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Duckwitz v. Smith

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


October 20, 2010

TODD DUCKWITZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
STEVEN S. SMITH, ENERTECH MANUFACTURING, LLC AND EMI PROPERTIES, LLC, DEFENDANTS.

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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

In light of Seventh Circuit admonitions, see, e.g., America's Best Inns, Inc. v. Best Inns of Abilene, L.P., 980 F.2d 1072 (1992), the Court has undertaken a rigorous initial review of pleadings to ensure that jurisdiction has been properly pled. The Court has noted the following defects in the jurisdictional allegations of the Complaint (Doc. 2) filed by plaintiff Todd Duckwitz:

* Failure to allege the citizenship of each member of an unincorporated association. To determine if complete diversity exists, the Court must examine the citizenship of each member of a limited liability company. See Belleville Catering Co. v. Champaign Market Place, LLC, 350 F.3d 691, 692 (7th Cir. 2003). The relevant pleading must affirmatively allege the specific states of citizenship of each member of thelimited liability company, and "the citizenship of unincorporated associations must be traced through however many layers of partners or members there may be." Meyerson v. Harrah's E. Chicago Casino, 299 F.3d 616, 617 (7th Cir. 2002). Duckwitz does not allege the citizenships of the members of the defendant limited liability companies.

* Failure to allege the citizenship of an individual. A complaint asserting diversity jurisdiction must allege the citizenship of an individual defendant, not merely residence.

28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1); Meyerson v. Harrah's East Chicago Casino, 299 F.3d 616, 617 (7th Cir. 2002); Held v. Held, 137 F.3d 998, 1000 (7th Cir. 1998). Allegations of "residence" are jurisdictionally insufficient. Steigleder v. McQuesten, 198 U.S. 141 (1905). Dismissal is appropriate where parties allege residence but not citizenship. Held, 137 F.3d at 1000. Duckwitz does not allege the citizenship of himself or the individual defendant.

The Court hereby ORDERS that the plaintiff shall have up to and including November 5, 2010, to amend the faulty pleading to correct the jurisdictional defect. Failure to amend the faulty pleading may result in dismissal of this case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction or for failure to prosecute pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b). Amendment of the faulty pleading to reflect an adequate basis for subject matter jurisdiction will satisfy this order. The plaintiff is directed to consult Local Rule 15.1 regarding amended pleadings and need not seek leave of Court to file such amended pleading.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20101020

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