LLCs — No Jurisdictional Discovery Where Complaint Fails to Plead Minimal Jurisdictional Facts

Jurisdiction was predicated on diversity in Osborn & Barr Commc’ns, Inc. v. EMC Corp., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8430 (E.D. Mo. Feb. 5, 2008). The plaintiff sued an LLC, among other defendants, but alleged nothing about the citizenship of the members of the LLC. The Court pointed out that diversity was not properly alleged. The plaintiff responded that it had attempted to determine the identity and citizenship of the LLC but was unable to do so. The plaintiff requested expedited jurisdictional discovery. In denying the request, District Judge Charles A. Shaw held:

The discovery process established by the Federal Rules is not intended to establish jurisdiction. "It is the obligation of the plaintiff to undertake at least enough minimal investigation prior to filing a complaint as to permit it to allege a basis for jurisdiction in the complaint. It would be an abuse of the discovery process to allow discovery when the plaintiff fails to meet the minimal jurisdictional requirements."

In dismissing the action, the court observed that it had the discretion to order jurisdictional discovery, even though he declined to do so.

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