United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON SUBJECT MATTER
CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
action comes before the Court as a breach of contract
dispute, filed by Plaintiff Prestige Capital Corp
("Prestige" or "Plaintiff") against
Defendant Colt's Manufacturing Company, LLC ("Colt,
" "Defendant, " or "Third Party
Plaintiff"). Presently, discovery deadlines in this
matter are stayed, pursuant to this Court's Order of
November 1, 2017. Pending is Plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgement [Doc. 29]. Defendant Colt has filed a Third
Party Complaint [Doc. 26] against Third Party Defendant
Chazkat, LLC d/b/a Bold Ideas ("Bold Ideas" or
"Third Party Defendant"). Bold Ideas has made no
appearance in this matter, and its default was entered by the
Clerk on September 5, 2017, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
the Complaint [Doc. 1], the Answer and Third Party Complaint
[Doc. 12], and the Report of Rule 26(f) Planning Meeting
[Doc. 26], the Court finds that the Parties have failed to
allege sufficient facts from which this Court may determine
the citizenship of the parties for purposes of diversity of
of how the parties conduct their case, the courts have an
independent obligation to ensure that federal jurisdiction is
not extended beyond its proper limits." Wight v.
BankAmerica Corp., 219 F.3d 79, 90 (2d Cir. 2000). The
Court thus has the obligation to determine sua
sponte whether federal subject matter jurisdiction is
present. Therefore, as set forth infra, the Court
must ascertain whether subject matter jurisdiction exists or
this case should be dismissed for lack thereof. It thus
follows that the Parties must make additional submissions so
the Court may consider the existence vel non of its
subject matter jurisdiction.
the exclusively state law claims asserted by Plaintiff, there
is no basis upon which this Court may assert "federal
question" subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1331.Conceptually, diversity of citizenship is
an alternative jurisdictional basis. However, as set forth
below, Plaintiff has failed to plead sufficient facts to
demonstrate "diversity of citizenship" subject
matter jurisdiction, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
before the Court may allow this action to proceed, it must
determine whether it has "diversity of citizenship"
subject matter jurisdiction. To do so, the Court requires
additional facts regarding the citizenship of Defendant Colt,
a limited liability company.
this opinion will address some present procedural and
jurisdictional uncertainty regarding the Third-Party
Complaint and direct Colt to make certain filings if it
wishes to maintain that impleader action.
SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION OF THE FEDERAL DISTRICT
district courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, under
Article III, Section 2, of the United States Constitution.
See, e.g., Chicot Cnty. Drainage Dist. Baxter State
Bank, 308 U.S. 371, 376 (1940), reh'g
denied, 309 U.S. 695 (1940). The question of subject
matter jurisdiction is fundamental so that a court must raise
the issue sua sponte, of its own accord, when the
issue is not addressed by the parties. Mansfield, C. &
L.M. Ry. Co. v. Swan, 111 U.S. 379, 382 (1884). See
also Joseph v. Leavitt, 465 F.3d 87, 89 (2d Cir. 2006)
("Although neither party has suggested that we lack
appellate jurisdiction, we have an independent obligation to
consider the presence or absence of subject matter
jurisdiction sua sponte."), cert.
denied, 549 U.S. 1282 (2007); Univ. of S. Alabama v.
Am. Tobacco Co., 168 F.3d 405, 410 (11th Cir. 1999)
("[I]t is well settled that a federal court is obligated
to inquire into subject matter jurisdiction sua
sponte whenever it may be lacking").
general, a federal district court may exercise subject matter
jurisdiction over an action only if there is either: (1)
"federal question" jurisdiction, applicable to
"all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws,
or treaties of the United States, " 28 U.S.C. §
1331; or (2) there exists "diversity of citizenship,
" complete diversity of citizenship between the
plaintiff and all defendants and the amount in controversy
exceeds "the sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive of
interest and costs, " 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). See
also Strawbridge v. Curtiss, 7 U.S. 267, 267-68 (1806);
Da Silva v. Kinsho Int'l Corp., 229 F.3d 358,
363 (2d Cir. 2000) (delineating two categories of subject
personal jurisdiction, "failure of subject matter
jurisdiction is not waivable." Lyndonville Sav. Bank
& Trust Co. v. Lussier, 211 F.3d 697, 700 (2d Cir.
2000). If subject matter jurisdiction is lacking, the action
must be dismissed. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3). 211
F.3d at 700-01. See also, e.g., Cortlandt St. Recovery
Corp. v. Hellas Telecomms., S.À.R.L., 790 F.3d
411, 416-17 (2d Cir. 2015) ("A district court properly
dismisses an action . . . for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction if the court lacks the statutory or
constitutional power to adjudicate it . . . .") (quoting
Makarova v. United States, 201 F.3d 110, 113 (2d
Cir. 2000)); Manway Constr. Co. v. Housing Auth. of
Hartford, 711 F.2d 501, 503 (2d Cir. 1983) ("It is
common ground that in our federal system of limited
jurisdiction any party or the court sua sponte, at
any stage of the proceedings, may raise the question of
whether the court has subject matter jurisdiction; and, if it
does not, dismissal is mandatory.").
order for diversity of citizenship to exist, the
plaintiff's citizenship must be diverse from that of all
defendants. See, e.g., St. Paul Fire and Marine
Ins. Co. v. Universal Builders Supply, 409 F.3d 73, 80
(2d Cir. 2005) ("Diversity is not complete if any
plaintiff is a citizen of the same state as any
defendant.") (citing Owen Equip. & Erection Co. v.
Kroger, 437 U.S. 365, 373-74 (1978)). Moreover, such
diversity "must exist at the time the action is
commenced." Universal Licensing Corp. v. Lungo,
293 F.3d 579, 581 (2d Cir. 2002). See also Wolde-Meskel
v. Vocational Instruction Project Comm. Servs.,
Inc., 166 F.3d 59, 62 (2d Cir.1999) ("Satisfaction
of the § 1332(a) diversity requirements (amount in
controversy and citizenship) is determined as of the date
that suit is filed - the 'time-of-filing'
case at bar, upon review of the Complaint it appears that the
only potential basis for subject matter jurisdiction is
diversity of citizenship, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). In other
words, there are no claims arising pursuant to federal
statute or the United States Constitution. In order for
diversity of citizenship to exist as to the Complaint,
Plaintiff Prestige must not share citizenship in any state
with Defendant Colt. Absent the showing of such complete
diversity, this Court may not exercise subject matter
jurisdiction over this matter.