United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
G. FLEISSIG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Joel Schwartz filed this breach-of-contract action in
Missouri state court on May 30, 2019. Plaintiff asserted that
he was the primary beneficiary of a life insurance policy
that Defendant issued on the life of Ricky Dean Cain. Cain
died on or about December 1, 2018. Defendant removed the
action to this Court on July 2, 2019, asserting that the
Court has diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1332 and 1441. Specifically, Defendant asserted
that Plaintiff was a citizen of Missouri, Defendant was a
citizen of Ohio, and the amount in controversy exceeded the
jurisdictional minimum because the insurance policy in
question provides benefits to the beneficiary in the amount
of $200, 000. ECF No. 1.
matter is now before the Court on the second motion (ECF No.
18) of Kurt A. Schmid, Personal Representative of the Estate
of Ricky Dean Cain (the "Estate"), to intervene in
this matter pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24.
Schmid asserts that he has been appointed as the personal
representative of the Estate by the Probate Division of the
Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Missouri, and that
the Estate, rather than Plaintiff, is the beneficiary of the
subject insurance policy. Schmid asserts that he may
intervene on behalf of the Estate as of right under Rule
24(a)(2) because the Estate has an interest relating to the
property that is the subject of this action and is so
situated that disposing of the action may as a practical
matter impair or impede its ability to protect its interest.
Alternatively, Schmid seeks permissive intervention under
Rule 24(b). Schmid's motion seeks intervention as a
party-plaintiff No party has opposed Schmid's motion, and
the time to do so has passed.
Court previously denied Schmid's motion without prejudice
because Schmid failed to comply with Rule 24(c)'s
requirement that the motion "be accompanied by a
pleading that sets out the claim or defense for which
intervention is sought." Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(c). As the
Court explained, attachment of a pleading was necessary to
analyze the "legal rights asserted by the intervenor,
and concomitant issues such as standing and
jurisdiction." See St. Charles Tower, Inc. v. Cty.
of Franklin, Mo., No. 4:09CV987-DJS, 2009 WL 3852462, at
*l (E.D. Mo. Nov. 17, 2009). The Court noted that Schmid had
not explained the basis for the Court's subject-matter
jurisdiction and that it was not at all clear the Court would
have jurisdiction. The Court cautioned that, although Schmid
had not identified his citizenship, if he shared citizenship
with the existing Plaintiff, it was questionable whether the
Court would have jurisdiction, at least as the case is
currently structured. Thus, the Court ordered that any future
motion to intervene by Schmid must fully comply with Rule 24,
including Rule 24(c), and must set forth the basis for this
Court's jurisdiction. ECF No. 16.
has now refiled his motion, this time attaching a complaint
(ECF No. 20) setting out his claim. In the complaint, Schmid
alleges that he is, and the decedent was, a resident of
Missouri; the existing Plaintiff, Schwartz, is likewise a
resident of Missouri; and the existing Defendant is a citizen
of Ohio. Notwithstanding the Court's prior Order, Schmid
still does not allege the basis for the Court's
subject-matter jurisdiction, either in his complaint or in
Court previously held, federal courts have denied motions to
intervene in diversity cases where the proposed intervenor is
a citizen of the same state as a party against whom the
intervenor would be aligned if intervention were allowed.
See, e.g., Estate of McFarlin ex rel. Laass v. City of
Storm Lake, 277 F.R.D. 384, 388 (N.D. Iowa 2011);
see also Griffin v. Lee, 621 F.3d 380, 390 (5th Cir.
2010) (interpreting the jurisdictional exclusions in 28
U.S.C. § 1367(b) to mean that persons who fall within
the exclusions may not be joined to a federal action); 28
U.S.C. § 1367(b) (holding that in civil actions
proceeding in federal court based solely on diversity
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, the district court
"shall not have supplemental jurisdiction" over
"claims by plaintiffs against persons made parties under
Rule . . . 24" or "over claims by persons . .
seeking to intervene as plaintiffs under Rule 24, " if
"exercising supplemental jurisdiction over such claims
would be inconsistent with the jurisdictional requirements of
Schmid seeks intervention as an "Intervenor Plaintiff,
" when "ascertaining the proper alignment of
parties for jurisdictional purposes, courts have a
'duty' to 'look beyond the pleadings, and arrange
the parties according to their sides in the
dispute.'" Griffin, 621 F.3d at 388 (citing
City of Indianapolis v. Chase Nat'l Bank of City of
N.Y., 314 U.S. 63, 69 (1941)). "[A]n interpleader
structure is often used in cases involving disinterested
insurance companies and claimants asserting entitlement to
insurance proceeds." Angst v. Royal Maccabees Life
Ins. Co., 77 F.3d 701, 704 (3d Cir. 1996). In such
cases, diversity may be satisfied "where a stakeholder
is diverse from its claimants." Id. at 703. But
no Rule 22 or statutory interpleader action has been filed by
the Defendant insurance company in this case, and no party
has asserted or shown that an interpleader structure is
and Schmid are adverse parties because they assert opposing
claims to the same insurance proceeds. Absent an interpleader
structure, Plaintiffs and Schmid's shared Missouri
citizenship destroys diversity. Cf. Kerrigan's Estate
v. Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, 199 F.2d 694, 696-97
(3d Cir. 1952) (upholding, "with some hesitancy, "
a district court's exercise of diversity jurisdiction
over a dispute between an executor of an estate and a
relative of the deceased, both Pennsylvania residents, over
entitlement to contractual proceeds only because the parties
entered into a stipulation to proceed under an interpleader
structure). Because Schmid has not alleged any basis for the
Court's subject-matter jurisdiction, and none is apparent
from the Court's review of the pleadings, the Court will
again deny Schmid's motion to intervene without
prejudice, for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Kurt A.
Schmid's motion to intervene is DENIED ...