United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Second Amended
Complaint (Doc. 23) filed in response to the court's
order of December 8, 2017 (Doc. 20). In that order, the court
directed Plaintiff to file an amended complaint that properly
alleges diversity jurisdiction. See (Doc. 20 at 2).
Because this is Plaintiff's third failed attempt to
properly plead the parties' citizenship in order to
invoke this court's diversity jurisdiction, this action
is due to be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
Riverboat Group, LLC, d/b/a Vanguard Labs, LLC, initiated
this lawsuit on June 23, 2017, against Ivy Creek Healthcare,
LLC, d/b/a Lake Martin Community Hospital. (Doc. 1). On
September 6, 2017, the court ordered Plaintiff to amend its
complaint because Plaintiff's complaint was insufficient
to clearly establish the court's jurisdiction based upon
diversity because it did not indicate the full citizenship of
the parties who are limited liability companies. (Doc. 11).
On September 28, 2017, Plaintiff, Riverboat Group, LLC d/b/a
Vanguard Labs, LLC, filed an amended complaint against Ivy
Creek of Tallapoosa, LLC, d/b/a Lake Martin Community
Hospital. (Doc. 12). The court again counseled Plaintiff that
its allegations regarding limited liability companies were
deficient, noting that in order to allege the citizenship of
a limited liability company, a plaintiff must allege the
citizenship of the LLC's members. See
(Doc. 20) (emphasis added). In its December 8, 2017order, the
court cautioned Plaintiff that failure to file an amended
complaint that properly alleges diversity jurisdiction may
result in dismissal. Plaintiff filed its Second Amended
Complaint against Ivy Creek of Tallapoosa, LLC on December
14, 2017. (Doc. 23).
seeks to invoke this court's diversity jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Section 1332 provides that
the district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all
civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum
or value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is
between citizens of different States. See 28
U.S.C.A. § 1332(a)(1).
federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, “a
federal court has an independent obligation to review its
authority to hear a case before it proceeds to the
merits.” Mirage Resorts, Inc. v. Quiet Nacelle
Corp., 206 F.3d 1398, 1400-1401 (11th Cir. 2000). That
obligation should be undertaken “at the earliest
possible stage in the proceedings[.]” Univ. of S.
Alabama v. Am. Tobacco Co., 168 F.3d 405, 410 (11th Cir.
1999) (citations omitted). Even when no party challenges it,
courts are obligated to determine whether subject-matter
jurisdiction exists. Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 559 U.S.
77, 94 (2010). The burden of persuasion for establishing
diversity jurisdiction remains on the party asserting it.
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of America, 511
U.S. 375, 377 (1994). “Consistent with the limited
nature of federal jurisdiction, the party seeking a federal
venue must establish the venue's jurisdictional
requirements.” Lowery v. Ala. Power Co., 483
F.3d 1184, 1207(11th Cir. 2007) (citing Lujan v.
Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561 (1992)).
Plaintiff bears that burden here, and the court concludes
Plaintiff has failed to carry this burden despite being given
multiple opportunities to correct its deficient pleadings.
Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges Riverboat Group,
LLC is a Delaware series limited liability company whose sole
member is Atrium RB Group, LLC. (Doc. 23, ¶¶ 1, 2).
Plaintiff further alleges that Atrium RB Group, LLC is a
Delaware series limited liability company and its members are
Logan Trotter, a New Orleans, Louisiana resident; Aaron
Motwani, a New Orleans, Louisiana resident; and Clayton
White, a Theodore, Alabama resident. Id.,
¶¶ 3, 4. Regarding the Defendant, Plaintiff alleges
Ivy Creek of Tallapoosa, LLC is a domestic limited liability
company whose sole member is Ivy Creek Healthcare, LLC.
Id., ¶¶ 5, 6. Ivy Creek Healthcare, LLC is
a foreign limited liability company with a principal address
in Miami, Florida. Id., ¶ 7. Michael D. Bruce
is the sole member of Ivy Creek Healthcare, LLC.
Id., ¶ 8. Plaintiff alleges “Michael D.
Bruce's address is 16020 SW 80th Avenue;
Miami, FL 33157.” Id., ¶ 9.
purposes of diversity of citizenship, “a limited
liability company is a citizen of any state of which a member
of the company is a citizen.” Rolling Greens MHP,
L.P. v. Comcast SCH Holdings L.L.C., 374 F.3d 1020, 1022
(11th Cir. 2004). It has long been recognized that
“[c]itizenship, not residence, is the key fact that
must be alleged in the complaint to establish diversity for a
natural person.” Taylor v. Appleton, 30 F.3d
1365, 1367 (11th Cir. 1994); Crist v. Carnival
Corp., 410 F. App'x 197, 200 (11th Cir. 2010)
(“residency is not the equivalent of
citizenship”); Cong. of Racial Equal. v.
Clemmons, 323 F.2d 54, 58 (5th Cir. 1963) (since
residence is not the equivalent of citizenship, an allegation
that a party is a resident of a certain state or foreign
country is not a sufficient allegation of his citizenship).
Plaintiff alleges the residence of the members of
its LLC and identifies an address for the sole member of the
Defendant's LLC. The Second Amended Complaint still fails
to allege the LLC members' citizenship despite
two orders from this court advising it to do so.
Conclusion and Order
Plaintiff has been unable to properly plead the citizenship
of the parties in order to invoke this court's diversity
jurisdiction, it is hereby ORDERED the case
is DISMISSED without prejudice due to lack
of subject-matter jurisdiction. No. costs. The Clerk is
directed to close the file.