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United Fire & Casualty Company, An Iowa Stock Insurance Company v. Roxana Landfill

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


June 7, 2011

UNITED FIRE & CASUALTY COMPANY, AN IOWA STOCK INSURANCE COMPANY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROXANA LANDFILL, INC., THIEMS, CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC., ALLIED WASTE TRANSPORTATION, INC., AND JAMES C. FOWLER, 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. Specifically, the Court questions whether it has jurisdiction over this matter.

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.

In its Complaint (Doc. 2), Plaintiff United Fire and Casualty Company has invoked but not properly pled diversity of citizenship as a basis for federal jurisdiction. Indeed, federal courts have jurisdiction over a civil action between citizensof different states. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (2006). Here, United Fire & Casualty Company alleged the residence and domicileof Defendant Fowler but failed to allege the citizenship of Fowler.

Accordingly, the Court ORDERS the United Fire & Casualty Company to correct this and any other jurisdictional defects by June 17, 2011. See Tylka, 211 F.3d at 448 ("[I]t is not the court's obligation to lead counsel through a jurisdictional paint-by-numbers scheme."). Should it fail to do so, the Court will dismiss this matter for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. IT IS SO ORDERED.

20110607

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