United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RICHARD WEBBER SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Linda Robinson's Motion
Regarding Jurisdiction .
January 21, 2015, Linda Robinson (“Robinson”)
filed a “Petition to Declare Rights, Conversion, and
Unjust Enrichment” against J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons,
LLC (“Hilliard Lyons”), requesting the Circuit
Court of St. Charles, Missouri, declare Robinson did not have
to indemnify Hilliard Lyons to receive a transfer on death
account from Marjorie Robinson, Robinson's mother [ECF
No. 4]. In the alternative, Robinson also asserted claims of
conversion and unjust enrichment against Hilliard Lyons [ECF
No. 4]. On March 20, 2015, Hilliard Lyons removed the matter
to this Court pursuant to diversity jurisdiction under 28
U.S.C. §§ 1332 and 1441, because Robinson is a
citizen of Missouri and Hilliard Lyons is considered a
citizen of Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Florida,
Tennessee, Illinois, Arkansas, North Carolina, South
Carolina, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
answer to Robinson's Petition, Hilliard Lyons asserted a
counterclaim against Robinson requesting a declaration
Robinson is obligated to indemnify Hilliard Lyons pursuant to
the terms of the transfer on death agreement before any
distribution of the account [ECF No. 9]. On May 21, 2015,
Hilliard Lyons amended its counterclaim to include an
interpleader action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1335,
including Carol Donley (“Donley”) as a
counter-defendant, because she asserted a right to the funds
in the account [ECF No. 18]. On August 10, 2015, Donley
answered Hilliard Lyons' counterclaim and asserted a
crossclaim against Robinson to remove Robinson as trustee of
the Marjorie Robinson Trust and the Owen Robinson Trust
(“the Trusts”) and for undue influence [ECF No.
31]. In her answer to Hilliard Lyons' counterclaim and
Donley's crossclaim, Robinson asserted a counterclaim
against Donley to compel Donley to distribute the Hilliard
Lyons trust accounts and for tortious interference of an
expected inheritance by Donley [ECF No. 34].
December 1, 2015, the Court entered judgment for Hilliard
Lyons, against Robinson, on Counts I, II, and III of her
Petition and Count I of Hilliard Lyon's amended
counterclaim finding Robinson was obligated to indemnify
Hilliard Lyons pursuant to the terms of the transfer on death
agreement before Hilliard Lyons dispersed the funds in the
account. On December 9, 2015, the Court dismissed Count II of
Robinson's counterclaim against Donley for tortious
interference of an expected inheritance by Donley. On May 9,
2017, the Court entered a consent order which distributed the
interpleaded funds and dismissed Hilliard Lyons from the
matter as well as Count II of Donley's crossclaim against
Robinson for undue influence. The only remaining matter
before the Court is Count I of Donley's crossclaim
against Robinson to remove Robinson as trustee of the Trusts.
In her pending motion, Robinson challenges the Court's
subject matter jurisdiction over the remaining crossclaim
asserting the Court lacks jurisdiction over the crossclaim
because the interpleaded funds have been disbursed.
purposes of this Motion to Dismiss, the Court accepts as true
the following facts alleged in Donley's crossclaim.
Great Rivers Habitat Alliance v. Fed. Emergency Mgmt.
Agency, 615 F.3d 958, 988 (8th Cir. 2010). Donley is a
resident of the state of Kansas and Robinson is a resident of
the state of Missouri. Both Robinson and Donley are
co-trustees of the Trusts.
and Marjorie Robinson, parents of Robinson and Donley,
created Lin-Car Farm, Inc., a company to own real estate
operated as a farm. Lin-Car Farm consisted of approximately
499 acres of land in Lincoln County, Missouri. Donley was
secretary of Lin-Car Farm and Robinson was treasurer. In
April 2006, Robinson was elected to replace Donley as
secretary of Lin-Car Farm. When Owen Robinson died on May 30,
1999, Marjorie Robinson (“Marjorie”) became the
sole trustee of the Owen Robinson Trust.
April 28, 2006, Marjorie sold approximately eight acres of
real estate to Robinson and her husband that was held by
Lin-Car Farm. In September 2007, the principal place of
business for Lin-Car Farm was changed to Linda's address.
In 2007, Robinson convinced Marjorie to give Robinson and her
husband approximately $324, 000.00. In 2008, Marjorie moved
in with Robinson. In January 2009, Marjorie opened an account
at Hilliard Lyons, the transfer on death account at issue in
this matter. The account was payable only to Robinson or her
husband at Marjorie's death, unlike the Trusts and Wills,
which were to be divided equally between Donley and Robinson.
died on July 29, 2014. At her death, Marjorie's trust
held a home located in Troy, Missouri, and an account at
Hilliard Lyons with approximately $1, 272, 000.000 in assets.
The Owen Robinson Trust held an account at Hilliard Lyons
with approximately $113, 744.00 in assets and stock in
Lin-Car Farm. Both trusts provide the assets be divided
equally between Robinson and Donley. Marjorie also held an
account at People's Bank and Trust, a Hilliard Lyon's
IRA payable to Robinson and Donley equally, and the Hilliard
Lyons transfer on death account payable only to Robinson.
Marjorie's death, Donley requested an accountant be hired
to prepare tax returns for the Trusts, Marjorie's estate
and Lin-Car Farm, Inc. and requested information used to
prepare the tax returns, both of which Robinson rejected.
Robinson represented the Trusts' tax returns were filed,
but refused to provide Donley with proof of their filing.
Robinson also refused to sign necessary documents with
Hilliard Lyons to unfreeze the accounts held by them to
distribute the assets in those accounts. Originally, Robinson
agreed to sell the house held by the Marjorie Trust. After
Donley agreed to Robinson handling the sale of the house,
Robinson refused the responsibility and stated she wanted to
hire a real estate agent to sell the house. However, she
never identified or hired a real estate agent. Then, Robinson
demanded the house be auctioned. Donley agreed, but Robinson
refuses to provide Donley with a proposed auctioneer's
contract. Robinson also refused to provide Donley a copy of
the insurance policy for the house or confirmation the
premium on the policy is up to date. Donley indicated to
Robinson she wishes to hire a manager to operate the Lin-Car
farm but Robinson has not done so.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), a party is
permitted to challenge a federal court's jurisdiction
over the subject matter of the complaint. When the
Court's subject matter jurisdiction is challenged, at
issue is the Court's “very power to hear the
case.” Osborn v. United States, 918 F.2d 724,
730 (8th Cir. 1990). The party invoking the jurisdiction of
the federal court has the burden of establishing the court
has the requisite subject matter jurisdiction to grant the
requested relief. See Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co.
of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994).
action to be dismissed under Rule 12(b)(1), the complaint
must either be successfully challenged on the factual
truthfulness of its assertions, or successfully challenged on
its face. See Osborn, 918 F.2d at 729. The
identification of whether a challenge is facial or factual is
a necessary step, and this identification establishes how a
court should proceed when resolving a motion to dismiss under
12(b)(1). When subject matter jurisdiction is challenged
based on the factual truthfulness of the assertions, a court
is permitted to consider “matters outside the
pleadings, ” such as testimony and affidavits.
Id. at 729, n.2 (citing Menchaca v. Chrysler
Credit Corp., 613 F.2d 507, 511 (5th Cir. 1980)).
Although matters outside the pleadings can be considered, the
motion to dismiss is not converted into one for summary
judgment. Id. at 729. When a court's subject
matter jurisdiction is challenged in a facial attack,
however, the Court “restricts itself to the face of the
pleadings.” Id. Under a facial ...