United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable PERCY ANDERSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
IN CHAMBERS - COURT ORDER
the Court is a Notice of Removal filed by defendant Jaguar
Land Rover North America, LLC ("Defendant") on
March 5, 2018. (Docket No. 1.) Defendant asserts that this
Court has jurisdiction over the action brought against it by
plaintiff Bryan Lorden ("Plaintiff) based on the
Court's diversity jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. §
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having subject
matter jurisdiction only over matters authorized by the
Constitution and Congress. See, e.g., Kokkonen
v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377, 114 S.Ct.
1673, 1675, 128 L.Ed.2d 391 (1994). A suit filed in state
court may be removed to federal court if the federal court
would have had original jurisdiction over the suit. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1441(a). A removed action must be remanded to state
court if the federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.
28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). "The burden of establishing
federal jurisdiction is on the party seeking removal, and the
removal statute is strictly construed against removal
jurisdiction." Prize Frize, Inc. v. Matrix (U.S.)
Inc., l67F.3d 1261, 1265 (9th Cir. 1999). "Federal
jurisdiction must be rejected if there is any doubt as to the
right of removal in the first instance." Gaus v.
Miles, Inc., 980 F.2d 564, 566 (9th Cir. 1992).
attempting to invoke this Court's diversity jurisdiction,
Defendant must prove that there is complete diversity of
citizenship between the parties and that the amount in
controversy exceeds $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332. To
establish citizenship for diversity purposes, a natural
person must be a citizen of the United States and be
domiciled in a particular state. Kantor v. Wellesley
Galleries, Ltd., 704 F.2d 1088, 1090 (9th Cir. 1983).
Persons are domiciled in the places they reside with the
intent to remain or to which they intend to return. See
Kanter v. Warner-Lambert Co., 265 F.3d 853, 857 (9th
Cir. 2001). For purposes of diversity jurisdiction, the
citizenship of an LLC is the citizenship of its members. See
Johnson v. Columbia Props. Anchorage, LP, 437 F.3d
894, 899 (9th Cir. 2006) ("[L]ike a partnership, an LLC
is a citizen of every state of which its owners/members are
citizens."); Marseilles Hydro Power, LLC v.
Marseilles Land & Water Co., 299 F.3d 643, 652 (7th
Cir. 2002) ("the relevant citizenship [of an LLC] for
diversity purposes is that of the members, not of the
company"); Handelsman v. Bedford Vill. Assocs. Ltd.
P'ship, 213 F.3d 48, 51-52 (2d Cir. 2000) ("a
limited liability company has the citizenship of its
membership"); Cosgrove v. Bartolotta, 150 F.3d
729, 731 (7th Cir. 1998); TPS Utilicom Servs., Inc. v.
AT&T Corp., 223 F.Supp.2d 1089, 1101 (CD. Cal. 2002)
("A limited liability company ... is treated like a
partnership for the purpose of establishing citizenship under
Notice of Removal alleges that complete diversity of
citizenship exists because Plaintiff is domiciled in Los
Angeles, California, and Defendant is domiciled in the United
Kingdom. (Notice of Removal ¶¶ 11-12.) As to
Plaintiffs citizenship, Defendant cites allegations in
Plaintiffs complaint as well as vehicle service records in
Plaintiffs name that include a Los Angeles address.
(Id. ¶ 11; see Yao Decl. ¶ 5, Docket No. 1
at 8; Yao Decl. Ex. A¶ 1, Docket No. 1-1; Yao Decl. Ex.
C, Docket No. 1-3.) The complaint alleges only that Plaintiff
resides in California. (Yao Decl. Ex. A ¶ 1.) The
service records are not relevant because they predate the
filing of this action,  and regardless they also establish,
at most, only Plaintiffs residence. (See Yao Decl.
Ex. C.) Because an individual is not necessarily a citizen of
the state in which he resides, the Notice of Removal fails to
establish Plaintiffs citizenship.
Defendant's own citizenship, Defendant alleges that it is
an LLC and that its only member is "Jaguar Land Rover
Limited, [which is] located in the United Kingdom. Hence,
[Defendant] is domiciled in the United Kingdom." (Notice
of Removal ¶ 12; see Yao Decl. ¶ 6.) The Notice of
Removal does not indicate what form of entity Defendant's
member is, and it fails to adequately allege the member's
citizenship. See, e.g., Parse v. Those Certain
Underwriters At Lloyd's London, No. CV 14-00782 MMM
(JEMx), 2014 WL 12561586, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 4, 2012)
("The notice [of removal] alleges that these are
'entities' organized under the laws of the United
Kingdom with their principal place of business in London,
England. If the entities are corporations, then the
allegations are sufficient to allege that Lloyd is a citizen
of England. If, however, the entities are partnerships or
another form of unincorporated association, then such
allegations are not sufficient to show that there is complete
diversity between the parties .... Because it is unclear what
type of entity the syndicate is, the court cannot determine
its citizenship based upon the current pleadings."
(footnote omitted)). As a result, Defendant has not
adequately alleged its own citizenship.
unusual circumstances, a party seeking to invoke diversity
jurisdiction should be able to allege affirmatively the
actual citizenship of the relevant parties."
Kanter, 265 F.3d at 857; see also Bradford v.
Mitchell Bros. Truck Lines, 217 F.Supp. 525, 527 (N.D.
Cal. 1963) ("A petition [for removal] alleging diversity
of citizenship upon information and belief is
insufficient."). This is particularly true for a
removing defendant, who is presumed to know the facts
surrounding its own citizenship. See, e.g., Leon
v. Gordon Trucking, Inc., 76 F.Supp.3d 1055, 1063 (CD.
Cal. 2014); see also Cretianv. JoblUSA, Inc., No.
09-CV-770-ST, 2009 WL 4841039, at *1 (D. Or. Dec. 11, 2009)
("Defendant is presumed to know its own citizenship;
indeed it is in the best position to know it for purposes of
removal." (internal quotation marks omitted)).
Defendant's allegations about Plaintiffs and
Defendant's own citizenship are insufficient to invoke
this Court's diversity jurisdiction.
foregoing reasons, Defendant has failed to satisfy its burden
of showing that diversity jurisdiction exists over this
action. Accordingly, this action is hereby remanded to Los
Angeles County Superior Court, No. BC691849, for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c).
Contrary to Defendant's
assertion that Plaintiff filed his case in June 2017 (Notice
of Removal ¶ 1), a stamp on the complaint indicates that
it was filed ...