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Stephens v. Neustel Law Offices, Ltd.

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division

April 20, 2015

CARLIS STEPHENS, Plaintiff,
v.
NEUSTEL LAW OFFICES, LTD., et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, Jr., District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on review of the file following assignment to the undersigned. The Eight Circuit has admonished district courts to "be attentive to a satisfaction of jurisdictional requirements in all cases." Sanders v. Clemco Indus., 823 F.2d 214, 216 (8th Cir. 1987). "In every federal case the court must be satisfied that it has jurisdiction before it turns to the merits of other legal arguments." Carlson v. Arrowhead Concrete Works, Inc., 445 F.3d 1046, 1050 (8th Cir. 2006). "A plaintiff who seeks to invoke diversity jurisdiction of the federal courts must plead citizenship distinctly and affirmatively." 15 James Wm. Moore, et al., Moore's Federal Practice § 102.31 (3d ed. 2010).

The Complaint in this case asserts that the Court has jurisdiction over the action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 because the lawsuit is between citizens of different States and the matter in controversy exceeds the sum of $75, 000. Plaintiff named as defendant Neutsel Law Offices, which he identifies as a limited liability company and a "resident of the state of North Dakota." The Eighth Circuit has held that unincorporated entities such as LLCs are citizens of every state of which any member is a citizen. See GMAC Commercial Credit, LLC v. Dillard Dep't Stores, Inc., 357 F.3d 827, 829 (8th Cir. 2004). Thus, for the LLC defendant, the Court must examine the citizenship of each member of that company to determine whether diversity jurisdiction exists. The Complaint contains no allegations concerning the members of the defendant LLC.

Accordingly,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, by May 11, 2015, plaintiff shall file an amended complaint in accordance with this memorandum.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that if plaintiff does not timely and fully comply with this order, this matter will be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that all other proceedings in this case are STAYED pending further order of this Court.


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