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 Notice
of Removal [Docket No. 1] of defendant Continental Western
Insurance Company (“Continental Western”).
Continental Western states that this Court has jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Docket No. 1 at 2, ¶
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). Continental Western asserts that this Court
has diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
Pursuant to that section, “district courts shall hav e
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 citizenship of plaintiff and co-defendant.
Continental Western alleges that, “[a]t the time of the
incident, Plaintiff was a resident of the State of
Colorado.” Docket No. 1 at 3, ¶ 3. This allegation
is deficient. 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)). Thus, that plaintiff is a resident of Colorado
does not establish that he is a citizen of Colorado for
purposes of diversity jurisdiction.
Continental Western's allegations regarding co-defendant
Safeco Insurance Company of America (“Safeco”)
are ambiguous. Although Continental Western attaches a
Colorado Secretary of State summary showing that Safeco is a
New Hampshire corporation with its principal place of
business in Massachusetts, Docket No. 1-4, the Notice of
Removal describes co-defendant as “Safeco Trust.”
Docket No. 1 at 3, ¶ 3. There are no allegations
regarding the citizenship of Safeco Trust. Continental
Western should clarify the citizenship of Safeco in its
response to this order.
defendant's allegations are presently insufficient to
allow the Court to determine the parties' citizenship or
whether the Court has subject matter 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
is ORDERED that, on or before
Monday, October 28, 2019, ...