United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
D. PETERSON District Judge
a personal injury case in which plaintiff Judy Dilley alleges
that she was injured while horseback riding. Defendants
Holiday Acres Stables, Holiday Acres Properties, Inc., and
Steve Krier owned and operated the horseback riding facility
where Dilley was injured.
courts have an independent obligation to ensure that they do
not exceed the scope of their jurisdiction, and therefore
they must raise and decide jurisdictional questions that the
parties either overlook or elect not to press."
Henderson ex rel. Henderson v. Shinseki, 562 U.S.
428, 434 (2011). Dilley asserts diversity jurisdiction under
28 U.S.C. § 1332. Dkt. 1, ¶ 6. The party invoking
federal jurisdiction-here Dilley-bears the burden of
establishing that jurisdiction is present. Smart v. Local
702 Int'l Bhd. of Elec. Workers, 562 F.3d 798, 803
(7th Cir. 2009). At this point, Dilley has not adequately
alleged a basis from which the court can exercise
jurisdiction over her case. Thus, the court will direct
Dilley to file an amended complaint.
alleges that she is a resident of Bloomington, Illinois. Dkt.
1, ¶ 1. She also alleges that Krier is a resident of
Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Id. ¶ 5. "But
residence may or may not demonstrate citizenship, which
depends on domicile-that is to say, the state in which a
person intends to live over the long run. An allegation of
‘residence' is therefore deficient."
Heinen v. Northrop Grumman Corp., 671 F.3d 669, 670
(7th Cir. 2012). In amending her complaint, Dilley must
allege the citizenship of each individual party (including
herself) by alleging that individual's domicile, not his
or her residence.
Holiday Acres Properties, Inc., Dilley alleges that it
"is a corporation licensed under the laws of
Wisconsin." Dkt. 1, ¶ 4. The court construes this
allegation to mean that Holiday Acres Properties, Inc. is
incorporated under Wisconsin law, rather than just a
corporation that is authorized to do business in this state.
Dilley should clarify this in her amended complaint.
Regardless, a lone allegation about the state of
incorporation is not enough to determine a corporation's
citizenship. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c), Dilley must also
allege Holiday Acres Properties, Inc.'s principal place
it is not clear whether Holiday Acres Stables is a separate
entity or simply the business name for one of the other
defendants. Dilley's complaint suggests that Holiday
Acres Stables is a separate entity. Id. ¶ 2
("Holiday Acres Stables ran a horse back [sic] riding
facility located in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, affiliated with
or owned by Holiday Acres Properties,
Inc."). But if that is true, then Dilley has
failed to allege its citizenship. She does not identify
Holiday Acres Stables's state of incorporation and
principal place of business (if it is a corporation) or the
citizenships of its members (if it is some other type of
company). In amending her complaint, Dilley must confirm
whether she is suing Holiday Acres Stables as a separate
defendant or as a "d/b/a" of one of the existing
defendants. And if Dilley means for Holiday Acres Stables to
be a separate defendant, then she must allege what type of
business it is and the state or states of which it is a
short, the court cannot determine the citizenships of any of
the parties to this suit. Thus, Dilley has not alleged a
basis from which the court can exercise subject matter
jurisdiction over her case. Rather than dismiss the case
outright, the court will afford Dilley an opportunity to
amend her complaint. If Dilley fails to timely amend, or if
she fails to adequately allege a complete diversity of
citizenship, then the court will dismiss this case for lack
of subject matter jurisdiction.
Plaintiff Judy Dilley may have until July 20, 2016, to file
and serve an amended complaint containing good faith
allegations sufficient to establish complete diversity of
citizenship for purposes of determining whether the court has
subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
plaintiff fails to timely amend her complaint, then the court
will dismiss this case for lack of subject matter
 Holiday Acres Properties, Inc.'s
answer suggests that Holiday Acres Stables is not an actual
business entity, Dkt. 8, ¶ 5, and Krier's answer
affirmatively alleges that he was doing business under the