United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY THIS ACTION SHOULD NOT BE
DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE
A. Otake United States District Judge.
December 6, 2019, Plaintiffs Ichiro Enomoto, in his
individual capacity and as next of friend for Ryoichi
Enomoto, a minor, and Yuriko Enomoto, in her individual
capacity (“Plaintiffs”), filed a Complaint, ECF
No. 1, asserting diversity jurisdiction as the basis for
subject matter jurisdiction in this action. Compl. ¶ 8.
“Courts have an independent obligation to determine
whether subject-matter jurisdiction exists, even when no
party challenges it.” Hertz Corp. v. Friend,
559 U.S. 77, 94 (2010). The Court is presumed to lack
subject-matter jurisdiction, and the plaintiffs bear the
burden of establishing that subject-matter jurisdiction is
proper. See Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511
U.S. 375, 377 (1994). If the Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction, an action must be dismissed. Fed.R.Civ.P.
district courts have original jurisdiction over cases where
the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000, exclusive of
interest and costs, and where the matter in controversy is
between citizens of different states. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332(a)(1). Complete diversity of citizenship requires
that each of the plaintiffs be a citizen of a different state
than each of the defendants. See Williams v. United
Airlines, Inc., 500 F.3d 1019, 1025 (9th Cir. 2007)
(citing Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Servs.,
Inc., 545 U.S. 546, 553 (2005)); Morris v. Princess
Cruises, Inc., 236 F.3d 1061, 1067 (9th Cir. 2001).
Diversity jurisdiction, however, “does not encompass
foreign plaintiffs suing foreign defendants.”
Faysound Ltd. v. United Coconut Chemicals, Inc., 878
F.2d 290, 294 (9th Cir. 1989) (citing Cheng v. Boeing
Co., 708 F.2d 1406, 1412 (9th Cir. 1983), cert
denied, 464 U.S. 1017 (1983). Further, “the
presence of citizen defendants d[oes] not preserve
jurisdiction as to the alien.” Id.
Complaint asserts the amount in controversy is in excess of
$75, 000, Compl. ¶ 8; each plaintiff is “at all
times relevant a citizen and resident of Japan, ”
Compl. ¶¶ 1-3; Defendant Four Seasons Hotels
Limited (“Four Seasons”) is a “corporation
incorporated under the laws of Canada, ” Defendant
Hualalai Investors, LLC (“Hualalai Investors”) is
a “limited liability company organized under the laws
of the State of Delaware, ” and Defendant Matt Hasegawa
(“Hasegawa”) is a “resident of the County
of Hawaii, State of Hawaii.” Compl. ¶¶ 4-6.
on Plaintiffs' allegations, it appears that Plaintiffs,
who are citizens of Japan, i.e., foreign plaintiffs, are
suing another foreign citizen, Four Seasons, as Plaintiffs
assert Four Seasons is incorporated in Canada. See
Johnson v. Columbia Props. Anchorage, LP, 437 F.3d 894,
899 (9th Cir. 2006) (It is well settled that a corporation is
a citizen of “(1) the state where its principal place
of business is located, and (2) the state in which it is
incorporated.” (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1332(c)(1))).
Although Plaintiffs also assert that Four Seasons is
“registered to do business in the State of Hawai'i,
” without more, that assertion does not establish that
Hawai'i is the corporation's “principal place
of business” or “nerve center, ” Hertz
Corp. v. Friend, 559 U.S. 77, 98 (2010), i.e.,
“the place of actual direction, control, and
coordination.” 3123 SMB LLC v. Horn, 880 F.3d
461, 471 (9th Cir. 2018) (quoting Hertz, 559 U.S. at
Complaint is also deficient because it fails to identify the
citizenship of Hualalai Investors, a limited liability
company. The citizenship of an unincorporated association,
such as a limited liability company, “can be determined
only by reference to all of the entity's members, ”
and not the laws under which it is organized or where it is
registered to do business. Kuntz v. Lamar Corp., 385
F.3d 1177, 1182 (9th Cir. 2004) (citing Carden v. Arkoma
Assocs., 494 U.S. 185, 196-97 (1990)). Here, Plaintiffs
fail to identify any of Hualalai Investors' members and
their respective citizenships.
Complaint is further deficient because it does not assert the
citizenship of Hasegawa; instead it merely asserts that
Hasegawa is a “resident” of Hawai'i and an
employee of one of the defendants. “To be a citizen of
a state, a natural person must first be a citizen of the
United States.” Kanter v. Warner-Lambert Co.,
265 F.3d 853, 857 (9th Cir. 2001) (citing Newman-Green,
Inc. v. Alfonzo-Larrain, 490 U.S. 826, 828 (1989)). The
natural person's “state citizenship is then
determined by her state of domicile, not her state of
residence[.] A person residing in a given state is not
necessarily domiciled there, and thus is not necessarily a
citizen of that state.” Id. (citing Weible
v. United States, 244 F.2d 158, 163 (9th Cir. 1957)).
the foregoing information, the Court is unable to ascertain
whether diversity jurisdiction exists. Accordingly,
Plaintiffs are ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE why this action should
not be dismissed without prejudice for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. Plaintiffs must file a response to this Order
to Show Cause by December 30, 2019,
providing complete information concerning the citizenship of
the named defendants. Failure to timely respond to this Order to
Show Cause will result in a finding that Plaintiffs have
failed to carry their burden of establishing subject matter
jurisdiction and the Court will dismiss the action without
 If any of Hualalai Investors'
members are themselves unincorporated associations, such as
limited liability companies or limited partnerships,
Plaintiffs shall additionally identify those entities'
members and provide their citizenships.
 Plaintiffs are further reminded to
comply with Local Rule 10.3 regarding mandatory chambers
copies of ...