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Hartline v. Edwards Associates

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


July 13, 2009

JOHN HARTLINE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
EDWARDS ASSOCIATES, LLC D/B/A ROUTE 66 MOBILE HOME PARK, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge

ORDER AND MEMORANDUM

On June 3, 2009, Hartline filed this action in the Circuit Court of Madison County, Illinois. On July 10, 2009, Defendant removed the case to this District Court alleging that subject matter jurisdiction exists under the federal diversity statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (Doc. 2). Despite the Defendant's jurisdictional allegations, however, Court is unable to determine whether subject matter jurisdiction properly lies in this case, because key jurisdictional facts are missing from the notice of removal.

The amount in controversy appears to suffice for purposes of diversity jurisdiction. The Court is also informed that Hartline is a citizen of Illinois. So far, so good. As to Edwards Associates, LLC, however, the notice of removal alleges: "The defendant, Edwards Associates, LLC is incorporated under the laws of Missouri and its principal place of business is located in Missouri." This allegation is inadequate. The law of this Circuit provides that -- for diversity purposes -- the citizenship of a limited liability company is the citizenship of EACH of its members, so complete diversity can only be ascertained if the complaint identifies the citizenship of each member of the LLC. Synfuel Technologies, Inc. v. DHL Express (USA), Inc., 463 F.3d 646, 651 (7th Cir. 2006); Wise v. Wachovia Securities, LLC, 450 F.3d 265, 267 (7th Cir. 2006). Indeed, a limited liability company is a citizen of EVERY state of which any member is a citizen, and "this may need to be traced through multiple levels if any of [the] members is itself a partnership or LLC." Mutual Assignment and Indemnification Co. v. Lind-Waldock & Co., LLC, 364 F.3d 858, 861 (7th Cir. 2004).

Accordingly, the Court DIRECTS Defendant's counsel to file a jurisdictional memorandum by July 27, 2009 identifying the citizenship of each member of Edwards Associates, LLC.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

MICHAEL J. REAGAN United States District Judge

20090713

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