In an unusual display of speedy discretion, federal District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell wasted no time in dismissing the complaint on a public works payment bond filed by Advance Industrial Coating, LLC in Advance Indus. Coating, LLC v. Westfield Ins. Co., No. 2:15-cv-141-FtM-38DNF (D. for M.D. Fla., Mar. 6, 2015). Advance filed its complaint in the Middle District of Florida – Ft. Myers Division – on March 4, 2015. Just two (2) days later, on March 6, 2015, Judge Chappell dismissed the action without prejudice for Advance’s failure to properly plead the citizenship of the parties! The Court’s order was sua sponte!
Specifically, Advance properly identified itself as a limited liability company but improperly alleged its citizenship as though it was a corporation: "Plaintiff, Advance Industrial Coatings, LLC ("AIC"), is a Florida limited liability company with its principal place of business in Jacksonville, Florida." See DE 1, para. 2. The Court reminded Advance that "[a] limited liability company is a citizen of every state in which one of its members is located" and noted that "the members of the LLC and their respective locations are not disclosed in the complaint." Additionally, Advance properly identified Westfield’s state of incorporation as Ohio but improperly alleged that Westfield was also a "foreign insurance company authorized to issue surety bonds in the State of Florida." See DE 1, para. 3. In other words, Advance failed to allege Westfield’s principal place of business. As such, the Court dismissed the action because it was "not satisfied that it has federal jurisdiction to facilitate this case."
It should be noted that the undersigned just learned that Advance filed an amended complaint that included corrected jurisdictional allegations.
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Edward Sylvester is a partner in the Miami office and is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in both Florida and Ohio.