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DENNIS v. METABOLIFE INTERNATIONAL

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division


July 15, 2004.

TIMOTHY DENNIS, Plaintiff,
v.
METABOLIFE INTERNATIONAL, INC., Defendant.

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

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Timothy Dennis ("Dennis") has filed this personal injury action against Metabolife International, Inc. ("Metabolife"), seeking to invoke federal jurisdiction on diversity of citizenship grounds. But because Dennis' Complaint fails to make the requisite allegations as to the parties' citizenship, this memorandum order is issued sua sponte to require his counsel to cure that deficiency.*fn1

Complaint ¶ 1 speaks of Dennis' place of residence but not of his state of citizenship, which by definition is the relevant fact for jurisdictional purposes. In that circumstance our Court of Appeals has said dismissal is in order (Held v. Held, 137 F.3d 998, 1000 (7th Cir. 1998), quoting Guaranty Nat'l Title Co. v. J.E.G. Assocs., 101 F.3d 57, 59 (7th Cir. 1996)):

Of course, allegations of residence are insufficient to establish diversity jurisdiction. It is well-settled that "[w]hen the parties allege residence but not citizenship, the court must dismiss the suit."
But because an individual's state of citizenship most frequently (though not always) coincides with his or her place of residence, this Court is disinclined to stick Dennis with the cost of another $150 filing fee if the omission can be cured promptly.

  As for Metabolife, Complaint ¶ 2 has ignored the dual corporate citizenship requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1). So the same Complaint amendment that is called for by this memorandum order must also provide the missing information.

  In summary, Dennis' counsel is granted leave to file an appropriate amendment to the Complaint (not a full-blown Amended Complaint) in this Court's chambers on or before July 26, 2004. That amendment should be limited to replacing the present Complaint ¶¶ 1 and 2. In the absence of such a timely filing, however, this Court would be constrained to dismiss this action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.


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