United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
FREDDIE DUNNING, JR. and PAULETHEA DUNNING, Plaintiffs,
GHS INTERACTIVE SECURITY, LLC; And PRESTON BURNETT, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
OWEN BOWDRE CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the court on Plaintiffs' Motion to
Remand. (Doc. 7). Plaintiffs Freddie and Paulethea Dunning
filed this lawsuit against Defendants GHS Interactive
Security, LLC (“GHS”) and Preston Burnett in the
Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama. GHS filed a
Notice of Removal to this court on July 25, 2018, asserting
diversity jurisdiction. (Doc. 1).
reasons stated below, this court concludes that Defendant GHS
has not met its burden of establishing its own citizenship
and so has not met its burden of establishing complete
diversity of citizenship. Thus, this court GRANTS
Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand and REMANDS this case to the
Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama.
Standard of Review
Consistent with the limited nature of federal jurisdiction,
the party seeking a federal venue must establish federal
jurisdictional requirements. See Lujan v. Defenders of
Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561 (1992). In the removal
context, the removing defendant must establish the
court's jurisdiction. Miedema v. Maytag Corp.,
450 F.3d 1322, 1328 (11th Cir. 2006). Because removal
statutes are strictly construed against removal, Shamrock
Oil & Gas Corp. v. Sheets, 313 U.S. 100, 108 (1941),
doubts about jurisdiction are generally resolved in favor of
remand. See Univ. of S. Ala. v. Am. Tobacco Co., 168
F.3d 405, 411 (11th Cir.1999) (“A presumption in favor
of remand is necessary because if a federal court reaches the
merits of . . . a removed case where subject matter
jurisdiction may be lacking it deprives a state court of its
right under the Constitution to resolve controversies in its
Dunnings brought this claim against GHS, a limited liability
company, alleging breach of contract, fraud, negligence, and
wantonness related to the sale and installation of a fire and
burglary alarm system. The Dunnings have also joined one
named natural person, Preston Burnett, as well as eight
fictitious parties. GHS's membership is comprised of ten
members: six natural persons; two corporations; and two
“entities.” (Doc. 12-5, at 2).
removed this case on the basis of diversity jurisdiction.
Plaintiffs have not disputed that the claim value exceeds
$75, 000; so, the sole question before the court is whether
Defendant has sufficiently established complete diversity.
diversity purposes, a limited liability company is a citizen
of any state of which a member of the limited liability
company is a citizen. Rolling Green MHP, L.P. v. Comcast
SCH Holdings L.L.C., 374 F.3d 1020, 1022 (11th Cir.).
When a member is itself an entity, the limited liability
company is a citizen of any state in which its entity-member
is a citizen. See Purchasing Power, LLC v. Bluestem
Brand, Inc., 851 F.3d 1218, 1221 (11th Cir. 2017). A
corporation is a citizen of its state of incorporation as
well as the state where it has its principal place of
business. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1).
Defendant's notice of removal, it asserted only that
“Defendant is a Limited Liability Company organized
under the laws of the State of Delaware, maintaining its
principal place of business in Woodland Hills,
California.” (Doc. 1, at ¶ 13). Plaintiff's
Motion to Remand correctly noted that Defendant failed to
allege the citizenship of its members. (Doc. 7, at 4).
Defendant responded by identifying its ten members, which
included several individuals and corporations. (Doc. 12-5, at
2). But Defendant also identified two members as
2. Addington Square OID is an entity organized under the laws
of the Cayman Islands and has no place of business of any
kind, principal or otherwise, located in the State of
3. AB PCI Middle Market OID is an entity organized under the
laws of the State of Delaware and has no place of business of
any kind, principal or otherwise, ...