United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
VIRGINIA M. HERNANDEZ COVINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court sua sponte. While considering
the record and relevant materials related to Plaintiff MB
Reo-FL Church-2, LLC's motion for summary judgment, a
question as to the existence of jurisdiction arose. For the
reasons below, the Court directs MB Reo to file a supplement
addressing the jurisdictional issues raised herein.
courts operate under a continuing obligation to inquire into
the existence of subject matter jurisdiction whenever it may
be lacking.” RES-GA Cobblestone, LLC v. Blake
Const. & Dev., LLC, 718 F.3d 1308, 1313 (11th Cir.
2013) (citing Baltin v. Alaron Trading Corp., 128
F.3d 1466, 1468 (11th Cir. 1997)). “That obligation
continues through every stage of a case, even if no party
raises the issue.” Id. (citing Already,
LLC v. Nike, Inc., 133 S.Ct. 721, 726 (2013)).
Complaint asserts three causes of action; namely, quiet
title, slander of title, and declaratory judgment. (Doc. #
1). In its jurisdictional allegations, MB Reo alleges
“[t]his Court has both diversity jurisdiction under 28
U.S.C. § 1332 and federal question jurisdiction under 28
U.S.C. § 1331, 12 U.S.C. § 1819 and 28 U.S.C.
§ 2201-2202.” (Id. at ¶ 2). Upon
closer inspection, however, federal question jurisdiction is
absent and diversity jurisdiction is not sufficiently
established by the allegations.
respect to §§ 2201-2202, “it is well
established that the Declaratory Judgment Act does not, of
itself, confer jurisdiction upon federal courts.”
Stuart Weitzman, LLC v. Microcomputer Res., Inc.,
542 F.3d 859, 861-62 (11th Cir. 2008); see also Goodin v.
Fidelity Nat'l Title Ins. Co., 491 Fed.Appx. 139,
143 (11th Cir. 2012) (“The Declaratory Judgment Act, 28
U.S.C. § 2201, does not confer jurisdiction upon a
federal court. . . . Thus, a suit brought under the
Declaratory Judgment Act must have an independent source of
jurisdiction such as diversity jurisdiction. . . .”).
part, § 1819 addresses the corporate powers of the FDIC.
Regarding jurisdiction, in general, “all suits of a
civil nature at common law or in equity to which the
Corporation, in any capacity, is a party shall be deemed to
arise under the laws of the United States.” §
1819(b)(2)(A). And while the FDIC is a derivative member of
MB Reo via Multibank 2009-1 CRE Venture, LLC (Doc. # 1 at
¶¶ 4-6), the FDIC is not a party, in any capacity,
to this action. Thus, federal question jurisdiction does not
also asserts diversity jurisdiction under § 1332.
(Id. at ¶ 2). Section 1332 requires that the
amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000 and that complete
diversity of citizenship exists. 28 U.S.C. § 1332;
Univ. of S. Ala. v. Am. Tobacco Co., 168 F.3d 405,
412 (11th Cir. 1999). “When a plaintiff files suit in
federal court, she must allege facts that, if true, show
federal subject matter jurisdiction over her case
exists.” Travaglio v. Am. Exp. Co., 735 F.3d
1266, 1268 (11th Cir. 2013).
the amount-in-controversy requirement, “‘[i]n
actions seeking declaratory or injunctive relief, it is well
established that the amount in controversy is measured by the
value of the object of the litigation.'”
Occidental Chem. Corp. v. Bullard, 995 F.2d 1046,
1047 (11th Cir. 1993). Here, the Complaint seeks a
declaratory judgment and thus the amount in controversy is
the fair market value of the property at issue. Id.
(holding amount in controversy to be fair market value of
subject property). The Complaint alleges that the subject
property was listed with a sale price of $799, 000 and
Defendant Tampa for Christ Church, Inc.'s lowest offer
was $675, 000. (Doc. # 1 at ¶¶ 10, 11). Even using
the lowest offer from Tampa for Christ Church, the fair
market value of the property far exceeds the jurisdictional
to citizenship, citizenship of a natural person is determined
by his or her domicile. McCormick v. Aderholt, 239
F.3d 1254, 1257-58 (11th Cir. 2002). “Citizenship, not
residence, is the key fact that must be alleged in the
complaint to establish diversity of a natural person.”
Taylor v. Appleton, 30 F.3d 1365, 1367 (11th Cir.
1994). However, the Complaint merely alleges Defendant Frank
M. Bafford is “an individual who
resides in Tampa, Florida.” (Doc. # 1
at ¶ 8) (emphasis added). As such, Bafford's
citizenship has not been established.
corporation, like Tampa for Christ Church, is deemed to be a
citizen of every state in which it is incorporated and where
it has its principal place of business. 28 U.S.C. §
1332(c)(1). The Complaint alleges Tampa for Christ Church is
a Florida corporation with its principal place of business in
Florida. (Doc. # 1 at ¶ 7). Accordingly, Tampa for
Christ Church is a citizen of Florida.
a corporation, a limited liability company is deemed a
citizen of every state of which its members are citizens.
Rolling Greens MHP, L.P. v. Comcast SCH Holdings
L.L.C., 374 F.3d 1020, 1022 (11th Cir. 2004).
And it is common for an LLC to be a member of another LLC.
Consequently, citizenship of LLCs often ends up looking like
a factor tree that exponentially expands every time a member
turns out to be another LLC, thereby restarting the process
of identifying the members of that LLC. The ...