United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
E. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the defendants' separate
motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Plaintiff, who proceeds pro se, has filed a response
Juanita Tansil alleges that she was injured while standing in
her driveway on Cambridge Lane in St. Louis, Missouri, when
her vehicle, a 1999 Acura, moved backwards and struck her
with the open door. She argues that the car had a defective
ignition interlock. On July 25, 2016, she filed this action,
asserting claims for strict products liability against Honda
Motor Company, Ltd., and DRK Investment Co., d/b/a Mungenast
St. Louis Acura (Mungenast). She asserts subject matter
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), and
alleges that she is a citizen of Missouri and that the
defendants are corporations established under the laws of
other states and countries. [Docs. #1, #5, #10 at ¶6].
However, plaintiff has also pleaded that defendant Mungenast
is a corporation with its principal place of business in
Missouri. Second Amended Complaint ¶5. Defendants move
for dismissal arguing that diversity of citizenship is
lacking on the face of the complaint.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction; they possess only
that power authorized by Constitution and statute.
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of America, 511
U.S. 375, 377 (1994). The court is obligated to dismiss any
action over which it does not have subject matter
jurisdiction. “In order to properly dismiss for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1), the
complaint must be successfully challenged on its face or on
the factual truthfulness of its averments.” Titus
v. Sullivan, 4 F.3d 590, 593 (8th Cir. 1993) (citing
Osborn v. United States, 918 F.2d 724, 729 n. 6 (8th
Cir. 1990)). In a facial challenge to jurisdiction, all of
the factual allegations concerning jurisdiction are presumed
to be true and the motion is successful if the plaintiff
fails to allege an element necessary for subject matter
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 requires an amount
in controversy greater than $75, 000 and complete diversity
of citizenship among the litigants. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
“Complete diversity of citizenship exists where no
defendant holds citizenship in the same state where any
plaintiff holds citizenship.” OnePoint Solutions,
LLC v. Borchert, 486 F.3d 342, 346 (8th Cir. 2007). The
district court's “determination of citizenship for
the purpose of diversity is a mixed question of law and fact,
but mainly fact.” Altimore v. Mount Mercy
College, 420 F.3d 763, 768 (8th Cir. 2005) (citation
omitted). The existence of diversity of citizenship is
determined at the time the suit is instituted, and not when
the cause of action arose. Smith v. Snerling, 354
U.S. 91, 93 n. 1 (1957).
parties do not dispute that defendant Mungenast is a Missouri
corporation with its principal place of business in Missouri.
See Patrick Sanders Affidavit [Doc. #24 at 4]. Thus,
defendant Mungenast is a citizen of Missouri for the purposes
of diversity jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1).
Plaintiff alleges that she also is a citizen of Missouri.
Assuming the truth of this allegation, as the Court must for
a facial challenge, there is no diversity of citizenship and
the case must be dismissed for lack of subject matter
Court notes that, in opposition to the motions to dismiss,
plaintiff asserts that she is really a citizen of Michigan
where she was a teacher for 28 years. She states that she is
in Missouri on an extended stay in order to handle legal
matters in connection with the deaths of her parents and
brother in 2010 and 2011. [Doc. #15 at 4]. She states that
she will return to Michigan upon completion of court cases
pending in Missouri. According to the documents she submits,
plaintiff owns real estate and pays property taxes in
Detroit. She also receives a pension from the Michigan Office
of Retirement Services. Defendants counter with documents
establishing that plaintiff owns the home in St. Louis where
she alleges her injuries occurred, holds a Missouri
driver's license, is registered to vote in Missouri, and
voted in the City of St. Louis in August 2016.
plaintiff's documents establish that her connections to
Michigan are of some substance, she cannot rely on them to
contradict her allegations in the original complaint and the
amended complaints that she is a citizen of Missouri. By
presenting pleadings and other documents to the Court,
plaintiff has certified that the factual allegations,
including those regarding her state of citizenship, have
evidentiary support. Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(b)(3). In addition,
plaintiff affixed to her complaints verifications in which
she stated, under penalty of perjury, that the contents of
the complaints were true. Plaintiff's contradictory
assertion of Michigan citizenship in response to the motion
to dismiss cannot satisfy her burden to establish subject
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the motion of defendant Honda Motor
Company, Ltd., to dismiss [Doc. #13] is granted.
FURTHER ORDERED that the motion of defendant D.R.K.
Investment Co. d/b/a Mungenast St. Louis Acura, ...