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Travelers Casualty Insurance Co. v. LRZ

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


February 22, 2008

TRAVELERS CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LRZ, INC., RONALD USSELTON, LISA USSELTON, FIRST CLOVERLEAF FINANCIAL CORPORATION, SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH CORPORATION, U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY, METRO EAST SANITARY DISTRICT, BEL-O SALES & SERVICE CO., MWIL PROPERTIES, LLC, AND MLJB, INC. DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, Chief Judge

ORDER

This sua sponte Order is triggered by the Court's initial review of the Complaint (Doc. 2).*fn1 The Court notes that the Complaint does not properly plead subject matter jurisdiction, namely the citizenship of the respective parties.*fn2

Complete diversity means that "none of the parties on either side of the litigation may be a citizen of the state of which a party on the other side is a citizen." Howell v. Tribune Entertainment Co., 106 F.3d 215, 217 (7th Cir. 1997). "The citizenship for diversity purposes of a limited liability company, however, despite the resemblance of such a company to a corporation (the hallmark of both being limited liability), is the citizenship of each of its members." Wise v. Wachovia Securities, LLC, 450 F.3d 265, 267 (7th Cir. 2006)(collecting cases); see also Commonwealth Ins. Co. v. Titan Tire Corp., 398 F.3d 879, 881 n. 1 (7th Cir. 2004)(citing Belleville Catering Co. v. Champaign Market Place, LLC., 350 F.3d 691, 692 (7th Cir. 2003)). In determining the existence of diversity jurisdiction, courts look to the citizenship of all partners or investors in a partnership or limited liability company. Lear Corporation v. Johnson Electric Holdings Limited, 353 F.3d 580, 582 (7th Cir. 2003). Thus, the Seventh Circuit deems an LLC a citizen "of every state of which any member is a citizen." Belleville Catering, 350 F.3d at 692 (citing Cosgrove v. Bartolotta, 150 F.3d 729 (7th Cir.1998)). Here the allegations regarding MWIL, LLC's citizenship are insufficient to confer diversity jurisdiction (Doc. 2, ¶ 12).

Thus, the Court DISMISSES WITHOUT PREJUDICE Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 2) for failure to properly plead and establish subject matter jurisdiction. The Court ALLOWS Plaintiff up to and including April 11, 2008 to file an amended complaint that comports with this Order.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

David R. Herndon Chief Judge United States District Court


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