Mohamed, Omar et al v. Daimler Trucks North America, LLC et al
ORDER Regarding Jurisdiction. Proof of Diversity of Citizenship due 2/17/2017. Signed by District Judge William M. Conley on 2/3/2017. (voc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
OMAR F. MOHAMED, and
minor, by her Guardian ad Litem,
OPINION and ORDER
STATE OF WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT
OF HEALTH SERVICES and CONTINUUS,
DAIMLER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA, LLC and
STERLING TRUCK CORPORATION,
In this civil action, plaintiffs allege that defendants Daimler Trucks North
America, LLC, and Sterling Truck Corporation are liable for money damages arising out
of an accident in which plaintiff Omar Mohamed’s vehicle rolled on its side, based on
various alleged defects in the vehicle. (Compl. (dkt. #1) ¶¶ 8, 10.) Plaintiffs invoke this
court’s diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). (Id. at ¶ 1.) Because the
allegations in the complaint are insufficient to determine whether diversity jurisdiction
actually exists, plaintiffs will be given an opportunity to file a declaration or affidavit
containing the necessary allegations.
“Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.” Int’l Union of Operating Eng’rs,
Local 150, AFL-CIO v. Ward, 563 F.3d 276, 280 (7th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted).
Unless a complaint alleges complete diversity of citizenship among the parties and an
amount in controversy exceeding $75,000, or raises a federal question, the case must be
dismissed for want of jurisdiction. Smart v. Local 702 Int’l Bhd. of Elec. Workers, 562 F.3d
798, 802 (7th Cir. 2009).
Because jurisdiction is limited, federal courts “have 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). Further, the
party seeking to invoke federal jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing that
jurisdiction is present. Smart, 562 F.3d at 802-03.
Here, plaintiffs contend in the complaint that diversity jurisdiction exists because
(1) the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 and (2) the parties are completely
diverse. (Compl. (dkt. #1) ¶ 1.) For the latter to be true, however, no plaintiff can be a
citizen of the same state as any defendant. Smart, 562 F.3d at 803. Plaintiff’s allegations
as to citizenship of all parties prevent this court from determining whether this is so.
With respect to defendant Daimler Trucks North America, LLC, the plaintiffs
have not alleged sufficient information to determine whether complete diversity exists
here because “the citizenship of an LLC is the citizenship of each of its members.”
Camico Mut. Ins. Co. v. Citizens Bank, 474 F.3d 989, 992 (7th Cir. 2007). The complaint
lacks any allegations regarding the name or the citizenship of any member of defendant
Daimler Trucks North America, LLC.
Instead, plaintiffs allege that Daimler Trucks
North America, LLC is “a Delaware limited liability company with its principle place of
business in Portland, Oregon.” (Compl. (dkt. #1) ¶ 6.) The Seventh Circuit instructs,
however, that this information is wholly irrelevant in determining the citizenship of a
limited liability company.
Hukic v. Aurora Loan Servs., 588 F.3d 420, 427 (7th Cir.
Before dismissing this action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, plaintiffs will
be given leave to file within 14 days a declaration or affidavit that establishes subject
matter jurisdiction by alleging the names and citizenship of each member of defendant
Daimler Trucks North America, LLC.
IT IS ORDERED THAT:
1) plaintiffs shall have until February 17, 2017, to file a declaration or affidavit
containing good faith allegations sufficient to establish complete diversity of
citizenship for purposes of determining subject matter jurisdiction under 28
U.S.C. § 1332; and
2) failure to do so timely shall result in prompt dismissal of this matter for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction.
Entered this 3rd day of February, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
WILLIAM M. CONLEY
In alleging the LLC’s citizenship, plaintiff should be aware that if any members of the LLC are
themselves a limited liability company, partnership, or other similar entity, then the individual
citizenship of each of those members and partners must also be alleged as well because “the
citizenship of unincorporated associations must be traced through however many layers of
partners or members there may be.” Meyerson v. Harrah’s E. Chi. Casino, 299 F.3d 616, 617 (7th
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