United States District Court, D. Hawaii
DISMISSING WITHOUT PREJUDICE DEFENDANT FOUR SEASONS HOTELS
LIMITED; ORDER REQUIRING DEFENDANT HUALALAI INVESTORS, LLC TO
PROVIDE CERTAIN INFORMATION TO PLAINTIFFS; AND SECOND ORDER
TO SHOW CAUSE WHY THIS ACTION SHOULD NOT BE DISMISSED WITHOUT
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 that they are all citizens of Japan, and
that diversity jurisdiction is the basis for subject matter
jurisdiction in this action. Compl. ¶¶ 1-3, 8.
Because “[c]ourts 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), and because 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), on December 13,
2019, the Court ordered Plaintiffs to show cause by December
30, 2019 why the Complaint should not be dismissed without
prejudice, as Plaintiffs failed to adequately assert complete
diversity of the parties. ECF No. 13 (Order to Show Cause).
Plaintiffs timely responded on December 19, 2019.
See ECF No. 15 (Resp.); ECF No. 16 (Supp. Resp.).
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, an action must be
dismissed. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3). Federal
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). Additionally, “the
presence of citizen defendants d[oes] not preserve
jurisdiction as to the alien.” Id. Further, a
corporation “does not lose its foreign
citizenship” based upon its location of incorporation
simply because its principal place of business in the United
States.” Oteng v. Golden Star Resources, Ltd.,
615 F.Supp.2d 1228, 1234 (D. Colo. 2009) (citations omitted).
In other words, both citizenships of a corporation must be
considered when testing for complete diversity. 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) (emphasis added))); Nike, Inc. v. Comercial
Iberica de Exclusivas Deportivas, S.A., 20 F.3d 987,
990-91 (9th Cir. 1994) (“[W]e cannot disregard
either [the corporation's] site of
incorporation, Bermuda, or its principal place of business,
which [is alleged to be] Oregon, when testing for complete
diversity.” (footnote omitted) (emphasis added)).
Order to Show Cause, the Court observed that although the
Complaint asserts the amount in controversy is in excess of
$75, 000, it fails to adequately allege that there is
complete diversity of citizenship between the parties because
Plaintiffs, citizens of Japan: (1) assert Defendant Four
Seasons Hotels Limited (“Four Seasons”) also has
alien citizenship as it is a “corporation incorporated
under the laws of Canada”; (2) fail to identify the
citizenship of each of the members of Defendant Hualalai
Investors, LLC (“Hualalai Investors”); and (3)
fail to identify the citizenship of Defendant Matt Hasegawa
Plaintiffs' Response and Supplemental Response to the
Order to Show Cause, Plaintiffs (1) state that “Four
Seasons' principal [sic] of business is in Canada and the
United States, ” ECF No. 15-1 ¶ 7, (2) represent
that the sole member of Hualalai Investors is a Delaware LLC
named Hualalai Investors Mezz, LLC, and that no further
information regarding the members of Hualalai Investors Mezz,
LLC is publicly available, ECF No. 16-1 ¶¶; and (3)
assert that Hasegawa is a “citizen of the United
States.” ECF No. 15-1 ¶ 10. For the following
reasons, these responses do not cure the issues first
identified by the Court in the Order to Show Cause.
Plaintiffs fail to demonstrate diversity jurisdiction as to
Four Seasons, which is incorporated in Canada. Although
Plaintiffs add that Four Seasons has a principal place of
business in the United States (as well as Canada), its
Canadian citizenship cannot be ignored when testing for
diversity. See Nike, 20 F.3d 987, 990-91.
Accordingly, because both Plaintiffs and Four Seasons are
alien citizens and complete diversity is lacking, Defendant
Four Seasons is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
the Court notes Hualalai Investors was served with the
Complaint on December 10, 2019, and it therefore must answer
or otherwise respond to the Complaint by December 31, 2019.
See ECF No. 13; Fed. R. Civ. P 12(a). In order to
facilitate the jurisdictional analysis here, the Court
ORDERS Defendant Hualalai Investors to
provide to Plaintiffs complete information concerning the
citizenship(s) of its sole member, Hualalai Investors Mezz,
LLC, by January 7, 2020. Upon receiving
this information, Plaintiffs are ORDERED TO SHOW
CAUSE by January 14, 2020 why this
action should not be dismissed without prejudice as to
Hualalai Investors for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
for the reasons identified in the Order to Show Cause.
Hasegawa, Plaintiffs assert that in addition to being a
“resident of the County of Hawaii, State of Hawaii,
” Hasegawa is a “citizen of the United
States.” ECF No. 15-1 ¶¶ 10-11. It is well
settled that “the diversity jurisdiction statute, 28
U.S.C. § 1332, speaks of [state] citizenship, not of
residency.” Kanter v. Warner-Lambert Co., 265
F.3d 853, 857 (9th Cir. 2001). Plaintiffs' added
information regarding Hasegawa's nationality does not
demonstrate that Hasegawa is domiciled in
any state of the United States. Indeed, “[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)); see also
Frett-Smith v. Vanterpool, 511 F.3d 396, 400 (9th Cir.
2008) (“[I]f [the party] was domiciled abroad
at the time [the] Complaint was filed, she would not be a
citizen of any state and diversity jurisdiction . . . would
also fail.” (emphasis added)). Absent the foregoing
information, the Court is unable to ascertain whether
diversity jurisdiction exists as to Hasegawa. Accordingly,
Plaintiffs are ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE by
January 14, 2020 why this action should not
be dismissed without prejudice as to Hasegawa for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction.
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 prejudice.
 If any of Hualalai Investors Mezz,
LLC's members are themselves unincorporated associations,
such as limited liability companies or limited partnerships,
Hualalai Investors shall additionally identify those
entities' members and provide their citizenships.
 Plaintiffs are again reminded to
comply with Local Rule 10.3 regarding mandatory chambers
copies of ...