United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division
CHARLES LARRY KING, as personal representative for the Estate of BELVIA JOAN KING, Plaintiff,
GENERAL MOTORS, LLC, Defendant.
MORALES HOWARD UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE is before the Court sua sponte.
Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and
therefore have an obligation to inquire into their subject
matter jurisdiction. See Kirkland v. Midland Mortg.
Co., 243 F.3d 1277, 1279-80 (11th Cir. 2001). This
obligation exists regardless of whether the parties have
challenged the existence of subject matter jurisdiction.
See Univ. of S. Ala. v. Am. Tobacco Co., 168 F.3d
405, 410 (11th Cir. 1999) (“[I]t is well settled that a
federal court is obligated to inquire into subject matter
jurisdiction sua sponte whenever it may be
lacking.”); see also Johansen v. Combustion
Eng'g, Inc., 170 F.3d 1320, 1328 n.4 (11th Cir.
1999). “In a given case, a federal district court must
have at least one of three types of subject matter
jurisdiction: (1) jurisdiction under a specific statutory
grant; (2) federal question jurisdiction pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1331; or (3) diversity jurisdiction pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).” Baltin v. Alaron Trading
Corp., 128 F.3d 1466, 1469 (11th Cir. 1997).
17, 2017, Defendant General Motors, LLC (GM) filed
Defendant's Notice of Removal (Doc. No. 1; Notice)
removing this case from the Circuit Court of the Fourth
Judicial Circuit in and for Duval County, Florida.
See Notice at 1; Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 2;
Complaint). In the Notice, GM asserts that “this
[C]ourt has diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1332 and 1441.” Notice at 2. However,
despite this assertion, the Court is unable to determine
whether it has jurisdiction over this action.
the Court notes that “[d]iversity jurisdiction exists
where the suit is between citizens of different states and
the amount in controversy exceeds the statutorily prescribed
amount, in this case $75, 000.” Williams v. Best
Buy Co., Inc., 269 F.3d 1316, 1319 (11th Cir. 2001)
(citing 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)). Here, the Notice's
allegations as to both party's citizenships are
deficient. With respect to the citizenship of the Plaintiff,
GM alleges only that the decedent “was a resident Duval
County, Florida.” Notice at 3. However, this allegation
does not sufficiently establish Plaintiff's citizenship
for purposes of diversity jurisdiction.Similarly, the
underlying Complaint does not include any allegations as to
Plaintiff's citizenship. See Complaint at 1
(also noting that “the Decedent was a resident
of Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.”). In order to
establish diversity over a natural person, a party must
include allegations of the person's citizenship, not
where he or she resides. Taylor v. Appleton, 30 F.3d
1365, 1367 (11th Cir. 1994). A natural person's
citizenship is determined by his or her “domicile,
” or “the place of his true, fixed, and permanent
home and principal establishment . . . to which he has the
intention of returning whenever he is absent
therefrom.” McCormick v. Aderholt, 293 F.3d
1254, 1257-58 (11th Cir. 2002) (quotation and citation
omitted). Accordingly, the assertion in the Notice as to
Plaintiff's residence is insufficient to establish
citizenship for diversity purposes. See Taylor, 30
F.3d at 1367 (“Citizenship, not residence, is the key
fact that must be alleged in the complaint to establish
diversity for a natural person.”); see also Miss.
Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield, 490 U.S. 30, 48
(1989) (“‘Domicile' is not necessarily
synonymous with ‘residence[.]'”).
allegation as to its own citizenship is also deficient. Here,
as GM is denominated as an LLC, but alleges jurisdiction as
if it is a corporation, the Court is unable to determine
GM's citizenship. As such, clarification is necessary to
establish this Court's diversity jurisdiction. If GM is,
indeed, a limited liability company, then it is reminded that
“a limited liability company is a citizen of any state
of which a member of the company is a citizen.”
Rolling Greens MHP, L.P. v. Comcast SCH Holdings
L.L.C., 374 F.3d 1020, 1022 (11th Cir. 2004). Therefore,
to sufficiently allege citizenship as a limited liability
company, GM must list the citizenship of each of its members,
be it an individual, corporation, LLC, or other entity.
light of the foregoing, the Court will give GM an opportunity
to establish diversity of citizenship between the parties and
that this Court has jurisdiction over the
action.Accordingly, it is
General Motors, LLC shall have until June 2, 2017, to provide
the Court with sufficient information so that it can
determine whether it has jurisdiction over this action.
 Although GM fails to provide
sufficient information, GM is correct that Plaintiff's
citizenship is based on that of the decedent, Belvia Joan
King. When an individual acts in a representative capacity
for one who is deceased, that individual is deemed to be a
citizen of the state of which the deceased was a citizen at
the time of death. Palmer v. Hosp. Auth. of Randolph
County, 22 F.3d 1559, 1562 n.1 (11th Cir. 1994); 28
U.S.C. § 1332(c)(2). Thus, “[w]here an estate is a
party, the citizenship that counts for diversity purposes is
that of the decedent, and [she] is deemed to be a citizen of
the state in which [she] was domiciled at the time of [her]
death.” King v. Cessna Aircraft Co., 505 F.3d
1160, 1170 (11th Cir. 2007).
 The party seeking to invoke the
Court's diversity jurisdiction bears the burden of
establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that the
jurisdictional prerequisites are met. See McCormick,
293 F.3d at 1257; see also Taylor, 30 F.3d at 1367
(noting that the “pleader must affirmatively ...