Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

VT Halter Marine, Inc. v. EMAS Chiyoda Subsea, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division

May 12, 2017

VT HALTER MARINE, INC. PLAINTIFF
v.
EMAS CHIYODA SUBSEA, INC. f/k/a EMAS-AMC, INC. and EZRA HOLDINGS LIMITED DEFENDANTS

          ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT FOR LACK OF SUBJECT-MATTER JURISDICTION

          HALIL SULEYMAN OZERDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court sua sponte. The Court has a continuing duty to examine subject-matter jurisdiction and is required to dismiss any action over which it lacks jurisdiction. Insurance Corp. of Ireland, Ltd. v. Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee, 456 U.S. 694, 702 (1982); Warren v. United States, 874 F.2d 280, 281-82 (5th Cir. 1989); Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3). For the reasons that follow, the Court finds that this case should be dismissed without prejudice for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

         I. DISCUSSION

         Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having subject-matter jurisdiction only over those matters specifically designated by the Constitution or Congress. Halmekangas v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 603 F.3d 290, 292 (5th Cir. 2010) (citing Epps v. Bexar-Medina-Atascosa Counties Water Improvement Dist. No. 1, 665 F.2d 594, 595 (5th Cir. 1982)). Courts “must presume that a suit lies outside this limited jurisdiction, and the burden of establishing federal jurisdiction rests on the party seeking the federal forum.” Howery v. Allstate Ins. Co., 243 F.3d 912, 916 (5th Cir. 2001).

         A court must dismiss a case sua sponte if subject-matter jurisdiction is lacking pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12, even if not raised by the parties. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3) (“If the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.”); see also Bridgmon v. Array Systems Corp., 325 F.3d 572, 575 (5th Cir. 2003) (noting that it is a district court's duty to consider this issue sua sponte even when the parties have not raised it).

         Plaintiff VT Halter Marine, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) filed this lawsuit on February 27, 2017, on the basis of diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, which provides that

[t]he district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and costs, and is between --
(1) citizens of different States;
(2) citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state, except that the district courts shall not have original jurisdiction under this subsection of an action between citizens of a State and citizens or subjects of a foreign state who are lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States and are domiciled in the same State;
(3) citizens of different States and in which citizens or subjects of a foreign state are additional parties; and
(4) a foreign state, defined in section 1603(a) of this title, as plaintiff and citizens of a State or of different States.

28 U.S.C. § 1332(a).

         The Complaint [1] named two Defendants, EMAS Chiyoda Subsea, Inc. f/k/a EMAS-AMC, Inc. (“EMAS”) and Ezra Holdings Limited (“Ezra”). Compl. [1] at 1. Plaintiff states that it is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Mississippi, making it a citizen of both Delaware and Mississippi for diversity jurisdiction purposes. Id.; see also Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 559 U.S. 77, 80 (2010). The Complaint [1] alleges that Defendant EMAS is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Texas, and that Defendant Ezra is a Singapore limited liability company. Compl. [1] at 1. Because Plaintiff and EMAS are both citizens of Delaware, complete diversity of citizenship is lacking. See McLaughlin v. Miss. Power Co., 376 F.3d 344, 353 (5th Cir. 2004) (“[C]omplete diversity requires that all persons on one side of the controversy be citizens of different states than all persons on the other side.”) (quotation omitted).

         The presence of Ezra as a foreign citizen is not enough to create diversity jurisdiction in this scenario, because 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(3) confers jurisdiction only when a citizen of one state sues both a foreign citizen and a citizen of a state that is different from the plaintiff's. Newman-Green, Inc. v. Alfonzo-Larrain, 490 U.S. 826, 828 (1989). Nor do any federal claims appear on the face of the Complaint [1]. See 28 U.S.C. ยง 1331. Accordingly, the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.