United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
CHERYL ORAVIC and, COLLEEN KIRBY and JOSEPH KIRBY, her husband, Plaintiffs
TARGET CORPORATION, NICHOLAS DURHAM and JOSEPH SIVIK, Defendants
M. Munley Judge UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
the court for disposition is this case alleging unlawful
employment actions. For the following reasons, we will
dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction.
Target Corporation employed Plaintiffs Cheryl Oravic and
Colleen Kirby (hereinafter “plaintiffs”) for
several years. Defendant Nicholas Durham served as the store
manager where plaintiffs worked, and Defendant Joseph Sivik
served as the Executive Team Leader of Guest Service. (Doc.
1, Exh. 1, Compl. ¶¶ 5 - 6).
February 2014, Target terminated the plaintiffs'
employment. (Id. ¶¶ 26 - 30). Plaintiffs
subsequently instituted the instant action alleging the
following causes of action: gender discrimination; age
discrimination; retaliation and loss of
consortium. The discrimination claims are brought
pursuant to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, not federal
law, and the loss of consortium claim is brought pursuant to
Pennsylvania common law.
served Defendant Target with the complaint on June 3, 2016.
(Doc. 1, Notice of Removal ¶ 2). Evidently, the
individual defendants have not yet been served. (Doc. 21,
Pl.'s Status Report). Defendant Target filed a notice of
removal with this court on July1, 2016 asserting this
court's diversity jurisdiction. (Doc. 1, Notice of
January 6, 2017, the court ordered Defendant Target to show
cause as to why the case should not be remanded for lack of
jurisdiction. (Doc. 16). Defendant filed its response on
January 20, 2017. (Doc. 19). Plaintiff filed a status report
on service of the individual defendants on January 30, 2017,
and Target filed a letter response to the status report on
January 31, 2017. (Doc. 21, Doc. 22). Having considered these
filings, the notice of removal and the original complaint, we
find that remand is necessary.
courts, being courts of limited jurisdiction, have a
continuing duty to satisfy themselves of jurisdiction before
addressing the merits of a case. Packard v. Provident
Nat'l Bank, 994 F.2d 1039, 1049 (3d Cir. 1993).
Moreover, federal courts have an obligation to address issues
of subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte.
Zambelli Fireworks Mfg. Co., Inc. v. Wood, 592 F.3d
412, 418 (3d Cir. 2010) (citation omitted); Shaffer v.
GTE North, Inc., 284 F.3d 500, 502 (3d Cir. 2002).
removal context, a district court has the authority-indeed
the obligation-to remand a case sua sponte for lack
of subject matter jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c)
(“If at any time before final judgment it appears that
the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the
case shall be remanded.”); see Liberty Mut. Ins.
Co. v. Ward Trucking Corp., 48 F.3d 742, 750 (3d Cir.
1995) (“[Section 1447(c)] allows and indeed compels a
district court to address the question of jurisdiction, even
if the parties do not raise the issue.”). Following
Third Circuit law, we strictly construe the removal statutes
against removal and resolve all doubts in favor of remand.
Steel Valley Auth. v. Union Switch & Signal
Div., 809 F.2d 1006, 1010 (3d Cir. 1987).
provides that a civil action initiated in state court may be
removed to federal court by the defendant if the federal
court would have had original jurisdiction over the claim. 28
U.S.C. § 1441(a); Johnson v. SmithKlilne Beecham
Corp., 724 F.3d 337, 346 (3d Cir. 2013).
“Diversity of citizenship subject matter jurisdiction
falls within the original jurisdiction of the district court,
pursuant to § 1332(a) of Title 28 of the United States
Code, and thus a state court case that implicates diversity
jurisdiction may generally be removed, provided that the
defendant is not a citizen of the state in which the action
is brought, 28 U, .S. C. § 1441(b)(2).”
Johnson, 724 F.3d at 346 (internal citation and
quotation marks omitted).
jurisdiction under § 1332 requires complete diversity of
citizenship, that is, no plaintiff and defendant may be
citizens of one state. Id. “Diversity of
citizenship must have existed at the time the complaint was
filed and at the time of removal and the burden is on the
removing party to establish federal jurisdiction.”
Id. (internal citations omitted). And as noted
above, we construe the removal statute strictly, and resolve
all doubts in favor of remand. Id.
present case, we must determine if Defendant Target has
established diversity of citizenship between the plaintiffs