United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING AND ORDER
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Smith, Joanna Mrozek, and Laura Wnuk (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”) have sued David Wilson, Rushike
(“Ike”) Chin, Derrick Chin, Amanda Basdeo, Wilson
Bail Bond LLC, and Rio Neuvo Village (collectively,
“Defendants”) for breach of contract, common law
fraud, and civil conspiracy. Am. Compl. at 3-4, ECF No. 80.
have moved for an Order authorizing alternative service on
Defendants that Plaintiffs not yet successfully served:
Amanda Basdeo and Rio Neuvo Village. ECF Nos. 100, 101, 123.
Plaintiffs have also filed a number of motions relating to
discovery disputes. ECF Nos. 116-122, 124.
reviewing these filings, a threshold issue of subject-matter
jurisdiction became apparent: whether complete diversity
existed in this case. See ECF No. 125. The Court
directed the parties to file briefs addressing the
Court's jurisdiction over the lawsuit. Id.
Plaintiffs filed a response on February 9, 2018. ECF No. 132.
Ike Chin and David Wilson each filed a response on February
21, 2018. ECF Nos. 133, 134. On February 26, 2018, Plaintiffs
filed a motion to dismiss the Complaint against Derrick Chin.
ECF No. 135.
reasons discussed below, the Court lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction because the parties are not completely diverse.
The case therefore is DISMISSED, and
Plaintiffs' pending motions are
DISMISSED as moot.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Smith, Joanna Mrozek, and Laura Wnuk are all citizens of
Connecticut. Am. Compl. at 3-4.
Wilson resides in Jamaica and has a Bridgeport, Connecticut
mailing address. Id. at 3. Plaintiffs allege that he
is a co-owner and tenant in common of the land at issue in
this lawsuit: Lot D, Spring Valley, Saint Mary, Jamaica.
Id. He also is allegedly the part-owner and manager
of Rio Nuevo Village. Id.
Chin resides in Easton, Connecticut, and is allegedly a
business partner in Rio Nuevo Village. Id. Ike's
brother, Derrick Chin, resides in Torington, Connecticut, and
also is allegedly a business partner in Rio Nuevo Village.
Id. at 3-4. David Wilson is allegedly the cousin of
Ike and Derrick Chin, and all three are allegedly business
partners. Id. at 9-10. Ike and Derrick are allegedly
investors/owners in David's commercial property
development enterprise in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica.
Basdeo resides in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and is the Museum
Curator at Rio Nuevo Village Great House Museum. Id.
Bail Bond LLC is a business located in Easton, Connecticut.
Nuevo Village is a business located at Lot D, Spring Valley,
Saint Mary, Jamaica. Id.
2011, Ike Chin allegedly approached Ms. Mrozek with an
investment opportunity: she could purchase a two- or
three-acre parcel of beachfront property at a discounted
price in Jamaica. Id. at 4. Ike Chin allegedly told
Ms. Mrozek that his business partner and cousin, David
Wilson, had a right of first refusal on the property that
would soon expire. Id. at 5. The land would be
adjacent to David Wilson's 26.75 acre property in Jamaica
known as Rio Nuevo Village. Id.
claim that they spoke to Ike Chin about the opportunity over
the phone on July 27, 2011, and spoke to David Wilson about
the opportunity in August 2011. Id. at 4-5. They
allegedly “entered into verbal and written agreements
that plaintiffs were to receive, as collateral for their $60,
000, a land title for two (2) acres of defendant David
Wilson's currently held 26.75 acre land in
Jamaica.” Id. at 5.
August 15, 2011, Plaintiffs allegedly met with Ike Chin at
their house and signed a “Real Estate and Business
Contract.” Id. at 5. The contract allegedly
represented “the ‘buyers' as (among others)
plaintiffs Dwight Smith, Laura Wnuk and Joanna Mrozek,
” and the “‘sellers' as Ike Chin, David
Wilson and Derrick Chin.” Id. Plaintiffs claim
that, on that day, Ike “informed plaintiffs of his
failure to forward the plaintiffs['] $60, 000 to
defendant David Wilson within the requisite time required
and, thus, the opportunities for the discussed ‘right
of first refusal' were forfeited.” Id. at
also claim that, on August 17 or 18, 2011, they discussed the
forfeited right of first refusal with David Wilson, and
discussed the possibility of purchasing the land at an
auction scheduled for August 28, 2011. Id. at 6. Mr.
Wilson allegedly ...