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People v. Livedeal

February 12, 2009

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LIVEDEAL, INC., A NEVADA CORPORATION, D/B/A YP.COM DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, U.S. District Judge

OPINION

Plaintiff, the State of Illinois, moves to remand this case to state court and seeks attorney fees [d/e 4].

Since jurisdiction is lacking, remand is necessary. Fees are denied.

I. BACKGROUND

Defendant LiveDeal, Inc. ("LiveDeal") is a Nevada Corporation operating under the name YP.com. Compl. ¶ 5. Following consumer complaints, the Attorney General of Illinois filed a Complaint against LiveDeal, Inc., in the Circuit Court for the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Sangamon County, Illinois. Compl. ¶ 17. According to the Complaint, YP.com violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act ("CFDBPA"), 815 ILCS 505/1, et seq., through dishonest telemarketing, billing, and cancellation practices. Compl. ¶¶ 8-25.

On December 12, 2008, LiveDeal removed the case to this Court. According to LiveDeal, removal under 28 U.S.C. § 1441 was proper because this Court has original jurisdiction over the matter, particularly diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Notice of Removal ¶ 3. The State, however, disagrees and moves to remand.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Removal

1. General Rules

"A defendant has the right to remove a case from state to federal court when the federal court could exercise jurisdiction in the first instance."

Oshana v. Coca-Cola Co., 472 F.3d 506, 510 (7th Cir. 2006) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1441)). The removal statute is narrowly construed, Wirtz Corp. v. United Distillers & Vintners N. Am., Inc., 224 F.3d 708, 715-16 (7th Cir. 2000), and the burden of establishing that removal is proper rests with the proponent of federal jurisdiction, Tylka v. Gerber Prods. Co., 211 F.3d 445, 448 (7th Cir. 2000).

LiveDeal alleges that removal can occur because diversity jurisdiction provides a source of original jurisdiction. Diversity jurisdiction over civil actions exists where two requirements are met: complete diversity and a controversy exceeding $75,000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The dispute here is whether the former requirement is satisfied.

2. Real Party in Interest

As relevant here, diversity exists where parties are "citizens of different States." 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d). In this case, LiveDeal is a citizen of Nevada. See Wise v. Wachovia Securities, LLC, 450 F.3d 265, 267 (7th Cir. 2006) ("all [corporations] are citizens both of the state of incorporation and the state in which the corporation has its principal place of business"). The State of Illinois, however, is not a "citizen" for diversity purposes. Indiana Port Comm'n v. Bethlehem Steel Corp., 702 F.2d 107, 109 (7th Cir. ...


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