United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
VIRGINIA M. HERNANDEZ COVINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause is before the Court sua sponte. “A federal court
not only has the power but also the obligation at any time to
inquire into jurisdiction whenever the possibility that
jurisdiction does not exist arises.” Fitzgerald v.
Seaboard Sys. R.R., Inc., 760 F.2d 1249, 1251 (11th Cir.
1985); Hallandale Prof'l Fire Fighters Local 2238 v.
City of Hallandale, 922 F.2d 756, 759 (11th Cir. 1991)
(“Every federal court operates under an independent
obligation to ensure it is presented with the kind of
concrete controversy upon which its constitutional grant of
authority is based.”).
federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Taylor
v. Appleton, 30 F.3d 1365, 1367 (11th Cir. 1994). And,
“because a federal court is powerless to act beyond its
statutory grant of subject matter jurisdiction, a court must
zealously [e]nsure that jurisdiction exists over a case, and
should itself raise the question of subject matter
jurisdiction at any point in the litigation where a doubt
about jurisdiction arises.” Smith v. GTE
Corp., 236 F.3d 1292, 1299 (11th Cir. 2001).
axiomatic that “for federal diversity jurisdiction to
attach, all parties must be completely diverse and the amount
in controversy must exceed $75, 000.” Underwriters
at Lloyd's London v. Osting-Schwinn, 613 F.3d 1079,
1085 (11th Cir. 2010). Here, the Complaint alleges:
“This is a civil action between citizens of different
states for breach of an insurance contract, for damages that
exceed $75, 000.00, over which this Court has jurisdiction
under 28 U.S.C. Section 1332.” (Doc. # 1 at ¶ 1).
However, the Complaint provides an incomplete picture of the
parties' citizenship. Specifically, the Complaint states
that Plaintiff is a “resident” of Florida, rather
than indicating that she is a citizen of Florida.
(Id. at ¶ 2). As explained in Molinos Valle
Del Cibao, C. por A. v. Lama, 633 F.3d 1330, 1342 n.12
(11th Cir. 2011), a complaint must allege citizenship, not
residence, to establish diversity for a natural person.
Defendant, the Complaint alleges, “General American is
a foreign corporation, authorized to do business and at all
times material hereto was doing business in the State of
Florida as an insurance company.” (Id. at
¶ 3). These jurisdictional allegations are insufficient
because a corporation is a citizen of (1) its state of
incorporation; and (2) the state where it has its principal
place of business. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1). Without
knowing Defendant's state of incorporation and principal
place of business, the Court is unable to determine whether
the requirements of complete diversity have been satisfied.
addition, although the Complaint describes the Professional
Occupational Disability Income Insurance Policy of a
physician, the amount in controversy has not been stated with
clarity in the Complaint. Count I of the Complaint seeks
relief for breach of contract, and Count II alleges bad faith
conduct. But, as stated in Symonette v. MGA Ins.
Co., No. 12-cv-21428, 2012 WL 12943077 (S.D. Fla. Oct.
3, 2012), "a claim for bad faith . . . does not accrue
until the underlying first-party action for insurance
benefits against the insurer has been resolved in favor of
the insured [and] a bad faith cause of action cannot exist
absent a determination that the insurer is liable on the
policy." Id. at *1. The manner in which
Plaintiff describes her economic injuries does not provide
the Court with much of an assurance that the $75, 000.00
jurisdictional threshold has been met. Although Plaintiff
provides a lengthy discussion of her alleged disability and
the claims process with Defendant, a closer look reveals that
she has not provided any concrete information about the
amounts she is seeking such that the Court can be confident
that the jurisdictional amount is satisfied.
the Court directs Plaintiff to file an amended complaint
containing appropriate jurisdictional allegations by
May 31, 2018. Failure to do so will result
in the entry of an Order dismissing this case for lack of
jurisdiction. See Travaglio v. Am. Express Co., 735
F.3d 1266, 1268 (11th Cir. 2013)(“When a plaintiff
files suit in federal court, she must allege facts that, if
true, show federal subject matter jurisdiction over her case
exists. Those allegations, when federal jurisdiction is
invoked based on diversity, must include the citizenship of
each party, so that the court is satisfied that no plaintiff
is a citizen of the same state as any defendant. . . .
Without such allegations, district courts are
constitutionally obligated to dismiss the action altogether
if the plaintiff does not cure the deficiency.”).
ADJUDGED, and DECREED:
is directed to file an amended complaint containing
appropriate jurisdictional allegations by May 31,
2018. Failure to do so will result in the entry of
an Order dismissing this case for lack of jurisdiction.