H.K. Huilin Int'l Trade Co., LTD v. Kevin Multiline Polymer Inc.

907 F. Supp. 2d 284 (E.D.N.Y. 2012)

 

RULE:

The 1988 Amendment does not provide jurisdiction over suits between a nonresident alien on one side and resident aliens and United States citizens on the other.

FACTS:

Plaintiff filed suit in a federal court against Defendant and several of his companies alleging various state law causes of action arising from alleged shipping contracts. Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim, or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. Plaintiff opposed these motions and filed a cross-motion for summary judgment. Although plaintiff did not allege any federal causes of action, it asserted that the court has jurisdiction based solely on diversity of citizenship. It appears that the plaintiff is a foreign corporation organised under the law of China doing business in Hong Kong while defendant is a Chinese citizen while the companies he allegedly operate are New York corporations doing business in New York.

ISSUE:

Was there diversity of citizenship?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The 1988 Amendment does not provide jurisdiction over suits between a nonresident alien on one side and resident aliens and United States citizens on the other.Plaintiffs allegations do not carry its burden to establish diversity jurisdiction. The only jurisdictional allegation as to the defendant is that he is a resident of New York. However, it is well-established that allegations of residency alone cannot establish citizenship. At most, the defendant is a Chinese citizen living in New York. Thus, the defendant’s presence opposite plaintiff, a Chinese corporation, destroys complete diversity regardless of his permanent residence status.  Nonetheless, plaintiff was given by the court the opportunity to cure such jurisdictional defect.

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