• December 2, 2013

Citizen KaneIn a twist on an often-overlooked issue in pleading diversity jurisdiction that we see in U.S. district court for the district of Minnesota, here is a case where an LLC plaintiff failed to plead its own citizenship properly.  Usually, the plaintiff fails to get at the roots of its adversary’s lineage.

This kind of threshold stumble is normally of no consequence over the long haul of civil litigation but its a tedious extra step that brings the “stitch in time…” adage to mind.  (Here is an excerpt from a recent pleading showing how it should be done.  Noe that the example is from a Notice of Removal — that is, the party pleading the partnership lineage is pleading its own diversity, which makes things easier.)

Complaints are starting to read like those biblical lineage recitations:

Adam, a citizen of Eden, begat Seth, a citizen of Minnesota; and Seth, Enos, a citizen of Iowa, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered, Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech, all citizens of California, Noe, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, citizens of New York. The sons of Japheth were Gomer, a citizen of North Carolina, Magog, Madai, and Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras, all citizens of Vermont…”)

(And what do these silly genealogies really have to do with the actual interests at issue in diversity jurisdiction?)

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