United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
A. BRIMMER, CHIEF JUDGE
Court takes up this matter sua sponte on the
complaint [Docket No. 1]. Plaintiff states that this Court
has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Docket
No. 1 at 1, ¶ 3.
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. 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 the
alleges that she “is a resident of Denver County,
Colorado, ” and that, “[u]pon information and
belief, ” defendant “is a foreign corporation
organized under the laws of Illinois.” Docket No.1 at
1, ¶¶ 1-2. These allegations are insufficient to
establish diversity jurisdiction. First, domicile, not
residency or mailing address, is determinative of
citizenship. Whitelock v. Leatherman, 460 F.2d 507,
514 (10th Cir. 1972) (“[A]llegations of mere
‘residence' may not be equated with
‘citizenship' for the purposes of establishing
diversity.”); see also Mississippi Band of Choctaw
Indians v. Holyfield, 490 U.S. 30, 48 (1989)
(“‘Domicile' is not necessarily synonymous
with ‘residence,' and one can reside in one place
but be domiciled in another.” (citations omitted)).
Accordingly, the fact that plaintiff is a
“resident” of Colorado does not establish that
she is a citizen of the state for purposes of diversity
a corporation is deemed a citizen of both the state in which
it is incorporated and the state in which it has its
principal place of business. 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1).
Because plaintiff only alleges defendant's state of
incorporation, her allegations are insufficient to show that
the parties are completely diverse.
plaintiff alleges defendant's citizenship “[u]pon
information and belief.” Docket No. 1 at 1, ¶ 2.
The Court reads this averment to mean that plaintiff does not
have affirmative knowledge of the facts bearing on
defendant'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 (finding allegations based on
“information and belief” insufficient to confer
subject matter jurisdiction).
plaintiff's allegations are presently insufficient to
allow the Court to determine the citizenship of the parties
and 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.” (internal quotation marks omitted)), it
that, on or before 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 22,
2019, plaintiff shall show cause why this case
should not be dismissed due to the ...