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Huntcole, LLC v. 4-Way Electric Services, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division

December 13, 2017

HUNTCOLE, LLC. AND 4-WAY ELECTRIC CO., INC. PLAINTIFFS
v.
4-WAY ELECTRIC SERVICES, LLC. DEFENDANT

          AMENDED REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JANE M. VIRDEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter is before the court, sua sponte, recommending this case for remand for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.[1] The parties having fully briefed the issue, the Court is prepared to offer the following:

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs, Huntcole, LLC and 4-Way Electric Co., Inc. (“4-Way Electric”) filed this action for declaratory judgment, eviction, and injunction on May 15, 2017, in state court against 4-Way Electric Services, LLC (“4-Way Services”). The complaint alleges that: 4-Way Electric is a Mississippi corporation with a principal place of business in Mississippi, Huntcole, LLC is a Mississippi limited liability company with a principal place of business in Mississippi, and defendant 4-WayServices is a Delaware limited liability company, registered to do business in the State of Mississippi, with a principal place of business in Texas.

         Also on May 15, 2017, defendant 4-WayServices removed the case to this court based on diversity of citizenship and an amount in controversy exceeding $75, 000 pursuant- to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The notice of removal asserts that plaintiff Huntcole, LLC is in Mississippi limited liability company with a principal place of business in Mississippi; plaintiff Four-Way Electric Company, Inc. is a Mississippi corporation with principal place of business in Mississippi; and defendant 4-WayServices, LLC. is a Delaware limited liability company with a principal place of business in Texas.

         On June 23, 2017, defendant submitted its corporate statement wherein defendant disclosed that 4-WayServices is wholly owned by parent limited liability company VPG Transformations Group, LLC., a Delaware limited liability company. The Court then notified defense counsel, during the Telephonic Case Management Conference [11] held July 20, 2017, that its removal was deficit as it did not provide an adequate basis for diversity jurisdiction- as the disclosure of citizenship was incomplete. The court also directed defense counsel to amend the notice of removal to adequately state a basis for diversity jurisdiction by August 2, 2017. The court further advised counsel that failure to do so would result in the court's recommendation of remand for lack of jurisdiction.

         Defendant filed an amended Notice of Removal [12] on August 2, 2017. Of relevance here, 4-Way Services, LLC. alleged:

Defendant 4-Way Electric Services, LLC is, and was at the time this lawsuit was filed, a Delaware limited liability company with its principal place of business in Southlake, Texas, and whose sole members is VPG Transformers Group, LLC. VPG Transformers Group, LLC is a Delaware limited liability company whose principal place of business is Delaware and whose sole member is VPG Group Holdings, LLC. VPG Group Holdings, LLC is a Delaware limited liability company whose principal place of business is in Delaware. VPG Group Holdings, LLC's four members are: 1) VPG Group Resources, LLC, a Texas limited liability company whose principal place of business is in Southlake, Texas; 2) Insight Equity (VPG) Mezz Debt, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company whose principal place of business is in Delaware; 3) Race Street Funding LLC, a Delaware limited liability company whose principal place of business is in Pennsylvania; and 4) VGH Private Investors, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company whose principal place of business is in Ohio. Attached hereto as Exhibit “A, ” which is hereby incorporated by reference, is an organizational breakdown of the ownership interests of Defendant 4-Way Electric Services, LLC.

         Amended Notice of Removal at [12]-8 (emphasis added).

         Exhibit A reflects:

Schedule A: Members of VPG Group Resources, LLC
• Member 1: Insight Equity II LP - Delaware Limited Partnership, principal place of business Southlake, Texas o Insight Equity GP II LLC - Delaware LLC, principal place of business Southlake, Texas
■ Insight Equity (CV) II LLC- Delaware LLC, principal place of business Southlake, Texas
• Insight Equity Holding, LLC o Ted Beneski - a natural resident citizen of Texas o Victor Vescovo - a natural resident citizen of Texas □ Member 2: Insight Equity (TE) II LP - Delaware Limited Partnership, principal place of business Southlake, Texas o Insight Equity GP II LLC- Delaware LLC, principal place of business
Southlake, Texas
■ Insight Equity (CV) II LLC- Delaware LLC, principal place of business Southlake, Texas
• Insight Equity Holdings, LLC- Delaware LLC, principal place of business Southlake, Texas o Ted Beneski - a natural resident citizen of Texas o Victor Vescovo - a natural resident citizen of Texas □ Member 3: VPG Blocker Corp. - Delaware Corporation, principal place of business Delaware
• Member 4: Insight equity (AC) II LP - Delaware Limited Partnership, principal place of business Southlake, Texas o Insight Equity (AC) GP II LLC- Delaware LLC, ...

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