United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
KATHERINE P. NELSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action is before the Court sua sponte on review of
its subject matter jurisdiction. The Plaintiff initiated this
action by filing a complaint (Doc. 1) with the Court,
alleging diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. §
1332(a) as the sole basis for jurisdiction. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 8(a)(1) (“A pleading that states a claim for
relief must contain a short and plain statement of the
grounds for the court's jurisdiction…”).
When a plaintiff files suit in federal court, [the plaintiff]
must allege facts that, if true, show federal subject matter
jurisdiction over [the] case exists. Taylor v.
Appleton, 30 F.3d 1365, 1367 (11th Cir. 1994). Those
allegations, when federal jurisdiction is invoked based upon
diversity, must include the citizenship of each party, so
that the court is satisfied that no plaintiff is a citizen of
the same state as any defendant. Triggs v. John Crump
Toyota, Inc., 154 F.3d 1284, 1287 (11th Cir. 1998)
(“Diversity jurisdiction requires complete diversity;
every plaintiff must be diverse from every
defendant.”). Without such allegations, district courts
are constitutionally obligated to dismiss the action
altogether if the plaintiff does not cure the deficiency.
Stanley v. C.I.A., 639 F.2d 1146, 1159 (5th Cir.
Unit B Mar. 1981); see also DiMaio v. Democratic
Nat'l Comm., 520 F.3d 1299, 1303 (11th Cir. 2008)
(“Where dismissal can be based on lack of subject
matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim, the court
should dismiss on only the jurisdictional grounds.”
(internal quotation marks omitted)). That is, if a
complaint's factual allegations do not assure the court
it has subject matter jurisdiction, then the court is without
power to do anything in the case. See Goodman ex
rel. Goodman v. Sipos, 259 F.3d 1327, 1331, n.6 (11th
Cir. 2001) (“ ‘[A district] court must dismiss a
case without ever reaching the merits if it concludes that it
has no jurisdiction.' ” (quoting Capitol
Leasing Co. v. FDIC, 999 F.2d 188, 191 (7th Cir.
1993))); see also Belleri v. United States, 712 F.3d
543, 547 (11th Cir. 2013) (“We may not consider the
merits of [a] complaint unless and until we are assured of
our subject matter jurisdiction.”).
Travaglio v. Am. Exp. Co., 735 F.3d 1266, 1268 (11th
Cir. 2013) (emphasis added) (footnote omitted). See also,
e.g., Ray v. Bird & Son & Asset Realization
Co., Inc., 519 F.2d 1081, 1082 (5th Cir. 1975)
(“The burden of pleading diversity of citizenship is
upon the party invoking federal jurisdiction . . .”
(citing Mas v. Perry, 489 F.2d 1396 (5th Cir.
1974)). Upon review of the complaint (Doc. 1), the
undersigned finds that the Plaintiff has failed to allege
sufficient facts showing the citizenship of either party for
purposes of diversity jurisdiction.
Plaintiff alleges the citizenships of each of the artificial
entity parties as though they were corporations. See
28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1). However, per the Plaintiff's
allegations, the Plaintiff is a limited partnership (LP),
while the Defendant is a limited liability company (LLC). The
rule for diversity jurisdiction is “that the
citizenship of an artificial, unincorporated entity generally
depends on the citizenship of all the members composing the
organization.” Rolling Greens, MHP, L.P. v. Comcast
SCH Holdings, L.L.C., 374 F.3d 1020, 1021 (11th Cir.
2004) (per curiam) (citing Carden v. Arkoma Assocs.,
494 U.S. 185, 195-96 (1990)). See also Americold Realty
Trust v. Conagra Foods, Inc., 136 S.Ct. 1012, 1016
(2016) (“So long as … an entity is
unincorporated, we apply our ‘oft-repeated rule'
that it possesses the citizenship of all its members.”
(reaffirming Carden)). As such, “[t]o
sufficiently allege the citizenships of these unincorporated
business entities, [the Plaintiff] must list the citizenships
of all the members of the limited liability company and all
the partners of the limited partnership.” Rolling
Greens, 374 F.3d at 1022. Accord Mallory & Evans
Contractors & Eng'rs, LLC v. Tuskegee Univ., 663
F.3d 1304, 1305 (11th Cir. 2011) (per curiam). The Plaintiff has
not done so.
allegations of jurisdiction may be amended, upon terms, in
the trial or appellate courts.” 28 U.S.C. § 1653.
“[L]eave to amend should be freely granted when
necessary to cure a failure to allege jurisdiction
properly.” Majd-Pour v. Georgiana Cmty. Hosp.,
Inc., 724 F.2d 901, 903 n.1 (11th Cir. 1984). Upon
consideration, the Plaintiff is ORDERED to
file, no later than Wednesday, May 3, 2017, an
amended complaint that sufficiently alleges the citizenship
of both artificial entity parties for purpose of diversity
jurisdiction under § 1332(a), or that alleges some
alternative basis for subject matter jurisdiction. In filing
the amended complaint, the Plaintiff must abide by the
• The amended complaint shall reproduce the entire
original complaint as amended, see S.D. Ala. CivLR
15(a) (“Any amendment to a pleading … must
reproduce the entire pleading as amended and may not
incorporate any prior pleading by reference.”), and
will become the operative complaint in this
• The Plaintiff must file the amended complaint as a
freestanding pleading and not as an exhibit attached
to a notice, motion, etc.
filing made in contravention of these directives will be
deemed nonresponsive to this Order and will be summarily
ordered stricken. Moreover, the failure to file an amended
complaint as ordered could result in dismissal of this action
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(h)(3) (“If the court determines at
any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court
must dismiss the action.”).
Plaintiff is further ORDERED to file a disclosure statement
in accordance with S.D. Ala. CivLR 7.1 no later than
Wednesday, May 3, 2017.
 “It is . . . axiomatic that the
inferior federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction.
They are ‘empowered to hear only those cases within the
judicial power of the United States as defined by Article III
of the Constitution, ' and which have been entrusted to
them by a jurisdictional grant authorized by Congress.”
Univ. of S. Ala. v. Am. Tobacco Co., 168 F.3d 405,
409 (11th Cir. 1999) (quoting Taylor v. Appleton, 30
F.3d 1365, 1367 (11th Cir. 1994)). Accordingly, “it is
well settled that a federal court is obligated to inquire
into subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte whenever
it may be lacking.” Id. at 410. “[A]
court should inquire into whether it has subject matter
jurisdiction at the earliest possible stage in the
proceedings.” Id. See also See Arbaugh v. Y&H
Corp., 546 U.S. 500, ...