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Hassman v. Downing Partners LLC

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

June 23, 2015

ERIC HASSMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
DOWNING PARTNERS LLC, Defendants.

ORDER ON SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION

Indira Talwani United States District Judge

Defendants removed this case to federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. See Notice Removal [#1]. In their notice of removal, Defendants state that “Defendant Downing [Partners] LLC is a limited liability company organized under the laws of . . . Delaware and a citizen of the state of Rhode Island.” Id. ¶ 6. The citizenship of a limited liability company, unlike that of a corporation, is ascertained based on the citizenship of each of its members. See Pramco ex rel. CFSC Consortium v. San Juan Bay Marina, 435 F.3d 51, 54-55 (1st Cir. 2006). Determining a limited liability company’s citizenship, therefore, “has the potential to be iterative”; if an unincorporated entity has as its member another an unincorporated entity, “the citizenship of each of that member’s members . . . must then be considered.” D.B. Zwirn Special Opportunities Fund, L.P. v. Mehrota, 661 F.3d 124, 126-27 (1st Cir. 2011).

To show that a limited liability company is diverse from another party in a federal court action, the jurisdictional pleadings must affirmatively state the citizenship of each of the limited liability company’s members. See id. Here, Defendants’ notice of removal does not state the citizenship of each of Downing Partners LLC’s members. The allegations in the Notice of Removal are thus insufficient to establish that the parties are diverse for purposes of diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

Accordingly, Defendant Downing Partners LLC is hereby ordered to file an affidavit of jurisdictional facts complying with the requirements of Pramco and D.B. Zwirn by no later than June 30, 2015.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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