United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division
AMTRUST NORTH AMERICA, on behalf of DOUGLAS WAINWRIGHT, Plaintiff,
SENNEBOGEN MASCHINENFABRIK GMBH, d/b/a/ SENNEBOGEN, LLC, Defendant.
Morales Howard, 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 - 1280 (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.”). “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). Where a defendant removes
an action from state court to federal court, the defendant
“bears the burden of proving that federal jurisdiction
exists.” See Williams v. Best Buy Co., Inc.,
269 F.3d 1316, 1319 (11th Cir. 2001).
August 27, 2019, Defendant Sennebogen Maschinenfabrik GMBH
(Sennebogen), filed a Notice of Removal (Doc. 1, Notice),
removing this case from the Circuit Court of the Fourth
Judicial Circuit in and for Duval County, Florida.
See Notice at 1. In the Notice, Sennebogen asserts
that this Court has diversity jurisdiction over the instant
action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. See Id. at
¶ 9. However, upon review of the Notice and attached
Complaint, see Doc. 1-1 at ¶¶ 2-5
(Complaint), the Court finds that Sennebogen has failed to
allege sufficient facts to plausibly demonstrate that the
parties are diverse. See Rolling Greens MHP, LP. v.
Comcast SCH Holdings L.L.C., 374 F.3d 1020, 1022 (11th
Cir. 2004) (per curiam); Taylor v. Appleton, 30 F.3d
1365, 1367 (11th Cir. 1994).
case arises out of physical and financial injuries suffered
by the individual plaintiff, Douglas Wainwright and his
employer, Berman Brothers (Berman), from a machine designed,
manufactured, constructed, assembled, inspected, and sold by
Sennebogen. See generally Complaint. Berman is the insured
business entity of named Plaintiff AmTrust North America
(AmTrust). Complaint at ¶ 4. In the Complaint, AmTrust
alleges that it is “a corporation, partnership and/or
other business entity authorized to conduct business in the
State of Florida and maintains a principal and/or registered
place of business located” in Florida. Id at
¶ 2. Likewise, AmTrust alleges that Berman “is the
insured business entity of AmTrust and is further alleged and
therefore averred to be a corporation, limited liability
company and/or other business entity authorized to conduct
business in the State of Florida and maintains a principle
and/or registered place of business” in Florida.
Id at ¶ 3. Finally, the Complaint alleges that
Wainwright “is a resident of the State of
Florida.” Id at ¶ 5. Finally, in its
Notice, Sennebogen states that it is “a foreign,
non-U.S. company duly organized and existing under the laws
of . . . Germany, with its headquarters in Straubing,
Germany.” Notice at ¶ 9. Based the aforementioned
language, Sennebogen erroneously asserts that because the
parties are from different states, diversity of citizenship
is established. See id 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, 30 F.3d at 1367. 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 Complaint that
Wainwright resides in Florida 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[.]'”).
for the purposes of establishing diversity jurisdiction,
“like a limited partnership, 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., 374 F.3d at 1022. A corporation, on the other
hand, “‘shall be deemed to be a citizen of any
State by which it has been incorporated and of the State
where it has its principal place of business.'”
Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 559 U.S. 77, 80 (2010)
(quoting 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1)) (emphasis omitted).
to sufficiently allege the citizenship of an LLC or
partnership, a party must list the citizenship of each of its
members, but to allege the citizenship of a corporation, a
party must identify the states of incorporation and principal
place of business. See Rolling Greens, 374 F.3d at
1021-22; 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1).
the Complaint alleges that both AmTrust and Berman are either
corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, or
some other form of business entity. Complaint at ¶¶
2, 3. AmTrust and Berman cannot be all of the above. While
the Complaint appears to assert the citizenship of AmTrust
and Berman as if they were corporations, this information is
not sufficient if, in fact, the entities represent some other
type of business form. Hence, Sennebogen must first identify
whether AmTrust and Berman are corporations, partnerships,
limited liability companies, or some other business entity.
If the two entities are corporations, then Sennebogen must
allege the place of incorporation and principle place of
business for each. However, if AmTrust and Berman are
partnerships or limited liability companies, Sennebogen must
identify the citizenship of each of AmTrust's and
of the above reasons, Sennebogen has failed to provide the
Court with sufficient information for the Court to determine
whether it has diversity jurisdiction over this
action. As such, it is ORDERED:
Sennebogen Maschinenfabrik GMBH shall have up to and
including September 23, 2019, to file an amended notice of
removal demonstrating that this Court has subject matter
jurisdiction over this case.
 Defendants are advised that each
member's citizenship must be properly alleged, be it an
individual, corporation, LLC, or other entity.
 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 v.
Aderholt, 293 F.3d 1254, 1257 (11th Cir. 2002); see
also Taylor v. Appleton,30 F.3d 1365, 1367 (11th Cir.
1994) (noting that the “pleader must ...