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Millar v. Lakin Law Firm PC

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


April 1, 2010

JEFFREY MILLAR, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE LAKIN LAW FIRM PC, LAKINCHAPMAN, LLC, AND BRADLEY M. LAKIN, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on its own initiative for purposes of case management.

Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. They may exercise jurisdiction only over matters authorized by the Constitution and by statute. Turner/Ozanne v. Hyman/Power, 111 F.3d 1312, 1316 (7th Cir.1997). Moreover, federal courts must police the boundaries of their own jurisdiction. Even absent an objection by a party challenging jurisdiction, they are "obliged to inquire sua sponte whenever a doubt arises as to the existence of federal jurisdiction." Tylka v. Gerber Prods. Co., 211 F.3d 445, 448-49 (7th Cir. 2000) (quoting Mt. Healthy City Bd. of Educ. v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274, 278 (1977)). As such, this Court conducts a rigorous initial review of complaints to ensure that jurisdiction has been properly pled.

Here, in his Amended Complaint (Doc. 77), Plaintiff Jeffrey Millar has invoked but possibly not properly pled diversity of citizenship as a basis for federal jurisdiction. One of the defendants whom Millar has sued is Defendant LakinChapman, LLC ("LakinChapman"). "[T]he key to determining the citizenship of a limited liability corporation is its members because a limited liability corporation has the citizenship of all its members." SJ Props. Suites, BuyCo, EHF v. Dev. Opportunity Corp., Nos. 09-C-0533, 09-C-0569, 2009 WL 3790009, at *4 (E.D. Wis. Nov. 12, 2009) (emphasis added). Millar alleges that LakinChapman is a citizen of Illinois because Defendant Bradley M. Lakin ("Lakin"), alleged to be a citizen of Illinois, "is the member of LakinChapman." (Doc. 77, p. 2, ¶ 3-4). At present, it is unclear to the Court whether Lakin is the sole member of LakinChapman. If he is not, Millar will need to file another amended complaint that alleges the citizenship of LakinChapman's additional members.

Accordingly, the Court ORDERS that Millar shall have up to and including April 9, 2010, to file such an amended complaint or a notice informing the Court that Lakin is the sole member of LakinChapman. If an amended complaint is filed, it shall be limited to re-pleading the citizenship of LakinChapman.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20100401

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