United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE ON
JURISDICTION AND DENYING MOTION FOR ENTRY OF CONSENT
Waddoups United States District Judge
Commercial Credit Group Inc. (“CCG”) has filed a
complaint asserting the court has diversity jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). (See ECF No. 2
at ¶ 7.) The complaint, however, contains two
deficiencies with respect to CCG's jurisdictional
allegations, such that the court cannot determine whether it
in fact has diversity jurisdiction over this action.
court “must, sua sponte, satisfy itself of its power to
adjudicate in every case and at every stage of the
proceedings.” State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v.
Narvaez, 149 F.3d 1269, 1270-71 (10th Cir. 1998)
(quoting Tafoya v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, 748
F.2d 1389, 1390 (10th Cir. 1984)). “[S]ubject-matter
jurisdiction, because it involves a court's power to hear
a case, can never be forfeited or waived.” Arbaugh
v. Y&H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 514 (2006) (quoting
United States v. Cotton, 535 U.S. 625, 630 (2002)).
Consequently, courts “have an independent obligation to
determine whether subject-matter jurisdiction exists, even in
the absence of a challenge from any party.”
Id. (citation omitted). “Congress has
exercised its prerogative to restrict the subject-matter
jurisdiction of federal district courts based on a wide
variety of factors . . . .” Id. at 515 n.11.
Diversity jurisdiction requirements are one such limitation.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a); City of
Indianapolis v. Chase Nat. Bank of City of N.Y., 314
U.S. 63, 77 (1941) (discussing congressional policy behind
diversity jurisdiction requirements, which requires federal
courts to “scrupulously confine their own jurisdiction
to the precise limits which the statute has defined”).
CCG alleges Defendant Baker Hydro-Excavating, Inc. is a
Wyoming corporation. (ECF No. 2 at ¶ 2.) Although CCG
appears to allege the state of incorporation, CCG does not
allege Baker Hydro-Excavating's principal place of
business. “For diversity, a corporation is a citizen of
its state of incorporation and the state where its principal
place of business is located.” Grynberg v. Kinder
Morgan Energy, L.P., 805 F.3d 901, 905 (10th Cir. 2015)
(citations omitted); see 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1)
(“[A] corporation shall be deemed to be a citizen of
every State . . . by which it has been incorporated and of
the State . . . where it has its principal place of
business.”). Both must therefore be pled as to Baker
with respect to natural persons, diversity is also based on
the person's citizenship. CCG pleads the residences of
Defendants Kenny Baker, Kevin Baker, Harold Baker, and Wendy
Gerrard, (ECF No. 2 at ¶¶ 3-6), but such
allegations are insufficient to establish diversity
jurisdiction. “An individual's residence is not
equivalent to his domicile and it is domicile that is
relevant for determining citizenship.” Siloam
Springs, 781 F.3d at 1238 (citing Whitelock v.
Leatherman, 460 F.2d 507, 514 n.14 (10th Cir. 1972)).
Indeed, “an allegation that a party . . . is a resident
of a state is not equivalent to an allegation of citizenship
and is insufficient to confer jurisdiction upon the District
Court.” Id. A person is domiciled in a state
“when the person resides there and intends to remain
there indefinitely.” Middleton v. Stephenson,
749 F.3d 1197, 1200 (10th Cir. 2014). CCG must allege the
domicile or citizenship of each of the individual defendants.
the two deficiencies identified above, CCG has not satisfied
the pleading requirements for diversity jurisdiction in this
case. 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.” (quoting
Penteco Corp. v. Union Gas Sys., Inc., 929 F.2d
1519, 1521 (10th Cir. 1991))). The court therefore ORDERS
CCG, on or before February 2, 2018, to show
cause why the complaint should not be dismissed for lack of
jurisdiction or to amend the complaint to plead properly the
citizenship of the business entity and natural persons joined
in this action. Failure to do so will result in the action
being dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
FOR ENTRY OF CONSENT JUDGMENT
court has also considered CCG's Motion for Entry of
Consent Judgment, (ECF No. 13). Due to evidentiary
deficiencies discussed below and considering the posture of
the case, the court denies the Motion at this time.
CCG alleges in the Motion that the parties have entered into
a Settlement Agreement whereby the Defendants agreed to pay
CCG $1, 657, 450.00 plus interest in weekly payments of $5,
000.00 until paid in full. But CCG did not attach the
Settlement Agreement to its motion. Nor is there any
admissible evidence, as opposed to allegations, that
Defendants have failed to make payments under the Settlement
Agreement or that Defendants' counsel approved the
Consent Judgment attached. Finally, Defendants have not had
an opportunity to appear and respond to the complaint in this
action, and the deadline to do so has not passed.
(See ECF Nos. 8-12 (waivers of service, indicating
that answers are due February 26, 2018).)
the evidentiary deficiencies in the Motion and the procedural
posture of the case, the court DENIES CCG's Motion for
Entry of Consent Judgment against Defendants, (ECF No. 13),
without prejudice to refiling.
 The complaint also alleges federal
question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, but the
court sees no federal question presented on the face of the
complaint. (See generally ECF No. 2.) Therefore, the
court finds its jurisdiction ...