United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
K. DuBose Chief United States District Judge
action is before the Court the Plaintiff 3D Delivery Service,
LLC's Unopposed Motion to Remand and the Defendant Seko
Worldwide, LLC's Withdrawal of Removal (docs. 9, 11).
Upon consideration and for the reasons set forth herein, the
Motion to Remand is GRANTED and this action is remanded to
the Circuit Court of Baldwin County, Alabama. Accordingly,
the Withdrawal of Removal is MOOT.
contracted with Plaintiff to perform delivery and storage
services for furniture products for active duty and retired
members of the military (doc. 1-1). Plaintiff sued Defendant
for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and intentional
trespass (doc. 1-1). Plaintiff also sought declaratory relief
from the Court (Id.). Defendant removed this action
on basis of diversity jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1332
removal, the Magistrate Judge ordered Defendant to amend its
notice of removal to properly allege citizenship. The
Magistrate Judge explained as follows:
The Notice of Removal alleges that the Defendant is a limited
liability company and that “[n]one of SEKO's
members are citizens or residents of the State of Alabama
within the meaning of the Acts of Congress relating to the
removal of cases.” These allegations are insufficient,
as without identification of the LLCs' members and their
general natures (e.g., natural persons, corporations,
unincorporated entities), the Court cannot determine for
itself of what states the members are “deemed”
citizens. Accordingly, the Defendant must identify all of its
members and their general natures, and properly allege their
citizenships. . . . The Notice of Removal alleges that the
sole member of the Plaintiff, also a limited liability
company, is a natural person who was a “resident”
of Alabama both at the time the complaint was filed and at
the time of removal. (Doc. 1 at 3, ¶ 7).
“Citizenship, not residence, is the key fact that must
be alleged . . . to establish diversity for a natural
person.” “Citizenship is equivalent to
‘domicile' for purposes of diversity
jurisdiction.” . . . Accordingly, the Defendant must
allege the natural person member's state of
citizenship/domicile to establish diversity of citizenship.
(Doc. 7, p. 3-4) (footnotes omitted).
response to the Order, Defendant filed a withdrawal of
removal, wherein Defendant states that its
ownership structure includes a private equity group. Although
no member of that private equity group is a citizen of
Alabama, Defendant does not have permission to share the
information requested by the Court for purposes of
(Doc. 9, p. 1-2).
filed its unopposed motion to remand (doc. 11). Plaintiff
points out that Defendant did not correct the deficiencies in
its notice of removal or allege an alternative basis for
subject matter jurisdiction, but instead withdrew its notice
of removal. Plaintiffs moves the Court to remand the action
to the Circuit Court of Baldwin County, Alabama.
party removing a case to federal court based on diversity of
citizenship bears the burden of establishing the citizenship
of the parties.” Purchasing Power, LLC v. Bluestem
Brands, Inc., 851 F.3d 1218, 1225 (11th Cir. 2017)
(quoting Rolling Greens MHP, L.P. v. Comcast SCH Holdings
L.L.C., 374 F.3d 1020, 1022 (11th Cir. 2004) (per
curiam)). To meet this burden, Defendant must “show, by
a preponderance of the evidence, facts supporting
jurisdiction”, i.e. diversity of citizenship.
Burns v. Windsor Ins. Co., 31 F.3d 1092, 1094 (11th
Cir. 1994). For purposes of diversity jurisdiction, 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., 374 F.3d at 1022.
Therefore, to establish diversity jurisdiction, Defendant
must show by a preponderance of the evidence that none of the
members of the Plaintiff LLC are citizens of any state that a
member of the Defendant LLC is a citizen.
withdrawing its notice of removal and not opposing the motion
to remand, Defendant concedes that it could not show by a
preponderance of the evidence, facts to support jurisdiction
with respect to the citizenship of the members of the LLCs.
Since removal infringes upon state sovereignty and implicates
concepts of federalism, removal statutes are narrowly
construed and any question or uncertainty as to jurisdiction
on removal should be resolved in favor of remand.
American Tobacco Co., 168 F.3d at 411; Burns v.
Windsor Ins., Co., 31 F.3d 1092, 1095 (11th Cir. 1996);
Russell Corp. v. American Home Assur. Co., 264 F.3d
1040, 1050 (11th Cir. 2001). Accordingly, the Court finds
that Defendant has failed to meet its burden to establish
diversity jurisdiction. Therefore, this action is remanded to
the Circuit Court of Baldwin County, Alabama. The withdrawal
of removal is moot.