLC. Thus, more information is needed about the members of The Dry Dock, LLC before I can assess whether there is diversity jurisdiction in this case. Because it would be a waste of limited judicial resources to proceed further in a case w here jurisdiction may not be present, I will give defendant Godfrey seven days in which to pro duce facts verifying the diversity of citizenship between plaintiff and defendants. D efendant is reminded that if plaintiff has more than one individual as a member, the citizenship and not the residency of individual persons is what matters for diversity jurisdiction purposes. An individual is a citizen of the state in which he is domiciled, that is, where he has a "permanent home and principal establishment, and to which he has the in ten tio n of returning whenever he is absent therefrom." Charles Alan Wright, Law of Federal Courts 161 (5th ed. 1994); see also Dakuras v. Edwards, 312 F.3d 256, 258 (7th C ir. 2002). 3 OR DER IT IS ORDERED that defendant Godfrey Conveyor Company, Inc. may have until July 30, 2009, to provide this court with verification of the diversity of citizenship between itself, defendant Lippert Components Manufacturing, Inc. and plaintiff The Dry Dock, LLC. Failure to comply with this deadline will result in the dismissal of the case for lack of subject m atter jurisdiction. E n tered this 22 n d day of July, 2009. B Y THE COURT: /s/ _ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ B AR B AR A B. CRABB D istrict Judge 4

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