United States District Court, D. Colorado
CERTAIN UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYD'S, LONDON SUBSCRIBING TO POLICY NO. LL024CO0300942, Plaintiff,
PATRICIA WOODY, SCOTT WOODY, ZACHARY WOODY, JEROME HOWARD, JUNIOR, and TAMIKA HOWARD, Defendants.
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
A. Brimmer, United States District Judge.
Court takes up this matter sua sponte on the
Complaint for Declaratory Judgment [Docket No. 1]. Plaintiff
states that the Court has subject matter jurisdiction over
this lawsuit pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Docket No.
1 at 1-2, ¶ 1.
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). Plaintiff asserts that this Court has
diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).
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 plaintiff's citizenship.
complaint states that “Plaintiff Underwriters is
domiciled in London, England and maintains its principal
place of business at 1 Lime Street, London, England EC3M
7HA.” Docket No. 1 at 2, ¶ 3. The assertion that
plaintiff is a distinct entity is almost certainly incorrect.
As the Eleventh Circuit has explained
[t]he Society of Lloyd's, London, is not an insurance
company, but rather a British organization that provides
infrastructure for the international insurance market. . . .
Lloyd's itself does not insure any risk. Individual
underwriters, known as “Names” or “members,
” assume the risk of the insurance loss. Names can be
people or corporations; they sign up for certain percentages
of various risks across several policies. . . . Critical to
the diversity jurisdiction question, Names are not only
British citizens, but may be of many nationalities.
Lloyd's Act, 1982, c.14, pmbl. (5).
Underwriters at Lloyd's, London v.
Osting-Schwinn, 613 F.3d 1079, 1083 (11th Cir. 2010).
The fact that the Names, not some entity known as
“Lloyd's, ” underwrite the risk for a given
insurance policy is reflected in the caption: “Certain
Underwriters at Lloyd's, London Subscribing to Policy No.
LL024CO0300942.” The complaint does not identify what
syndicates act as underwriters for the policy at issue in
this case, but as noted in Osting-Schwinn
Names underwrite insurance through administrative entities
called syndicates, which cumulatively assume the risk of a
particular policy. . . . The syndicates are not incorporated
. . . . As mere administrative structures, the syndicates
themselves bear no risk on the policies that they underwrite;
the constituent Names assume individual percentages of
Id. However, assuming that the Names did underwrite
the policy through syndicates, each syndicate would at most
be considered an unincorporated association that “must
prove the citizenship of each of [its]
members.” Id. at 1086; see also Indiana
Gas Co., Inc. v. Home Ins. Co., 141 F.3d 314,
317 (7th Cir. 1998); E.R. Squibb & Sons, Inc. v.
Accident & Cas. Ins. Co., 160 F.3d 925, 931 (2d Cir.
1998). But see Certain Interested Underwriters
at Lloyd's, London, England v. Layne, 26 F.3d 39,
43-44 (6th Cir. 1994) (concluding that only lead underwriters
suing in a representative capacity need to plead their
citizenship for diversity purposes). Because the named plaintiff
is not a recognizable entity with its own citizenship and
because the complaint does not list the identity or the
citizenship of the Names who underwrote the policy at issue
in this case, the Court is unable to determine the
citizenship of plaintiff and, as a result, is unable to
determine whether the Court has jurisdiction. Therefore, it is
that, on or before 5:00 p.m. on February 22,
2019, plaintiff shall show cause why this case
should not be dismissed due to the Court's lack of
subject matter jurisdiction.
 A limited liability company is treated
similarly; its citizenship is determined not by its state of
organization or principal place of business, but by the
citizenship of all of its members. See Siloam Springs
Hotel, LLC v. Century Sur. Co., 781 F.3d 1233, 1237-38
(10th Cir. 2015).
 In Society of Lloyd's v.
Reinhart,402 F.3d 982, 1002 (10th Cir. 2005), the Tenth
Circuit concluded that the Society of Lloyd's is a
corporation under the laws of England. However, the party in
that case was the incorporated entity that oversees the
Lloyd's insurance marketplace, not the individual
underwriters. See Montgomery v. ...