United States District Court, D. Oregon
WILLIAM A. DIAMOND, Plaintiff,
NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE LLC, Defendant.
MICHAEL H. SIMON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Diamond brought an action in state court in which he is the
named plaintiff against Nationstar Mortgage LLC
(“Nationstar”), claiming a single cause of action
under ORS 124.110 for elder abuse. Diamond asserts that he is
bringing the case as “attorney in fact” for Mrs.
Beverlyann Lee. Nationstar removed the case from Multnomah
County Circuit Court to this Court. Diamond has moved this
Court to remand to State court, which Nationstar has opposed.
Nationstar has moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim
because Diamond is not a licensed attorney and does not
otherwise have standing to litigate the case. Diamond has not
responded to Nationstar's motion to dismiss.
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim may be granted
only when there is no cognizable legal theory to support the
claim or when the complaint lacks sufficient factual
allegations to state a facially plausible claim for relief.
Shroyer v. New Cingular Wireless Servs., Inc., 622
F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th Cir. 2010). In evaluating the
sufficiency of a complaint's factual allegations, the
court must accept as true all well-pleaded material facts
alleged in the complaint and construe them in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party. Wilson v.
Hewlett- Packard Co., 668 F.3d 1136, 1140 (9th
Cir. 2012); Daniels-Hall v. Nat'l Educ.
Ass'n, 629 F.3d 992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010). To be
entitled to a presumption of truth, allegations in a
complaint “may not simply recite the elements of a
cause of action, but must contain sufficient allegations of
underlying facts to give fair notice and to enable the
opposing party to defend itself effectively.” Starr
v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). All
reasonable inferences from the factual allegations must be
drawn in favor of the plaintiff. Newcal Indus. v. Ikon
Office Solution, 513 F.3d 1038, 1043 n.2 (9th Cir.
2008). The court need not, however, credit the
plaintiff's legal conclusions that are couched as factual
allegations. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79
complaint must contain sufficient factual allegations to
“plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief, such that
it is not unfair to require the opposing party to be
subjected to the expense of discovery and continued
litigation.” Starr, 652 F.3d at 1216. “A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556
(2007)). “The plausibility standard is not akin to a
probability requirement, but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
Mashiri v. Epstein Grinnell & Howell, 845 F.3d
984, 988 (9th Cir. 2017) (quotation marks omitted).
U.S. Constitution confers limited authority on the federal
courts to hear only active cases or controversies brought by
persons who demonstrate standing. See Spokeo, 136
S.Ct. at 1546-47; Already, LLC v. Nike, Inc., 133
S.Ct. 721, 726 (2013). Standing “limits the category of
litigants empowered to maintain a lawsuit in federal court to
seek redress for a legal wrong.” Spokeo, 136
S.Ct. at 1547.
standing, a plaintiff must have “personal interest . .
. at the commencement of the litigation.” Friends
of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Envtl. Servs. (TOC), Inc.,
528 U.S. 167, 189 (2000). The required personal interest must
satisfy three elements throughout the litigation: (1) an
injury in fact, i.e., an invasion of a legally
protected interest that is concrete and particularized, as
well as actual or imminent; (2) a causal connection between
the injury-in-fact and the defendant's challenged
behavior; and (3) likelihood that the injury-in-fact will be
redressed by a favorable ruling. Id. at 180-81, 189;
see also Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1547 (reiterating that
the “irreducible constitutional minimum” of
standing consists of “an injury in fact . . . fairly
traceable to the challenged conduct of the defendant, and . .
. likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial
injury is “particularized” if it “affect[s]
the plaintiff in a personal and individual way.”
Spokeo, 136 S.Ct. at 1548 (quoting Lujan v.
Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560 n.1 (1992)). An
injury is “concrete” if it is
“‘de facto'; that is it must
actually exist, ” meaning that it is
“‘real' and not ‘abstract.'”
Id. “‘Concrete' is not, however,
necessarily synonymous with ‘tangible.' Although
tangible injuries are perhaps easier to recognize, [the
Supreme Court has] confirmed in many . . . previous cases
that intangible injuries can nevertheless be concrete.”
Id. at 1549.
Motion to Remand to State Court
argues that the case should be remanded because Nationstar
has not shown that its members are citizens of Delaware and
thus that Nationstar has not shown that Nationstar is diverse
from Diamond under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1). ECF 11. The
Court initially agreed with Diamond, as Nationstar had not
given sufficient information in its corporate disclosure
statement to demonstrate complete diversity. See ECF
2, ECF 15. Specifically, in Johnson v. Columbia
Properties Anchorage, LP, 437 F.3d 894, 899 (9th
Cir. 2006), the Ninth Circuit held that “like a
partnership, an LLC is a citizen of every state of which its
owners/members are citizens.” Johnson, 437
F.3d at 899. If a member is another unincorporated entity,
the party will take on the citizenship of each of that
owner-entity's members. Therefore, a court determines an
LLC's citizenship by tracing the layers of membership to
decide if diversity jurisdiction exists. See Lindley
Contours, LLC v. AABB Fitness Holdings, Inc., 414
Fed.Appx. 62, 64 (9th Cir. 2011); cf. Hart v. Terminex
Int'l, 336 F.3d 541, 543 (7th Cir. 2003).
Mortgage LLC stated in its first corporate disclosure
statement that it is wholly owned by Nationstar Sub1 LLC and
Nationstar Sub2 LLC. Nationstar Sub1 LLC and Nationstar Sub2
LLC are wholly owned by Nationstar Mortgage Holdings, Inc.
But Defendant provided no information as to the citizenship
of Nationstar Mortgage Holdings, Inc., including its State of
incorporation and its principle place of business. See 28
U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1).
Court therefore ordered Nationstar to show cause why the case
should not be remanded to state court. ECF 15. Nationstar
then submitted an amended corporate disclosure statement on
December 19, 2018. This amended statement demonstrates
complete diversity under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1).
Diamond's motion to remand to state court, therefore, is