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 the
Complaint and Jury Demand [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
2, ¶ 7.
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 the citizenship of defendant Grain Train Express,
LLC (“Grain Train”).
states that Grain Train “is a corporation domiciled and
residing within the State of Iowa.” Docket No. 1 at 1,
¶ 2. However, the caption of the case describes Grain
Train as an “Iowa Limited Liability Company, ”
and Grain Train's business name ends with the term
“LLC.” Docket No. 1 at 1. Unlike a corporation whose
citizenship is based on its state of incorporation and
principal place of business, the citizenship of a limited
liability company is determined 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 determining the citizenship of an unincorporated
association for purposes of diversity, federal courts must
include all the entities' members.”). Because the
complaint does not identify Grain Train's members or the
citizenship of those members, the Court is unable to
determine Grain Train's citizenship and whether the Court
has jurisdiction. 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)).
It is therefore
that, on or before 5:00 p.m. on May
3, 2019, plaintiff shall show cause why this case
should not be dismissed due to the Court's lack of
subject matter jurisdiction.
 In its answer, Grain Train
“admits it is a corporation, incorporated in and in
good standing in the state of Iowa.” Docket No. 10 at
1, ¶ 2. However, Grain Train's admission is
inconsistent with its business name and identity in the case
caption. See Docket No. 1 at 1. Parties may not
create subject-matter jurisdiction by ...