United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
Richard Caputo United States District Judge.
before me is Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 1), which fails
to adequately plead the existence of subject matter
jurisdiction. As such, the case will be dismissed, unless
Plaintiff files an amended complaint curing the
jurisdictional defects within fourteen (14) days from the
date of entry of the Order.
courts have an obligation to address issues of subject matter
jurisdiction sua sponte. See Meritcare Inc. v.
St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., 166 F.3d 214, 217 (3d Cir.
1999). 28 U.S.C.A. § 1332(a)(1) gives district courts
original jurisdiction to hear cases where the matter in
controversy exceeds the value of seventy-five thousand
dollars ($75, 000) and is between citizens of different
states. In order for jurisdiction to exist, there must be
complete diversity, meaning that each defendant must be a
citizen of a different state from each plaintiff. Owen
Equip. & Erection Co. v. Kroger, 437 U.S. 365, 373
(1978). “It is . . . well established that when
jurisdiction depends upon diverse citizenship, the absence of
sufficient averments or of facts in the record showing such
required diversity of citizenship is fatal and cannot be
overlooked by the court, even if the parties fail to call
attention to the defect, or consent that it may be
waived.” Thomas v. Bd. of Trs., 195 U.S. 207,
211 (1904). See also Carlsberg Res. Corp. v. Cambria Sav.
& Loan Ass'n, 554 F.2d 1254, 1256 (3d Cir.
1977); Fed R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3).
purposes of diversity jurisdiction, a natural person is
deemed to be a citizen of the state where he or she is
domiciled. Swiger v. Allegheny Energy, Inc., 540
F.3d 179 182 (3d Cir. 2008) (citing Gilbert v.
David, 235 U.S. 561, 569 (1915)). Domicile is
established by one's physical presence in a state, or
residence, and intent to remain there indefinitely.
Washington v. Hovensa LLC, 652 F.3d 340, 344 (3d
Cir.2011). A person may have only one domicile, and thus may
be a citizen of only one state for diversity jurisdiction
purposes. Williamson v. Osenton, 232 U.S. 619
Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendants for violations
of state law, alleging that this Court has original
jurisdiction over the matter under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, the
diversity statute. The Complaint states only that Plaintiff
is “an adult residing” in Pennsylvania. (Doc. 1,
at ¶1). It does not, however, state where Plaintiff is a
citizen.Residence is not the same as domicile and
does not establish citizenship for diversity purposes.
See Krasnov v. Dinan, 465 F.2d 1298, 1300 (3d Cir.
1972) (“Where one lives is prima facie
evidence of domicile, but mere residency in a state is
insufficient for purposes of diversity.”) (internal
Plaintiff's Complaint fails to demonstrate the
requirements of federal subject matter jurisdiction because
it insufficiently identifies the citizenship of the Defendant
companies. For instance, the Complaint alleges only that
Defendant Chief Oil & Gas, LLC is “organized to do
business under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,
” and has a “registered address for service of
process” in Pennsylvania. (Doc. 1, at ¶2). Such
averments are insufficient because the citizenship of an LLC
is determined by the citizenship of its members, not
by its service of process address, principal place of
business, or place of organization, as Plaintiff's
counsel appears to believe. See Zambelli Fireworks Mfg.
Co. v. Wood, 592 F.3d 412, 420 (3d Cir. 2010);
Carden v. Arkoma Assocs., 494 U.S. 185, 195 (1990)
(quoting Chapman v. Barney, 129 U.S. 677, 682
(1889)) (affirming “that diversity jurisdiction in a
suit by or against [an artificial] entity depends on the
citizenship of ‘all the members'”); see
also 1 Fed. Proc., L.Ed. § 1:176 (2011)
(acknowledging that a “limited liability company is a
citizen, for purposes of diversity jurisdiction, of each
state where its members are citizens”). Here, the
Complaint fails to allege any facts regarding the citizenship
of the members of Defendant Chief Oil & Gas, LLC. The
Complaint contains similar deficiencies as to other
Defendants as well. As such, I cannot determine that
diversity jurisdiction applies to this suit.
the Court's subject matter jurisdiction has not been
properly alleged, the instant suit will be dismissed, unless
Plaintiff, within fourteen (14) days from the date of the
Order, files an amended complaint curing all
appropriate Order follows.
 Or, more precisely, where Plaintiff
was a citizen at the time the suit was commenced. See
Grupo Dataflux v. Atlas Global Grp., 541 U.S. ...