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Crow v. 3M Co.
United States District Court, D. Colorado
June 4, 2018
SHIRLEY CROW; DENNIS CROW; TINA QUINTAL; UTE QUINTAL; THOMAS MATHEWS, individually and as parent and natural guardian of S.M., minor child; TINA MATHEWS; ROBBIN VINYARD; KERRI CANNON; JONATHAN CANNON; ALFRED GRANT; NORMA HILDE; YOLANDA WILSON; FABIAN MENDOZA; CARLA GUELKER; GWENDOLYN WHITFIELD; ROY WHITFIELD; LYNN MARTINEZ, individually and as parent and natural guardian of C.M.1, C.M.2, C.M.3, and C.M.4, minor children; CHRISTOPHER MARTINEZ; ALYSSA MARTINEZ; CAMERON MARTINEZ; ALEXIS ESSELMAN; SHELLY-ANN HIGGINS; JOHN HIGGINS; AVA HIGGINS; DAWN PURKEY; DENISE WILLIAMS; MELISSA SALSER; MONIKA MALMQUIST; DANIEL MALMQUIST; KIMBERLY ECKOLDT; KENNETH BENJAMIN, JR.; MATEO ROBINSON; MARK ROBINSON; MARGO RHINE; ROBERT RHINE; MICHAEL JONES; RANDALL KEILEY; JEFF FRANK; PATRICIA FRANK; ANGILO VERA; EFRAIN VERA-SOTO; JASMINE KIZER; MICHAEL MATLI; KIMBERLY CHAPPELL, individually and as parent and natural guardian of H.C.1, H.C.2, and S.C., minor children; MARY MORRIS; TINA FARRELL, individually and as parent and natural guardian of P.F., minor child; JASON FARRELL; SKYY FARRELL; CHEYENNE FARRELL; PETE MARTINEZ; NATASHA STEINBERG; MARVA MONTEITH; LILTON MONTEITH; CATHERINE ZABORSKI; KAREN BRANT; JEANNE BASINGER; ROBBIE WOODEN; WILLIAM WOODEN; MARTHA SCROGGS; RALPH SCROGGS; DAVID HARRIS; DANIEL WALLACE; DEREK PHILLIPS; DANA PHILLIPS, individually and as parent and natural guardian of A.P., minor child; DEBORAH PHILLIPS; DANTE GREY; ARNETTE BOOTH; BRADLEY BUONO; CHRISTOPHER WHEELER; TRAVIS JACOBS-HOFMANN; MICHELE BRINK; MICHAEL MCBEE; LYNDEL FELKER; ALICIA ORNELAS; CHRISTINE FELKER; KEVIN FELKER; MICHELLE POWERS, individually and as parent and natural guardian of J.P. and T.P., minor children; THOMAS POWERS; VIRGINIA MEDINA; LATISCHA HARRIS; MELONIE STANTON; LEO SPAGNOLINI; SHANNA VALLEJOS; MELVA TILLAR; JACK CUMMINGS; MICHAEL CLARK; MARIE CLARK; AMY CLARK; MARION GARNER; JILL SCHWYTER; MAX SCHWYTER; MICHELLE BOYD; LARRY DAVIDSON; THOMAS GRABE; MARK HOLTORF; PATRICIA MOYERS; MARNE KOSOBUCKI, individually and as parent and natural guardian of K.K.1 and K.K.2, minor children; ISABELLE JUSTICE; MICHELLE MATHENY; LAWRENCE WALKER; SHAWN ROBERSON; ROBERT ROBERSON; LISA P. BENJAMIN, individually and as parent and natural guardian of J.B., minor child; CHRISTINE BERTRAND; TIMOTHY WILLIAMS; LINNITA WILLIAMS; FRANCES GORTMAKER; JERRY GORTMAKER; LINDA CROW; DAWN MASLOWSKI; DAVID MASLOWSKI; MARIA ZAKRZEWSKI; JOHN VIGIL; TERRY SUNDERLIN; REBECCA SUNDERLIN; ERICA NEAL; ROBERT PENA; CLIFFORD KNUDSON; KATHLEEN BURTON; THOMAS BURTON; LARRY PRICE; DANIEL FLOREZ; KRISTIN FLOREZ; MAREN COMFORT, individually and as parent and natural guardian of J.C.1 and J.C.2, minor children; JEFFERY COMFORT; JOHN MOORE; GLENNA MOORE; MARTHA KRIETEMEYER; DANIEL KLOBERDANZ; DEBORAH KLOBERDANZ; IVAN ENGLEMAN; SHARON OSTERTAG; KEVIN DANIELS, SR.; LORRAINE BALCK; ANGEL WILMORE, individually and as parent and natural guardian of D.W., T.O. and N.W., minor children; BENJAMIN WILMORE; ATHEL BLUEBIRD; TIMOTHY CLUBB; DENNIS CROW; THOMAS HOCHBERG; MARIE ENGLEMAN; JUSTINE HANNEMAN; JOSE SANTIAGO; and KATHY COLEMAN, Plaintiffs,
THE 3M COMPANY, f/k/a Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, Co.; TYCO FIRE PRODUCTS, L.P., successor in interest to The Ansul Company; BUCKEYE FIRE EQUIPMENT CO.; CHEMGUARD; NATIONAL FOAM, INC.; KIDDE FIRE FIGHTING, INC., f/k/a Chubb National Foam, Inc., f/k/a National Foam, Inc., individually and as successor in interest to National Foam, Inc.; KIDDE PLC, INC., f/k/a Williams U.S. Inc., f/k/a Williams Holdings, Inc., individually and as successor in interest to National Foam, Inc.; KIDDE-FENWAL, INC., individually and as successor in interest to National Foam, Inc.; and UTC FIRE & SECURITY AMERICAS CORPORATION, INC., f/k/a GE Interlogix, Inc., individually and as successor in interest to National Foam, Inc., Defendants.
