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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
FORT WAYNE DIVISION
CITY OF WARSAW, INDIANA,
CAUSE NO. 1:13-CV-274
OPINION AND ORDER
This case was filed in this Court on September 20, 2013, based on diversity jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). (Dkt #1.) The complaint alleges that Plaintiff City of Warsaw,
Indiana is “organized under the laws of the State of Indiana and is located in Kosciusko County”
and that “Defendant Governmental Interinsurance Exchange is an Illinois reciprocal insurance
company with its principal place of business in Bloomington, Illinois.” (Compl. ¶¶ 2, 3.)
The complaint is inadequate. As the party seeking to invoke federal diversity
jurisdiction, Plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating that the requirement of complete
diversity has been met. Chase v. Shop ‘N Save Warehouse Foods, Inc., 110 F.3d 424, 427 (7th
Cir. 1997). Plaintiff has failed to identify how the Defendant is organized; i.e., whether it is a
corporation or an unincorporated association. For purposes of establishing diversity jurisdiction,
a corporation’s citizenship is different than that of an unincorporated association. Thomas v.
Guardsmark, LLC., 487 F.3d 531, 533 (7th Cir. 2007). Corporations “are deemed to be citizens
of the state in which they are incorporated and the state in which they have their principal place
of business.” N. Trust Co. v. Bunge Corp., 899 F.2d 591, 594 (7th Cir. 1990); see 28 U.S.C. §
1332(c)(1). The term “principal place of business” refers to the corporation’s “nerve
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center”—the place where a corporation’s officers direct, control, and coordinate the
corporation’s activities. Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 559 U.S. 77, 92-93 (2010).
Conversely, “if a firm is not incorporated, its citizenship is determined by the citizenship
of its proprietor, partners, members, or other participants.” Wild v. Subscription Plus, Inc., 292
F.3d 526, 528 (7th Cir. 2002). Therefore, if Defendant is an unincorporated association, the
Court must be advised of the citizenship of all the members to ensure that none of its members
share a common citizenship with Plaintiff. Hicklin Eng’g, L.C. v. Bartell, 439 F.3d 346, 347 (7th
Cir. 2006). Moreover, citizenship must be “traced through multiple levels” for those members of
the Defendant who are a partnership or an LLC, as anything less can result in a dismissal or
remand for want of jurisdiction. Mut. Assignment & Indem. Co. v. Lind-Waldock & Co., LLC,
364 F.3d 858, 861 (7th Cir. 2004).
Therefore, Plaintiff is ORDERED to supplement the record by filing an Amended
Complaint reciting the Defendant’s organizational status and stating its citizenship through all
applicable layers of ownership.
Enter for this 20th day of September, 2013.
/S/ Roger B. Cosbey
Roger B. Cosbey,
United States Magistrate Judge