United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division
Morales Howard United Slates 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) (“it 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).
September 16, 2019, Defendant RLI Insurance Company (RLI),
the sole defendant at the time, filed Defendant's Notice
of Removal (Doc. 1; Notice) removing this case to the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
See generally Notice. In support of removal, RLI
invoked federal diversity jurisdiction, and alleged facts
demonstrating that Plaintiff Citrus Contracting LLC is a
citizen of Florida, RLI is a citizen of Illinois, and the
amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. See Notice
¶¶ 1, 2, 5. Accordingly, at the time of removal,
RLI alleged sufficient facts to establish the Court's
diversity jurisdiction over this action.
removal, Plaintiff determined that it had sued the wrong
entity and sought leave to amend its Complaint (Doc. 3) to
name Mt. Hawley Insurance Company as the sole defendant in
this action. See Unopposed Motion for Leave to Amend
Complaint (Doc. 14; Motion to Amend). RLI did not oppose this
request, and on December 11, 2019, the Magistrate Judge
granted Plaintiff leave to amend. See Endorsed Order
(Doc. 16). Accordingly, on December 11, 2019, Plaintiff filed
the Amended Complaint & Demand for Jury Trial (Doc. 17;
Amended Complaint) asserting a claim for breach of contract
against Mt. Hawley Insurance Company alone. See
generally Amended Complaint. Notably, neither
Plaintiff's Motion to Amend, nor the Amended Complaint
address a basis for this Court's subject matter
jurisdiction over the Amended Complaint. Pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1447(c), “[i]f at any time before final
judgment it appears that the district court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction, the case shall be remanded.”
Indeed, 28 U.S.C. § 1447(e) provides that: “If
after removal the plaintiff seeks to join additional
defendants whose joinder would destroy subject matter
jurisdiction, the court may deny joinder, or permit joinder
and remand the action to the State court.” Accordingly,
the Court must determine whether the joinder of Mt. Hawley
Insurance Company has destroyed the Court's subject
matter jurisdiction over this action.
court to have diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(a), “all plaintiffs must be diverse from
all defendants.” Univ. of S. Ala., 168 F.3d at
412. In the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant Mt. Hawley Insurance Company was “a
corporation duly licensed to transact insurance business in
the State of Florida.” See Amended Complaint
¶ 3. For the purposes of establishing diversity
jurisdiction, a corporation “‘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, 81 (2010) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1))
(emphasis omitted). Thus, to sufficiently allege the
citizenship of a corporation, a party must identify its
states of incorporation and principal place of business.
See Rolling Greens MHP, LP. v Comcast SCH Holdings
LLC, 374 F.3d 1020, 1021-22 (11th Cir. 2004); 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(c)(1). Because Plaintiff does not identify Mt.
Hawley Insurance Company's principal place of business or
its states of incorporation, the Court does not have the
facts necessary to establish its subject matter jurisdiction
over this case. In light of the foregoing, the Court will
direct Plaintiff to file a notice properly identifying
Defendant Mt. Hawley Insurance Company's citizenship.
Accordingly, it is
shall have up to and including January 3,
2019, to file a notice identifying Defendant Mt.
Hawley Insurance Company's citizenship.