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
A. BRIMMER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Philip A. Brimmer The Court takes up this matter sua sponte
on plaintiffs' amended complaint [Docket No. 4].
Plaintiffs assert that this Court has subject matter
jurisdiction over this lawsuit pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1332. Docket No. 4 at 11, ¶ 46.
every case and at every stage of the proceeding, a federal
court must satisfy itself as to its own jurisdiction, even if
doing so requires sua sponte action. See Citizens
Concerned for Separation of Church & State v. City &
County of Denver, 628 F.2d 1289, 1297 (10th Cir. 1980).
Absent an assurance that jurisdiction exists, a court may not
proceed in a case. See Cunningham v. BHP Petroleum Great
Britain PLC, 427 F.3d 1238, 1245 (10th Cir. 2005).
Courts are well-advised to raise the issue of jurisdiction on
their own, regardless of parties' apparent acquiescence.
First, it is the Court's duty to do so. Tuck v.
United Servs. Auto. Ass'n, 859 F.2d 842,
844 (10th Cir. 1988). Second, regarding subject matter
jurisdiction, “the consent of the parties is
irrelevant, principles of estoppel do not apply, and a party
does not waive the requirement by failing to challenge
jurisdiction.” Ins. Corp. of Ireland v. Compagnie
des Bauxites de Guinee, 456 U.S. 694, 702 (1982)
(internal citations omitted). Finally, delay in addressing
the issue only compounds the problem if, despite much time
and expense having been dedicated to the case, a lack of
jurisdiction causes it to be dismissed. See U.S. Fire
Ins. Co. v. Pinkard Constr. Co., No.
09-cv-00491-PAB-MJW, 2009 WL 2338116, at *3 (D. Colo. July
party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden of
establishing such jurisdiction as a threshold matter.”
Radil v. Sanborn W. Camps, Inc., 384 F.3d 1220, 1224
(10th Cir. 2004). Plaintiffs assert that this Court has
diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Pursuant
to that section, “district courts shall have original
jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter 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). The facts
presently alleged are insufficient to establish
state that defendant The 3M Company is, “upon
information and belief, an American multinational corporation
based in Maplewood, Minnesota and incorporated in
Delaware.” Docket No. 4 at 42, ¶ 208. They further
assert that defendant Tyco Fire Products, L.P.
(“Tyco”) (1) “is a Delaware corporation
having a principal place of business” in Wisconsin, (2)
“was incorporated as a limited partnership on December
15, 2000, ” and (3) has one general partner - Fire
Products GP Holding, Inc. - that “is a New Jersey
corporation having its principal place of business” in
New Jersey. Id. at 42-43, ¶¶ 211-12. These
allegations are insufficient to establish defendants'
citizenship for two reasons. First, the Court reads
plaintiffs' averment “upon information and
belief” to mean that plaintiffs do not have affirmative
knowledge of The 3M Company's citizenship. Such
unsupported allegations do not confer subject matter
jurisdiction over this case. See Yates v.
Portofino Real Estate Props. Co., LLC, No.
08-cv-00324-PAB-MJW, 2009 WL 2588833, at *3 (D. Colo. Aug.
17, 2009) (requiring plaintiff to “address the
citizenship of each of [defendant's] members without
resorting merely to their ‘information and belief'
as to the same”); U.S. Fire Ins. Co., 2009 WL 2338116,
at *3 (interpreting allegations based on “information
and belief” to “mean that plaintiffs have no
affirmative knowledge of a lack of diversity”). Second,
although plaintiffs state that Tyco is a Delaware
corporation, defendant's name and plaintiffs'
subsequent allegations suggest that plaintiffs are incorrect.
Tyco's name ends with “L.P., ” meaning it is
a limited partnership, not a corporation. Plaintiffs' own
allegations that Tyco was created as a limited partnership
and has one general partner appear to confirm this fact. See
Docket No. 4 at 43, ¶ 212. The citizenship of a limited
partnership is determined not by its state of organization,
the location of its principal place of business, or the
citizenship of its general partners, but by the citizenship
of all of its partners, both general and limited. See
Carden v. Arkoma Assocs., 494 U.S. 185,
195-96 (1990). Because plaintiffs have not identified all of
Tyco's partners or the citizenship of those partners, the
Court is presently unable to determine Tyco's
citizenship. Cf. Fifth Third Bank v. Flatrock 3,
LLC, 2010 WL 2998305, at *3 (D.N.J. July 21, 2010)
(concluding that an allegation that “upon information
and belief, the members of [an LLC] are citizens of New
York” was insufficient because plaintiff “failed
to identify or trace the citizenship of each individual
member” of the LLC (internal quotation marks omitted)).
foregoing reasons, plaintiffs' allegations are currently
insufficient to allow the Court to determine the citizenship
of defendants or whether the Court has jurisdiction. See
United States ex rel. General Rock & Sand Corp. v.
Chuska Dev. Corp., 55 F.3d 1491, 1495 (10th Cir. 1995)
(“The party seeking the exercise of jurisdiction in his
favor must allege in his pleading the facts essential to show
jurisdiction.”) (citations and internal quotation marks
omitted). It is therefore ORDERED that, on or before 5:00