United States District Court, C.D. California
Manuel Rodriguez, et al.
Rema Tip Top/North America, Inc.
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 Rema Tip
Top/North America, Inc. (“Removing Defendant”).
Removing Defendant asserts that this Court has jurisdiction
over the action brought against it and co-defendants Freylube
The Wheel man, Inc. (“Freylube”) and Tech
International (Johnstown), LLC (“Tech Int'l”)
by plaintiffs Manuel and Irma Rodriguez (collectively
“Plaintiffs”) based on the Court's diversity
jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
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., 167 F.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,
Removing 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 the purposes of diversity jurisdiction, a
corporation is a citizen of any state where it is
incorporated and of the state where it has its principal
place of business. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c); see also
Indus. Tectonics, Inc. v. Aero Alloy, 912 F.2d 1090,
1092 (9th Cir. 1990). 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 Village 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 (C.D. Cal. 2002)
(“A limited liability company . . . is treated like a
partnership for the purpose of establishing citizenship under
support of its allegations that the Court possesses diversity
jurisdiction over this action, Removing Defendant's
Notice of Removal alleges:
2. Complete Diversity of Citizenship Exists. Plaintiff is a
citizen of the State of California. See Complaint at
p. 2, ¶ 1.
3. Plaintiff's Complaint alleges Defendant FREYLUBE THE
WHEEL MAN, INC. Is a citizen of New York. See
Complaint at p. 2, ¶ 3. Plaintiff's Complaint
alleges Defendant TECH INTERNATIONAL (JOHNSTOWN), LLC is a
citizen of Ohio. See Complaint at p. 2, ¶ 4.
4. Defendant REMA TIP TOP/NORTH AMERICA, INC. Is a citizen of
New Jersey. Defendant is and at all relevant times has been
incorporated in New Jersey organized under the laws of New
Jersey. . . . Defendant's principle [sic] place of
business is also in New Jersey . . . .
(Notice of Removal ¶¶ 2-4.) Neither the Complaint
nor the Notice of Removal adequately alleges the citizenship
of defendants Freylube or Tech Int'l. Specifically, the
Notice of Removal does not allege the location of
Freylube's principal place of business, and instead only
cites to the Complaint as evidence of Freylube's
citizenship. But the Complaint also does not allege
Freylube's principal place of business. Similarly, the
Notice of Removal relies solely on the Complaint as the basis
for Tech Int'l's citizenship, but the Complaint only
alleges that Tech Int'l “is an Ohio domestic
limited liability company, which at all material times
hereto, was doing business in the County of Los Angeles,
State of California.” (Compl. At ¶ 4.) Neither the
Notice of Removal nor the Complaint sufficiently alleges the
citizenship of Tech Int'l because, as a limited liability
company, Tech Int'l's citizenship is the citizenship
of each of its members. See Johnson, 437 F.3d at
899. “Absent 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;
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.”). As a result, Removing
Defendant's allegations related to the citizenship of its
co-defendants are insufficient to invoke this Court's
foregoing reasons, Removing 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 Superior Court, No. 19STCV37241, for ...