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BULK MOLDING COMPOUNDS, INC. v. VALEO SYLVANIA

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois


June 1, 2004.

BULK MOLDING COMPOUNDS, INC., Plaintiff
v.
VALEO SYLVANIA, L.L.C., Defendant

The opinion of the court was delivered by: MILTON SHADUR, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Bulk Molding Compounds, Inc. ("Bulk Molding") has brought this action against Valeo Sylvania, L.L.C. ("Valeo"), seeking to invoke federal jurisdiction on diversity of citizenship grounds. Because the information provided by Complaint ¶ 2 is insufficient to establish such jurisdiction, this memorandum order is issued sua sponte to require some further input from Bulk Molding's counsel.

Complaint ¶ 2 does not commit the all-too-frequent error of equating limited liability companies to corporations, so that their dual citizenship is prescribed by 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1).*fn1 Instead Bulk Molding's counsel has properly sought to adduce the factual information as to the citizenship of Valeo's members, as taught by our Court of Appeals in a series of cases ending with Belleville Catering Co. v. Champaign Market Place, L.L.C., 350 F.3d 691, 692 (7th Cir. 2003). To that end Bulk Molding cannot of course be faulted for having alleged those facts on information and belief. But what has been advanced in Complaint ¶ 2 falls short in more than one respect:

1. One asserted owner of Valeo is said to be "Valeo Group, a multinational auto parts supplier headquartered in Paris, France." But that does not reveal whether Valeo Group is a corporation, in which event Section 1332(c)(1) also calls for the identification of its place of incorporation, or is instead some type of noncorporate entity, in which event the Belleville Catering line of cases requires that all layers of the onion be peeled away by providing the necessary jurisdictional information as to the entity's members.
2. Osram Sylvania, Inc. is said to be the other owner of Valeo. But if it is a corporation (as its name suggests), Bulk Molding has not identified either facet of its corporate citizenship under Section 1332(c)(1) — and if it is instead a division of Osram GmbH ("Osram")(as Complaint ¶ 2 alleges), the requisite citizenship information as to Osram is missing.
  Under the circumstances Bulk Molding's counsel are ordered to file an appropriate amendment to Complaint ¶ 2 in this Court's chambers on or before June 15, 2004, to enable this Court to ascertain whether subject matter jurisdiction exists. In the absence of such a filing, this Court will be constrained to dismiss the Complaint and this action because of Bulk Molding's failure to carry its burden of affirmatively establishing the requisite federal jurisdiction.


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