United States District Court, D. Oregon
MICHAEL H. SIMON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Reuben Espiricueta brings this suit against Defendants Todd
Investment Co. dba Dollar Rent-A-Car (“Todd”),
Dollar Rent-A-Car, Inc., Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, DTG
Operations, Inc., Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., and Hertz
Corporation (collectively “Defendants”).
Plaintiff asserts claims for fraud, breach of contract,
negligence, and negligent and intentional infliction of
emotional distress. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure for a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. In the
alternative, Defendants filed a motion for a more definite
statement as to Plaintiff's pleadings for fraud, breach
of contract, and negligence pursuant to Rule 12(e) and a
motion to dismiss Plaintiff's claims for intentional and
negligent infliction of emotional distress for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6). For the reasons that follow, Defendants motion
under Rule 12(b)(1) is granted and this case is dismissed for
a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Because this Court
dismisses the case on jurisdictional grounds, the Court does
not consider Defendants' alternative motions.
alleges in his Complaint that in 2014 he rented a vehicle
from Todd, returned the vehicle without damage, and
Defendants accepted the returned vehicle as having no
damage.Complaint, ECF 1, at ¶¶ 7-9.
Plaintiff asserts that Defendants later changed their
position, determined that the vehicle had damage, and filed a
civil lawsuit against Plaintiff in Oregon state court.
Id. at ¶ 10. According to Plaintiff, Defendants
fraudulently represented before the state court that
Plaintiff was served with process when he was not, and
ultimately obtained a default judgment against Plaintiff.
Id. at ¶¶ 12-13. Plaintiff further claims
that, as a result of that judgment, Defendants filed a
“lien” against Plaintiff's driver's
license, which is preventing Plaintiff from currently
renewing his Oregon driver's license. Id. at
alleges that this Court has subject matter jurisdiction based
on diversity of citizenship pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1332. Plaintiff alleges that he is a citizen of Oregon.
Id., at ¶ 1. Plaintiff further alleges that all
Defendants are citizens of states other than Oregon, and,
specifically, that Todd is a citizen of Washington.
Id. at ¶ 3. Defendants disagree and contend
that Todd is a citizen of Oregon, not Washington.
See ECF 8, Ex. 1.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Gunn v.
Minton, 568 U.S. 251, 256 (2013) (quotation marks
omitted). As such, a court is to presume “that a cause
lies outside this limited jurisdiction, and the burden of
establishing the contrary rests upon the party asserting
jurisdiction.” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co.
of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994) (citations omitted);
see also Robinson v. United States, 586 F.3d 683,
685 (9th Cir. 2009); Safe Air for Everyone v. Meyer,
373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir. 2004). Federal jurisdiction may
be established two ways: through the presence of a federal
question or diversity of citizenship. 28 U.S.C. §§
1331, 1332. Under federal question jurisdiction, federal
courts have jurisdiction over all civil actions
“arising under” the laws of the United States. 28
U.S.C. § 1331. Diversity jurisdiction is established
when a plaintiff is a citizen of one state, all of the
defendants are citizens of other states, and the damages are
more than $75, 000. 28 U.S.C. § 1332. A motion to
dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) for
lack of “subject-matter jurisdiction, because it
involves a court's power to hear a case, can never be
forfeited or waived.” United States v. Cotton,
535 U.S. 625, 630 (2002). The Court must dismiss any case
over which it lacks subject matter jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(h)(3); see also Pistor v. Garcia, 791 F.3d 1104,
1111 (9th Cir. 2015) (noting that when a court lacks
subject-matter jurisdiction, meaning it lacks the statutory
or constitutional power to adjudicate a case, the court must
dismiss the complaint, even sua sponte if
of a pro se complaint receives special dispensation.
A court must liberally construe the filings of a pro
se plaintiff and afford the plaintiff the benefit of any
reasonable doubt. Hebbe v. Pliler, 627 F.3d 338, 342
(9th Cir. 2010). “‘Unless it is absolutely clear
that no amendment can cure the defect, . . . a pro se
litigant is entitled to notice of the complaint's
deficiencies and an opportunity to amend prior to dismissal
of the action.'” Garity v. APWU
Nat'l Labor Org., 828 F.3d 848, 854 (9th Cir.
2016) (alteration in original) (quoting Lucas v.
Dep't of Corrections, 66 F.3d 245, 248 (9th Cir.
1995) (per curiam)). Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
8(a)(2), however, every complaint must contain “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” This standard “does not
require ‘detailed factual allegations, '” but
does demand “more than an unadorned, the
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). “A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'”
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
alleges diversity of citizenship and does not allege any
other basis for this Court's subject matter jurisdiction.
Plaintiff brings only state law claims, and thus the Court
does not have federal question jurisdiction. The Court
therefore considers only whether Plaintiff has met his burden
to establish diversity jurisdiction.
diversity of citizenship, there must be complete diversity,
meaning “each of the plaintiffs must be a citizen of a
different state than each of the defendants.”
Morris v. Princess Cruises, Inc., 236 F.3d 1061,
1067 (9th Cir. 2001) (quoting Caterpillar Inc. v.
Lewis, 519 U.S. 61, 68 (1996)). Plaintiff is a citizen
of Oregon and alleges that each Defendant is a citizen of a
state other than Oregon. Defendants, however, assert that
Plaintiff is incorrect and that Todd is a citizen of Oregon.
defendant factually challenges the plaintiff's assertion
of jurisdiction, a court does not presume the truthfulness of
the plaintiff's allegations and may consider evidence
extrinsic to the complaint. See Terenkian v. Republic of
Iraq, 694 F.3d 1122, 1131 (9th Cir. 2012);
Robinson, 586 F.3d at 685; Safe Air for
Everyone, 373 F.3d at 1039. Todd is a corporation. For
purposes of diversity jurisdiction, a corporation may be
deemed a citizen of a state in two ways. First, a corporation
“shall be deemed to be a citizen of every State and
foreign state by which it has been incorporated.” 28
U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1). Second, a corporation also shall be
deemed to be a citizen of the state where it has its
“principal place of business.” Id. Thus,
a corporation may be a citizen of more than one state-the
state of incorporation and the state of its
principal place of business.
argue that Todd is both incorporated in Oregon and has its
principal place of business in Oregon. As proof of Todd's
citizenship, Defendants submit documentation from the Oregon
Secretary of State's website that shows the Business
Entity Data for Todd. The Oregon Secretary of State lists
Todd's state of incorporation as Oregon. The Secretary of
State also lists Todd's principal place of business in
Oregon. Each of these findings, separately and individually,
is sufficient to establish Todd's citizenship in Oregon
and thus demonstrate that there is not complete diversity of
citizenship in this case.
does not refute that Todd is incorporated in Oregon. Nor does
Plaintiff offer any evidence to contradict Defendants'
evidence from the Oregon Secretary of State on this point.
Instead, Plaintiff merely argues that Todd's principal
place of business is in Washington. Even if the Court were to
agree with Plaintiff that Todd's principal place of
business is in Washington, the parties would still lack
complete diversity because Todd would also be a citizen of
Oregon, as Todd's state of incorporation. See 28
U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1); see also 3123 SMB LLC v.
Horn, 880 F.3d 461, 462-63 (9th Cir. 2018) (noting that
“[f]or purposes of determining diversity jurisdiction,
‘a corporation shall be deemed to be a citizen of every
State . . . by which it has been incorporated ...