357 F.3d 827 (8th Cir. 2004), 03-2514, GMAC Commercial Credit LLC v. Dillard Dept. Stores, Inc.

Docket Nº:03-2514, 03-2850.
Citation:357 F.3d 827
Party Name:GMAC COMMERCIAL CREDIT LLC, Plaintiff, GMAC Commercial Finance LLC, Plaintiff/Appellant, v. DILLARD DEPARTMENT STORES, INC., Defendant, Dillard's, Inc., Defendant/Appellee.
Case Date:February 06, 2004
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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Page 827

357 F.3d 827 (8th Cir. 2004)

GMAC COMMERCIAL CREDIT LLC, Plaintiff,

GMAC Commercial Finance LLC, Plaintiff/Appellant,

v.

DILLARD DEPARTMENT STORES, INC., Defendant,

Dillard's, Inc., Defendant/Appellee.

Nos. 03-2514, 03-2850.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

February 6, 2004

Submitted: Oct. 24, 2003.

Page 828

Jeffrey Fink, argued, St. Louis, MO (Jordan B. Cherrick, St. Louis, David L. Williams, Kathryn B. Perkins, Little Rock, AR, on the brief), for appellant.

Thomas B. Weaver, argued, St. Louis, MO (Andrew B. Mayfield, St. Louis, on the brief), for appellee.

Before RILEY, BOWMAN, and SMITH, Circuit Judges.

RILEY, Circuit Judge.

Invoking federal diversity jurisdiction, GMAC Commercial Credit LLC (GMAC), a New York limited liability company (LLC) with its principal place of business in New York, brought a breach of contract action against Dillard's, Inc. (Dillard's), a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Arkansas. Following entry of partial summary judgment for Dillard's, and a jury verdict for Dillard's, the district court entered judgment for Dillard's. The district court also awarded Dillard's costs and attorney fees as permitted under Arkansas law. GMAC appealed on grounds unrelated to the issue we address today.

After obtaining new counsel, GMAC moved to vacate the district court's judgment and attorney fees award, claiming diversity of citizenship does not exist and the federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. Any party or the court may, at any time, raise the issue of subject matter jurisdiction. S.D. Farm Bureau, Inc. v. Hazeltine, 340 F.3d 583, 591 (8th Cir. 2003); see also Chapman v. Barney, 129 U.S. 677, 681, 9 S.Ct. 426, 32 L.Ed. 800 (1889). Dillard's resists GMAC's motion, arguing the federal court has jurisdiction. Alternatively, Dillard's requests attorney fees for GMAC's failure to raise the jurisdictional issue earlier. Because we conclude GMAC's citizenship as an LLC is defined by the citizenship of its members, we remand these cases to the district court for further proceedings to determine (1) the parties' citizenship, and (2) whether diversity exists.

I. DISCUSSION

A. Jurisdiction

The citizenship of an LLC for purposes of diversity jurisdiction is an issue of first impression in our circuit. Congress limits a federal district court's...

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