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Holmes v. Wal-Mart Stores East, LP

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division

August 27, 2014

SHALOTTA HOLMES, Plaintiff,
v.
WAL-MART STORES EAST, LP., Defendant.

ORDER

WILLIAM T. MOORE, Jr., District Judge.

Before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 22.) Before ruling on this motion, however, the Court must establish whether it has jurisdiction over the parties. Defendant's Notice of Removal attempts to invoke this Court's diversity jurisdiction. (Doc. 1 ¶ 7.) However, the jurisdictional allegations contained in the notice of removal are insufficient to establish complete diversity between the parties.

The party invoking this Court's diversity jurisdiction bears the burden of adequately pleading complete diversity between the parties. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332; Ray v. Bird & Son & Asset Realization Co. , 519 F.2d 1081, 1082 (5th Cir. 1975)[1] ("The burden of pleading diversity of citizenship is upon the party invoking federal jurisdiction, and if jurisdiction is properly challenged, that party also bears the burden of proof."). For the purposes of diversity jurisdiction, a limited partnership ("LP") is a citizen of every state in which any of its partners are citizens. Rolling Greens MHP, L.P. v. Comcast SCH Holdings L.L.C. , 374 F.3d 1020, 1021-22 (11th Cir. 2004). The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has been explicit in addressing the proper method to allege sufficiently the citizenship of an LP: "a party must list the citizenships of... all the partners of the limited partnership." Id. at 1022.

In this case, the Notice of Removal does not include a list of the individual partners, along with their citizenship, of Defendant, which is a limited partnership. Rather, the notice states that Defendant is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Arkansas. (Doc. 1 ¶ 3.) However, the supporting documentation filed by Defendant clearly states that it is a limited partnership. (Id. at 16.) Such pleading is insufficient for the party invoking the Court's Jurisdiction to carry its burden of establishing complete diversity between the parties. See Kay, 519 F.2d at 1082.

Accordingly, Defendant is DIRECTED to file an Amended Notice of Removal within ten days from the date of this order. The amended notice should properly include the citizenship of each party to this case, specifically the names and citizenships of each partner of Wal-Mart Stores East, LP.

SO ORDERED.


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