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South Shore Ranches, LLC v. Lakelands Co.

July 8, 2009

SOUTH SHORE RANCHES, LLC, AND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, LLC, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
LAKELANDS COMPANY, LLC, AND DOES 1 THROUGH 25, INCLUSIVE DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Anthony W. Ishii Chief United States District Judge

ORDER ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION; AND ORDER REMANDING CASE TO THE TUOLUMNE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT

On May 13, 2009, this Court granted Defendant Lakelands Company, L.L.C.'s ("Lakelands") Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss and closed the case. On May 26, 2009, Plaintiffs South Shore Ranches, L.L.C. ("SSR") and JMZ Development Company, L.L.C. ("JMZ") (or collectively "Plaintiffs") moved for reconsideration under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 60(b)(1) and 60(b)(6). On June 24, 2009, Plaintiffs filed a notice of removal from the Tuolumne County Superior Court. For the reasons that follow, Plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration will be denied and the case will be remanded to the Tuolumne County Superior Court.

BACKGROUND*fn1

On December 12, 2005, Plaintiffs as seller and Lakelands as buyer entered into a contract for the sale of 1,947 acres of real property located in Tuolumne County, California. At some point in the transaction process, the sale broke down and steps to undergo arbitration began.

However, in order to further process the Parcel Map and to extend valuable benefits within Tuolumne County, JMZ deeded all of the real estate it owned relative to the Contract to SSR. JMZ did this in late July 2008, at the request of Tuolumne County. The grant deed was recorded on August 13, 2008, in Tuolumne County.

On August 28, 2008, arbitration went forward before Judge Broadman, but Lakelands did not appear. After hearing evidence, Judge Broadman issued his decision in favor of Plaintiffs.

On September 22, 2008, Plaintiffs filed a petition to confirm the arbitration award in the Tuolumne County Superior Court. On October 23, 2008, the Tuolumne County Superior Court confirmed Judge Broadman's order.

On January 14, 2009, Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit seeking an order from this Court to confirm Judge Broadman's arbitration award. The confirmation order that Plaintiffs wish this Court to sign is identical to that which the Tuolumne County Superior Court signed.

In February 2009, Lakelands filed a motion to dismiss and later filed a motion to remand. After Plaintiffs filed what the Court construed as an amended petition, the Court allowed Lakelands to file amended motions to dismiss and remand and told the parties that it had concerns over its jurisdiction to hear this case.

On May 13, 2009, the Court issued an order. The Court ruled that the case had not been removed because it was filed as an original case in this court and because there was no notice of removal that had been filed in this Court. The Court then held that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction. Specifically, the Court held that 9 U.S.C. § 9 does not confer jurisdiction and that Plaintiffs had failed to meet their burden of establishing diversity. The Court also ruled that a Limited Liability Company ("LLC") has the same the citizenship as each of its owners and that no evidence had been presented that established the citizenship of any owners of the parties.*fn2

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Plaintiffs filed this motion for reconsideration on May 26, 2009, and filed a notice of removal on June 24, 2009.

MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

Plaintiffs' ...


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