United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
EPSTEIN BECKER & GREEN, P.C., a New York professional corporation, Plaintiff,
SCANTECH HOLDINGS, LLC, a Georgia limited liability company, and SCANTECH IDENTIFICATION BEAM SYSTEMS, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Epstein Becker &
Green, P.C.'s (“Plaintiff”) Motion for
Expedited Limited Discovery and Motion for Extension of Time
to File Amended Complaint  (“Motion”).
March 24, 2017, Plaintiff filed its Complaint , asserting
state-law claims against Defendants ScanTech Holdings, LLC
(“ScanTech”) and ScanTech Identification Beam
Systems, LLC (“IBS”) (together,
“Defendants”). The Complaint alleged that
ScanTech is organized, and maintains its principal place of
business in Georgia. (Compl. ¶ 3). It alleged that IBS
is a foreign limited liability corporation organized in
Delaware. (Compl. ¶ 4). Plaintiff asserted that the
Court has diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
(Compl. ¶ 6).
April 4, 2017, the Court determined that Plaintiff failed to
properly allege diversity jurisdiction in its Complaint.
(). The Court ordered Defendant to file, on or before
April 17, 2017, “an amended complaint that adequately
alleges the citizenship of the parties.” (Id.
April 10, 2017, Plaintiff filed its Motion for Expedited
Limited Discovery and Motion for Extension of Time to File
Amended Complaint. Plaintiff moves the Court to permit it to
conduct expedited jurisdictional discovery “prior to
the parties' scheduling conference pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f). . . .” (Mot. at 1). Plaintiff
argues that jurisdictional discovery “is necessary to
determine whether this Court has proper subject matter
jurisdiction.” (Mot. at 3). Plaintiff requests an
extension of the time to file her amended complaint until
“five days after Defendants answer the limited
expedited discovery. . . .” (Mot. at 4). Defendants did
not file a response to the Motion and it is deemed unopposed.
LR 7.1(B), NDGa.
right to jurisdictional discovery is a qualified one,
available ‘when a court's jurisdiction is genuinely
in dispute.'” Wolf v. Celebrity Cruises,
Inc., No. 15-12341, 2017 WL 1149092, at *3 (11th Cir.
Mar. 28, 2017) (quoting Eaton v. Dorchester Dev.,
Inc., 692 F.2d 727, 730 (11th Cir. 1982)). Generally, a
plaintiff “should be given the opportunity to discover
facts that would support his allegations of
jurisdiction.” Majd-Pour v. Georgiana Cmty. Hosp.,
Inc., 724 F.2d 901, 903 (11th Cir. 1984) (citations
omitted). Where a complaint is “insufficient as a
matter of law to establish a prima facie case that the
district court had jurisdiction, ” it is an abuse of
discretion to grant jurisdiction discovery. Butler v.
Sukhoi Co., 579 F.3d 1307, 1314 (11th Cir. 2009)
(citations omitted). Courts are “not obligated to
permit jurisdictional discovery based on a party's
‘mere hunch that there may be facts-or a desire to find
out if there are any facts-that justify the exercise of
personal jurisdiction.'” Stevens v. Reliance
Fin. Corp., No. 2:13-CV-416-MEF, 2014 WL 631612, at *9
(M.D. Ala. Feb. 18, 2014) (quoting Kason Indus., Inc. v.
Dent Design Hardware, Ltd., 952 F.Supp.2d 1334, 1353
Complaint offers only speculation and conclusory allegations
concerning subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff has not
presented sufficient evidence in its Complaint or Motion to
support the diversity citizenship of the parties. The Court
is not inclined to permit Plaintiff to engage in
jurisdictional discovery on the mere hunch that diversity
exists among the parties. Plaintiff's request for
jurisdictional discovery is denied. The Court will allow
Plaintiff additional time to file its amended complaint to
properly allege diversity jurisdiction.
request for jurisdictional discovery is also premature.
Plaintiff attached a letter dated March 30, 2017, as Exhibit
A to its Motion [7.1] (“Letter”). The Letter,
signed by Plaintiff's counsel and addressed to both
Defendants, requests that Defendants provide to Plaintiff:
[A] list of all of [Defendants'] members and the
citizenship of each member as of March 24, 2017. If a . . .
member is either a trust or LLC, then [Defendants should]
provide [Plaintiff] with the membership and citizenship of
each member trust and member LLC. This exercise will need to
be performed for every layer of membership until there are
only individuals or corporations.
(Letter at 3). The Letter requested that Defendants provide
the information no later than April 28, 2017, at 5:00 p.m.
(Letter at 3). Plaintiff filed its Motion on April 10, 2017,
eighteen (18) days prior to the deadline provided to
Defendants in the Letter. Defendants still have time to
provide Plaintiff with the requested information, which would
render Plaintiffs Motion moot. Plaintiffs request for
jurisdictional discovery is also denied as premature.
foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs
Motion for Expedited Limited Discovery and Motion for
Extension of Time to File Amended Complaint  is GRANTED IN
PART and DENIED IN PART. The Motion is DENIED with respect to
Plaintiffs request to conduct expedited limited discovery to
ascertain whether diversity jurisdiction exists in this
matter. The Motion is GRANTED with respect to Plaintiffs
request to extend the time to file an amended complaint.