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 First Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgment [Doc.
4], filed on June 26, 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
First Amended 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 every Defendant (except Defendant Midnight Logistics,
Inc.), which is necessary for diversity jurisdiction.
Therefore, the Court will order Plaintiff to file a second
amended complaint no later than August 12,
2019, if the necessary jurisdictional allegations
can be made in compliance with the dictates of Rule 11 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
is an insurance company that seeks a declaratory judgment
stating that there is no coverage for Defendants Midnight
Logistics or Southlake Logistics related to a certain traffic
accident. [Doc. 4]. On May 24, 2019, Plaintiff filed its
original Complaint for Declaratory Judgment, invoking both
federal-question and diversity jurisdiction. [Doc. 1] at 2.
On review of the original Complaint [Doc. 1], the Court found
that subject-matter jurisdiction was not adequately pleaded,
and thus, leave was granted for Plaintiff to amend its
Complaint. [Doc. 3]. Plaintiff amended its complaint on June
26, 2019, but the First Amended Complaint for Declaratory
Judgment [Doc. 4] also fails to adequately establish
subject-matter jurisdiction. The Court will grant Plaintiff
leave to file a second amended complaint.
original Complaint, Plaintiff invoked 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 cited no other source of federal-question
jurisdiction. See [Doc. 1]. The Court found that the
Declaratory Judgment Act did not appear to extend the
jurisdiction of federal courts; it merely “enlarged the
range of remedies available.” [Doc. 3] at 3
(quoting Skelly Oil Co. v. Phillips Petroleum Co.,
339 U.S. 667, 671 (1950) (emphasis added)). It appeared from
Skelly that the Declaratory Judgement Act itself did
not confer federal-question jurisdiction. Id.
(citing Skelly Oil, 339 U.S. at 671-72). The
“[p]ower to issue declaratory judgments must lie in
some independent basis of jurisdiction.” Id.
(quoting 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 the original Complaint
stood, Plaintiff's invocation of the Declaratory Judgment
Act failed to satisfy federal-question jurisdiction.
Id. at 3-4.
leave, Plaintiff amended its Complaint on June 26, 2019. As
to federal-question jurisdiction, however, the First Amended
Complaint [Doc. 4] offers nothing more than what appeared in
the original Complaint. See [Doc. 4]. It should come
as no surprise, therefore, that the Court remains unsatisfied
that it has federal-question jurisdiction. If Plaintiff
intends to invoke federal-question jurisdiction in a second
amended complaint, more will be required.
review of the original Complaint, the Court found that
Plaintiff had not pleaded the State citizenship-as
opposed to the residence-of each Defendant, including the
State citizenship of each and every member of the Defendant
LLCs. [Doc. 3] at 4. With leave of Court, Plaintiff filed its
First Amended Complaint [Doc. 4], but the relevant
allegations remain almost identical- and inadequate.
is one exception. In the original Complaint, Plaintiff had
alleged that Midnight Logistics was a limited liability
company. [Doc. 1] at 4. Now, however, in the First Amended
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Midnight Logistics is a
corporation, incorporated in Florida and with its principal
place of business in Florida. [Doc 4] at 4. Thus, the First
Amended Complaint adequately pleads the State of citizenship
(i.e., Florida) of Defendant Midnight Logistics,
all of the remaining Defendants, however, the First Amended
Complaint fails to adequately allege their citizenship.
Plaintiff alleges Defendants' States of
residence,  but as explained below, residence is not
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).
courts have original jurisdiction over all civil actions
where the amount in controversy exceeds the sum or value of
$75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, and where the
parties are 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 residence; domicile exists only when residence is
coupled with an intention to remain in the State
indefinitely. Middleton v. Stephenson, 749 F.3d
1197, 1200 (10th Cir. 2014).
the facts set forth in the Complaint do not sufficiently
establish the citizenship of any Defendant besides Midnight
Logistics, Inc. Plaintiff alleges each
Defendant's State of residence, but residence is not