United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
STEPHAN M. VIDMAR, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court sua sponte, following its review
of the Complaint [Doc. 1], filed on May 24, 2019. The Court
has a duty to determine whether subject-matter jurisdiction
exists sua sponte. See Tuck v. United Servs. Auto.
Ass'n, 859 F.2d 842, 844 (10th Cir. 1988). The
Court, having considered the Complaint, the applicable law,
and being otherwise fully advised in the premises, concludes
that the Complaint fails to allege the necessary facts to
sustain subject-matter jurisdiction. Specifically,
Plaintiff's request for relief under the Declaratory
Judgement Act does not appear to trigger federal-question
jurisdiction, and Plaintiff fails to adequately allege the
citizenship of any Defendant, which is necessary for
diversity jurisdiction. Therefore, the Court will order
Plaintiff to file an amended complaint no later than
July 3, 2019, if the necessary
jurisdictional allegations can be made in compliance with the
dictates of Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
24, 2019, Plaintiff filed its Complaint for Declaratory
Judgment, invoking both federal-question jurisdiction and
diversity jurisdiction. [Doc. 1] at 2. Plaintiff is an
insurance company that seeks a declaratory judgment stating
that there is no coverage for Defendant Midnight Logistics
LLC or Defendant Southlake Logistics LLC related to a certain
invokes the Court's federal-question jurisdiction
“insofar as the Declaratory Judgment Complaint is
brought pursuant to federal law.” [Doc. 1] at 2;
see Id. at 2 (citing the Declaratory Judgment Act,
28 U.S.C. § 2201 (2018)). Plaintiff cites no other
source of federal-question jurisdiction. See [Doc.
also invokes diversity jurisdiction. It alleges that the
amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000. Id. at 2.
Plaintiff alleges that it is a Delaware corporation with its
principal place of business in New York. Id.
However, Plaintiff does not allege the
“citizenship” of any Defendant. See Id.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Consuelo Clemente and
Adrian Munoz are “residents” of Texas; Defendants
Zamora and Martinez represent wrongful death estates of
decedents who were “residents” of Texas at the
time of their deaths; and Defendants Lopez, Quezada, and
Julio Caraveo represent wrongful death estates of decedents
who were “residents” of Arizona at the time of
their deaths. Id. at 3-4. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant Midnight Logistics LLC “is a North Carolina
limited liability company with its principle place of
business in Florida” and that Defendant Southlake
Logistics LLC is “is a South Carolina limited liability
company with its principle place of business in South
Carolina.” Id. at 4. Plaintiff makes no
allegation about the citizenship of any member of either
Defendant LLC. See [Doc. 1].
plaintiff is required to assert the basis of subject-matter
jurisdiction in its complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P. 8. Additionally,
the district court must be satisfied that, indeed, it has
subject-matter jurisdiction. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins.
Co. v. Narvaez, 149 F.3d 1269, 1270-71 (10th Cir. 1998).
Subject-matter jurisdiction cannot be waived and thus may be
raised by the parties or sua sponte at any time.
Louisville & Nashville R.R. Co. v. Mottley, 211
U.S. 149, 152 (1908).
Court is not satisfied that the Complaint, in its current
iteration, triggers federal-question jurisdiction. The
Declaratory Judgment Act does not extend the jurisdiction of
federal courts; it merely “enlarge[s] the range of
remedies available.” Skelly Oil Co. v.
Phillips Petroleum Co., 339 U.S. 667, 671 (1950)
(emphasis added). It appears from Skelly that the
Declaratory Judgement Act itself does not confer
federal-question jurisdiction. See Id. at 671-72.
The “[p]ower to issue declaratory judgments must lie in
some independent basis of jurisdiction.” Prier v.
Steed, 456 F.3d 1209, 1212 (10th Cir. 2006) (citing
Skelly, 339 U.S. at 671) (dismissing lawsuit for
lack of subject-matter jurisdiction because the Declaratory
Judgment Act alone did not confer federal-question
jurisdiction). As it stands today, the Complaint's
invocation of the Declaratory Judgment Act fails to satisfy
is the Court satisfied that the Complaint alleges facts
adequate to trigger diversity jurisdiction, because the
citizenship of the Defendants is not alleged. Plaintiff must
plead the State citizenship-as opposed to the residence-of
each Defendant, including the State citizenship of each and
every member of the Defendant LLCs.
courts have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where
the amount in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,
000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between citizens
of different States. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) (2018).
Jurisdiction under § 1332 requires diversity of
citizenship. The party asserting jurisdiction must
plead citizenship distinctly and affirmatively; allegations
of an individual's residence are not enough. Siloam
Springs Hotel, L.L.C. v. Century Sur. Co., 781 F.3d
1233, 1238 (10th Cir. 2015). Domicile, the equivalent of
State citizenship, requires more than mere ...