IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
December 11, 2007
GREGORY A. SNIDER, PLAINTIFF,
MICHAEL V. ESPOSITO, JR., AND MICHAEL V. ESPOSITO, SR., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge
MEMORANDUM and ORDER
On December 10, 2007, Plaintiff filed a jurisdictional memorandum in compliance with the Court's November 16, 2007 Order directing Plaintiff to state clearly the citizenships of each and every party to this action.
In Plaintiff's memorandum, he affirmatively states that he is a citizen of the State of Illinois. However, rather than affirmatively stating the citizenships of Defendants, Plaintiff asserts that "upon information and belief," Defendants are citizens of the State of New Jersey. Plaintiff also provides facts and information which "create a presumption" that Defendants are citizens of New Jersey and contends that the Court should "deem" them as such.
In this Circuit, however, allegations based upon "information and belief" are insufficient to invoke federal jurisdiction. See, e.g., America's Best Inns, Inc. v. Best Inns of Abilene, L.P., 980 F.2d 1072, 1074 (7th Cir. 1992). Thus, Plaintiff has again failed to state clearly the citizenships of Defendants, as required.
The Seventh Circuit has instructed district courts freely to grant leave to amend defective allegations of subject matter jurisdiction or to allow the parties to brief jurisdictional issues (rather than sua sponte dismissing cases for lack of jurisdiction). See Leaf v. Supreme Court of Wisconsin, 979 F.2d 589, 595 (7th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 508 U.S. 941 (1993); Fey v. E.P.A., 270 F.3d 1129, 1131-32 (7th Cir. 2001) ("sua sponte dismissals without prior notice or opportunity to be heard are hazardous," and "unless the defect is clearly incurable a district court should . . . allow the parties to argue the jurisdictional issue. . . .").
Accordingly, the Court ORDERS Plaintiff to file a jurisdictional memorandum addressing the citizenships of Defendants on or before December 26, 2007.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
MICHAEL J. REAGAN United States District Judge
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