United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
FISH Senior United States District Judge.
the court is the plaintiff's motion to remand the case to
the state court from which it was previously removed (docket
entry 6). For the reasons stated below, the plaintiff's
motion is granted in part and denied in part.
February 20, 2017, the plaintiff, Tricolor Auto Group, LLC
(“Tricolor”), commenced this action in the 95th
Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas against the
defendant, Christopher Lombardi (“Lombardi”).
Defendant's Notice of Removal (“Notice”)
¶ 1 (docket entry 1). On April 7, 2017, Lombardi timely
removed the action to this court based on diversity
jurisdiction. Id. ¶¶ 4-8. Tricolor is a
Delaware limited liability company, with unknown citizenship.
See id. ¶ 5. Lombardi is a Texas citizen.
Id. ¶ 6. On April 13, 2017, Tricolor filed the
instant motion to remand. Plaintiff's Motion to Remand
(“Motion”) (docket entry 6). On May 4, 2017,
Lombardi filed a timely response, which was followed by
Tricolor's timely reply. Defendant's Response to
Plaintiff's Motion to Remand (“Response”)
(docket entry 7); Plaintiff's Reply (docket entry 8).
Motion to Remand
U.S.C. § 1441(a) permits the removal of “any civil
action brought in a [s]tate court of which the district
courts of the United States have original
jurisdiction.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). The statute
allows a defendant to “remove a state court action to
federal court only if the action could have originally been
filed in federal court.” Anderson v. American
Airlines, Inc., 2 F.3d 590, 593 (5th Cir. 1993).
However, the removal statute must be strictly construed
because “removal jurisdiction raises significant
federalism concerns.” Willy v. Coastal
Corporation, 855 F.2d 1160, 1164 (5th Cir. 1988); see
also Gutierrez v. Flores, 543 F.3d 248, 251 (5th
Cir. 2008). Therefore, “any doubts concerning removal
must be resolved against removal and in favor of remanding
the case back to state court.” Cross v. Bankers
Multiple Line Insurance Company, 810 F.Supp. 748, 750
(N.D. Tex. 1992) (Means, J.); see also Shamrock Oil &
Gas Corporation v. Sheets, 313 U.S. 100, 108-09 (1941).
The party seeking removal bears the burden of establishing
federal jurisdiction. Willy, 855 F.2d at 1164.
are two principal bases upon which a district court may
exercise removal jurisdiction: the existence of a federal
question, see 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and complete
diversity of citizenship among the parties. See 28
U.S.C. § 1332. Here, Lombardi has alleged only diversity
of citizenship as a basis for this court's jurisdiction.
See Notice ¶¶ 4-8. The court can properly
exercise jurisdiction on the basis of diversity of
citizenship after removal only if three requirements are met:
(1) the parties are of completely diverse citizenship,
see 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a); (2) none of the
properly joined defendants is a citizen of the state in which
the case is brought, see 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b);
and (3) the case involves an amount in controversy of more
than $75, 000, see 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
corporation is a citizen of (1) the state where it was
incorporated and (2) the state of its principal place of
business. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1). However, the
citizenship of a limited liability company is determined by
the citizenship of all of its members. See, e.g.,
Harvey v. Grey Wolf Drilling Company, 542 F.3d 1077,
1080 (5th Cir. 2008) (citations omitted); Greene v.
Moody, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59309, at *2 (N.D. Tex.
June 14, 2010) (Fish, J.). A limited liability company's
state of incorporation and principal place of business are
irrelevant for determining whether diversity jurisdiction
exists. See Harvey, 542 F.3d at 1080; Bank of
America, N.A. v. Fulcrum Enterprises, LLC, 608 Fed.
App'x. 284, 284-85 (5th Cir. 2015) (holding that a
pleading is facially insufficient to establish diversity
jurisdiction when it does not allege the citizenship of a
limited liability company's members).
in his notice of removal, Lombardi failed to adequately
allege the citizenship of Tricolor. Lombardi only alleges
that Tricolor is “organized in the State of
Delaware.” Notice ¶ 5. Without the citizenship of
Tricolor's members before it, the court is unable to
determine whether complete diversity exists between the
parties. Moreover, Lombardi -- the defendant -- is a citizen
of the state of Texas, rendering Lombardi's removal
procedurally defective. See 28 U.S.C. §
1441(b); Bayview Loan Servicing, L.L.C. v. Martinez,
No. 3:12-CV-0695-L, 2012 WL 1267882, at *1 (N.D. Tex. Apr.
13, 2012) (Lindsay, J.) (“Although this statute allows
removal based on diversity, it does not apply to those
actions in which any defendant is a citizen of the state in
which the action is brought.”); see also Notice ¶
6. Thus, Tricolor's motion to remand is granted.
Attorney's Fees and Costs
seeks attorney's fees and costs incurred by having to
oppose Lombardi's removal. See Motion at 7-8.
However, as Lombardi points out in his response, Tricolor did
not confer or attach a certificate of conference to its
motion to remand as required by Local Rule 7.1(a)-(b).
See Response at 2-3. Because of Tricolor's
failure to comply with Local Rule 7.1(a)-(b), Tricolor's
request for attorney's fees and costs is DENIED.
reasons stated above, the plaintiff's motion to remand is
GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. This case is REMANDED to
the 95th Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas. The
clerk shall mail a certified copy of this order to ...