United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
HUNTCOLE, LLC AND 4-WAY ELECTRIC CO., INC. PLAINTIFFS
4-WAY ELECTRIC SERVICES, LLC DEFENDANT
ORDER REMANDING CASE
M. Brown UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is United States Magistrate Judge Jane M.
Virden's Amended Report and Recommendation recommending
that this case be remanded for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. Doc. #31.
5, 2017, Huntcole, LLC and 4-Way Electric Co. filed an action
for declaratory judgment, eviction, and injunction against
4-Way Electric Services in the County Court of Leflore
County, Mississippi. Doc. #2. The complaint alleges that
Huntcole is a Mississippi LLC with its principal place of
business in Mississippi and that 4-Way Electric Co. is a
Mississippi corporation with its principal place of business
also in Mississippi. Id. at ¶¶ 2-3. The
complaint further alleges that 4-Way Electric Services is a
Delaware LLC with its principal place of business in Texas.
Id. at ¶ 4. On May 15, 2017, 4-Way Electric
Services removed the action to this Court, invoking diversity
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1), based
on the citizenship of the parties as alleged in the
complaint. Doc. #1.
a telephonic case management conference on July 20, 2017,
Judge Virden notified 4-Way Electric Services that its
removal notice did not provide an adequate basis for
diversity jurisdiction and allowed it the opportunity to
amend. Doc. #11. 4-Way Electric Services timely filed an
amended notice of removal on August 2, 2017. Doc. # 12.
amended notice, 4-Way Electric Services, in an effort to cure
its deficient jurisdictional allegations, represents that it
is wholly owned by VPG Transformers Group, LLC (a Delaware
LLC with its principal place of business in Delaware); that
VPG Transformers Group is wholly owned by VPG Group Holdings,
LLC (a Delaware LLC with its principal place of business in
Delaware); and that VPG Group Holdings has four members: (1)
VPG Group Resources, LLC (a Texas LLC with its principal
place of business in Texas), (2) Insight Equity (VPG) Mezz
Debt, LLC (a Delaware LLC with its principal place of
business in Delaware), (3) Race Street Funding, LLC (a
Delaware LLC with its principal place of business in
Pennsylvania), and (4) VGH Private Investors, LLC (a Delaware
LLC with its principal place of business in Ohio).
Id. at ¶ 8. In addition, 4-Way Electric
Services attached as an exhibit to the amended notice
information regarding the citizenship of the members of each
entity. Doc. #12-1. Notably, in its amended notice of
removal, 4-Way Electric Services fails to identify, among
other things, the limited partners of VPG Group Resources and
the limited partners of Insight Equity (VPG) Mezz Debt.
See id. During a telephonic status conference on
August 4, 2017, Judge Virden informed the parties that she
would reserve judgment on the amended notice of removal and
provided the parties time to brief the issue of diversity
jurisdiction. Doc. #15.
Electric Services timely filed a brief in support of its
amended removal notice on August 18, 2017. Doc. #16. The
plaintiffs responded on August 24, 2017, Doc. #17; and 4-Way
Electric Services replied on September 1, 2017, Doc. #18. On
September 13, 2017, Judge Virden issued a Report and
Recommendation (“Original R&R”) recommending
the case be dismissed for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. Doc. #19. 4-Way Electric Services filed
objections to the Original R&R on September 27, 2017,
arguing that (1) pursuant to Lincoln Benefit Life Co. v.
AEI Life, LLC, 800 F.3d 99 (3d Cir. 2015), it
is not required to affirmatively allege the citizenship of
each of its members; and (2) under Corfield v. Dallas
Glen Hills LP, 355 F.3d 853 (5th Cir. 2003), the Court
may disregard as not real parties in interest the citizenship
of the limited members 4-Way Electric Services cannot
affirmatively allege. Doc. #25. The plaintiffs filed a
response to the objections on September 28, 2017, Doc. #26;
and 4-Way Electric Services replied on October 3, 2017, Doc.
December 13, 2017, Judge Virden issued an Amended Report and
Recommendation (“Amended R&R”) recommending
that this case be remanded for 4-Way Electric Services'
failure to establish diversity jurisdiction. Doc. #31. No.
party filed objections to the Amended R&R.
Standard of Review
objections to a report and recommendation have been filed, a
court must conduct a “de novo review of those
portions of the … report and recommendation to which
the Defendants specifically raised objections. With respect
to those portions of the report and recommendation to which
no objections were raised, the Court need only satisfy itself
that there is no plain error on the face of the
record.” Gauthier v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., 644
F.Supp.2d 824, 828 (E.D. Tex. 2009) (citing Douglass v.
United Servs. Auto. Ass'n, 79 F.3d 1415, 1428-29
(5th Cir. 1996), superseded on other grounds by
statute, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)) (internal citations
neither party filed objections to the Amended R&R, the
Court's review of the Amended R&R is limited to plain
error. In the Amended R&R, Judge Virden recommends
remanding this case for lack of jurisdiction because 4-Way
Electric Services failed to disclose the citizenship of all
of its limited partners. Doc. #31 at 7-8. Under binding
United States Supreme Court precedent, the citizenship of a
limited partnership “depends on the citizenship of all
the members.” Carden v. Arkoma Assocs., 494
U.S. 185, 195 (1990) (internal quotation marks omitted).
Accordingly, the Court finds no plain error, and the Amended
R&R will be adopted.
reviewed the Amended Report and Recommendation and finding no
error, the Amended Report and Recommendation  is
ADOPTED. This case is
REMANDED to ...