United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
A. BRIMMER Chief United States District Judge.
Court takes up this matter sua sponte on defendant
The Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Company's Notice
of Removal [Docket No. 1]. Defendant asserts the Court has
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Docket No. 1 at 4,
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). Defendant asserts the 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). “For
purposes of federal diversity jurisdiction, an
individual's state citizenship is equivalent to
domicile.” Smith v. Cummings, 445 F.3d 1254,
1259 (10th Cir. 2006). “To establish domicile in a
particular state, a person must be physically present in the
state and intend to remain there.” Id. at
facts presently alleged are insufficient to establish
plaintiff's citizenship. Defendant alleges plaintiff is a
citizen of the state of Colorado because plaintiff “is
a fulltime Colorado resident with the intent to remain in
Colorado.” Docket No. 1 at 2, ¶ 4. Defendant
supports this contention by referring to plaintiff's
state court complaint, in which plaintiff alleges he owns
property in Colorado and he “was a resident of El Paso
County” at all times relevant to this case. Docket No.
1-1 at 2, ¶¶ 2-3.
defendant alleges plaintiff is a citizen of Colorado, the
citations to the state court complaint do not allow the Court
to infer plaintiff's citizenship. Domicile, not residency
or mailing address, is determinative of citizenship for
purposes of establishing diversity. 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)). Nor does property ownership alone conclusively
demonstrate a person's domicile. See Middleton v.
Stephenson, 749 F.3d 1197, 1200-01 (10th Cir. 2014)
(stating that courts should “consider the totality of
the circumstances” to determine a party's
domicile); 13E Charles Alan Wright et al., Federal
Practice & Procedure § 3612 (3d ed.) (noting that
citizenship inquiry “must be done on a case by case
basis” and that “[n]o single factor is
foregoing reasons, the allegations are presently insufficient
to allow the Court to determine the citizenship of plaintiff
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)).
Wherefore, it is
that, on or before April 25, 2019, defendant
shall show cause why this case should not be remanded to
state court due to the ...